Why are there more takers for the contemporary hero? – Opinion News, Firstpost

The recent trend of Southern films spoofing their Bollywood counterparts at the box office definitely gives Prithviraj a ‘major’ reason to worry

Despite the intense push producers Yash Raj Films and frontman Akshay Kumar gave to their prestigious historical film Samrat Prithviraj pre-booking numbers for the film are shockingly low.

Frankly speaking, there seems to be extremely low interest in director Chandraprakash Dwivedi’s big-screen spectacle. “We don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s because of Akshay Kumar’s latest movie Bachchan Pandey and Yash Raj’s latest release Jayeshbhai Jordaar, both have serious underperformers. Perhaps the combined setback of the two (producer and lead actor) affected the advance booking of Samrat Prithviraj. We hope ticket sales will pick up once the movie opens on Friday,” says staff at a major multiplex chain.

In Hyderabad and the rest of Andhra Pradesh, there are reports of strong ticket sales for Adivi star Sesh Major which chronicles the life and heroism of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan who perished while fighting terrorists at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai on 09/11/2008. It is perhaps the reasonable price of the tickets that makes Major the top choice of moviegoers in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and also other pockets of South and North India.

According to Sesh, “One of the reasons many movies don’t do well is the prohibitive ticket prices. For Major I wanted to make sure the tickets were affordable for every family and community that would like to see it. I didn’t want anyone to say, ‘Arrey nahin bhai. Itne paise main kaun jayega movie dekhne.’ Not for my movie. I made sure that ticket prices were under control. As for the box office competition this Friday, Sesh says, “Every movie has its own destiny. Also, Samrat Prithviraj is a very different entity compared to Major. One is contemporary history, the other goes far back in time. I hope both films do well.

Says Suman Sinha, a prominent film exponent in Bihar. “Major looks like the cinema that audiences want. This is a real life hero and one who died saving lives at night that we Indians will never forget. On the other hand, the mythical value of Prithviraj Chauhan is also of great interest to the public. There’s also Manushi Chillar making his debut and Sanjay Dutt being a big hit as a villain after KFG. So I wouldn’t be in a hurry to cancel Samrat Prithviraj.”

Subhash K Jha is a Patna-based film critic who has written about Bollywood long enough to know the industry inside out. He tweets at @SubhashK_Jha.

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