SRK's 'Jawan' kicks off with energetic drumbeats and dances
The pan-India thriller in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu is directed by South filmmaker Atlee.
Amidst fireworks, confetti showers, lively dancing, resounding drumbeats, and an enthusiastic audience, Shah Rukh Khan's "Jawan" made an splendid debut on Thursday (September 7) morning, drawing crowds to theaters nationwide, from Srinagar to Chennai.
The pan-India thriller in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu is directed by South filmmaker Atlee and if scenes inside and outside theatres in cities such as Jaipur, Jammu, Mumbai and Kolkata are any indication, Shah Rukh’s second film after “Pathaan” may have hit an early winning streak.
Ahead of the film’s release, #BoycottJawan trended on social media for a while with some users calling for the film's boycott because it is distributed by Red Giant Movies in Tamil Nadu. The company is owned by Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin, who has courted massive controversy for his comments against Sanatan Dharma.
SRK's fans on X hit out at the actor's detractors, saying the film will beat their negative campaign to become a blockbuster.
The controversy, however, didn’t appear to gather much momentum.
Theatres in several cities went ahead with their plans for early morning shows to maximise on the excitement and Janmashtami, a holiday in many parts of the country.
In Kolkata, for instance, the first show was at 5 am. And in Jaipur at 6 am.
Outside south Kolkata’s Asoka theatre, fans raised slogans in support of Shah Rukh and decorated the film's giant poster with garlands. They also struck SRK's famous open arm pose for the cameras.
Some fans even brought posters of the actor and arranged marigold petals to form their message, "Love SRK". One fan performed a 'puja' at the theatre, putting a ‘tilak’ on the star’s face on the poster.
"This movie will perform even better than 'Pathaan'," said one fan. "I didn't sleep last night," added another.
In Jaipur, some eager viewers turned up at a theatre in white T-shirts with the poster of "Jawan" printed on them. They played the song "Zinda Banda" on their speakers and danced to their hearts content.
"It is a ‘paisa vasool’ movie. It is a total entertainer and has everything we want from a SRK movie -- drama, emotions and action." Another fan, Musharaf, said audiences will not feel that they have "wasted" their time on the film.
In Srinagar, too, some eager morning viewers, dressed in “Jawan” T-shirts, spoke of their excitement.
In Noida’s Waves theatre, the audience erupted in whistles and cheers every time Shah Rukh made an appearance.
The many pan-India scenes were a throwback to a pre-OTT era and evidence that mainstream cinema is alive and thriving with a string of successes, including “Pathaan” and “Gadar 2” and now perhaps “Jawan”.
In Mumbai, fans queued up in large numbers at the Gaiety Galaxy in Bandra and were seen frantically dancing to drum beats inside a theatre, recalling celebrations seen during festive season.
Fans were also seen forming a human pyramid outside a theatre at a 6 am show.
There were similar scenes inside a cinema hall in Chennai where fans broke into whistles as the film unspooled in front of them.
At Bengaluru's Urvashi Cinema, a huge gathering was seen for the first show of the film.
A young woman, who came to watch with her friend, told PTI, "We are very excited. We came here to dance on the movie. I'm a very big Shah Rukh Khan fan, I love him." And in Hyderabad, hundreds of SRK fans gathered at the Devi Theatre, placed large cutouts of the superstar, threw confetti and danced their hearts out before the first show early on Thursday. Many donned SRK's looks from the movie.
At Liberty cinema in Delhi's Karol Bagh, some clicked selfies against the film's with its poster. The scene at the single theatre was akin to that of Holi celebrations with many fans donning white and playing with colours as they danced to the film's track outside the theatre.
There were also many videos posted on X showing fans dancing near the giant screen when the song "Zinda Banda" came on.
“Jawan” is described by makers as a high-octane thriller outlining "the emotional journey of a man who is set to rectify the wrongs in the society". It also stars Vijay Sethupathi and Nayanthara.
Trade experts are betting big on "Jawan" as they believe the movie will outperform "Pathaan", which had the reported earnings of Rs 1,050 crore. They pegged the opening day figure to be somewhere around Rs 65-70 crore.
The film already got a thumbs up from fans as over 7.5 lakh tickets were booked in advance on online ticket booking platform BookMyShow by Tuesday evening.
"Jawan" also features Sanya Malhotra, Priyamani, Girija Oak, Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, Lehar Khan, Aaliyah Qureshi, Ridhi Dogra, Sunil Grover and Mukesh Chhabra as well as Deepika Padukone in a special appearance.
A Red Chillies Entertainment presentation, "Jawan" is produced by Gauri Khan and co-produced by Gaurav Verma.
(With agency inputs)