Pathaans success should end boycott culture: Shabana Azmi

Pathaan's success should end boycott culture: Shabana Azmi

Shabana Azmi, a veteran actor, describes the record-breaking success of “Pathaan” as a validation and expresses hope that the ongoing box office run of the Shah Rukh starrer could mark the end of the boycott culture.

“Pathaan”, which released 50 days ago, has successfully crossed the Rs 1,000 crore mark at the global office.

Also Read: Pathaan clocks 50 days in theatres worldwide

Azmi said she had a feeling the globetrotting spy entertainer from Yash Raj Films will turn out to be a hit but was surprised by the magnitude of “Pathaan”s success.

“I loved Pathaan. I had a feeling in my bones, right from the word go that Pathaan would be a hit. That it will become such a huge hit is such a validation. I’m so delighted about the film.

Azmi said that success of “Pathaan” was a pointer that boycott culture will soon end.

“I really hope it cancels this boycott culture because it is really cocking a snook at that. And I enjoyed the film… Im sort of taking it so personally and I’m so glad that its such a big success, the 72-year-old actor told PTI in a virtual interview.

Also Read: Another record for ‘Pathaan’: It is now all-time No.1 Hindi film in India

In 2022, big-budget Hindi productions such as Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha, Shamshera starring Ranbir Kapoor, Akshay Kumar’s Raksha Bandhan, and Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan-led Vikram Vedha failed to pull crowds to the theatres amid calls for boycott from a section of people on social media.

The hashtag #BoycottBollywood raised its head right before “Pathaan”, the first major release of 2023, with a controversy over its song “Besharam Rang”. However, it emerged a blockbuster right from its opening day on January 25.

The “cancel culture”, which Azmi termed a “targeted mission” against the film industry, is just a phase that will pass, she added.

Also Watch: Filmmakers postpone release of their films ‘out of respect’ for ‘Pathaan’

I have the benefit of experience, and I know that nothing lasts and that these are phases that come, and then they pass by. And this was sort of targeted what the word for it a mission almost. And then I knew this would not last forever.

“Yeh log jab samajhte hain hum mein zyada power hai, par unko asliyat log batayenge (These people think they are more powerful, but the audience will show them the truth)… People particularly love movies in India, she said.

Azmi, 72, also believes the poor performance of some Hindi films has sparked a course correction in terms of viewing content through a new lens.

Also Read: ‘Pathaan’ storms past ₹600 crore mark in worldwide gross

… It also led to a lot of churning in the film industry, which is good… thinking of content… is important. It worked both ways because the film industry said, If the content is good, it works. So, we should concentrate on that, she added.

The cinema veteran is awaiting the release of her next film Whats Love Got To Do With It?, also featuring British stars Emma Thompson, Lily James, Shazad Latif, and Pakistani actor Sajal Aly.

The upcoming romantic-comedy is directed by Shekhar Kapur and is set to release in Indian theatres on Friday.

(With agency inputs)

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