The Abhishek Bachchan-John Abraham-Priyanka Chopra nightmare Dostana has plunged at the U.S. box office in its second weekend.
For the weekend of November 21-23, Dostana grossed a mere $220,179.
Dostana came in at No-24Â with an average gross of $3,016.
Take a look at how Dostana fared compared to some prominent Bollywood films in the second weekend at the U.S. box office:
the movie is a hit in India …second week opened with close to 95% occupancy ..
Really? We thought the theme of homosexuality wouldn’t resonate well in the hinterlands, beyond the large cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, B’Lore.
It is difficult to predict the box office performances of the movies in India. Logic doesnt always work, in the sense that average or below-average movies do well, and the good ones may not necessarily do well. In fact, thats how mediocrity has prevailed this long. A lot of movie-makers make crap and get away with it. Thankfully that is changing in the right direction. One good trend is that the audience in India now mostly rejects movies without content, regardless of the hype (Love Story 2050, Drona, Tashan), and regardless of the banner (Subhash Ghai, Yash Raj), and regardless of the stars.
Meanwhile, it is now very clear that Chak De India (CDI) is a rather complete lift of Miracle (2004, Kurt Russel). Now, Miracle was rather low key even in the US perhaps, and I definitely dont remember that it was released in India, so Shimit Amin (or “I amm in shit”, if you rearrange the letters, no offence meant there), the director of CDI has neatly lifted not only the principal idea, but also characters and situations.
I have watched both of them, and a rough first look reveals the following similarities:
1. The coaches have a point to prove.
Miracle: Herb Brookes (Kurt Russel) missed out from the final playing team, and arch rivals Soviets won the medal that year of course.
CDI: Kabir Khan (Shah Rukh) missed a crucial penalty against arch rivals Pakistan in the final and was branded a traitor by media.
2. The scene where the coaches go for an interview with the hockey federation guys:
Miracle: Herb is sketching some strategy.
CDI: Kabir is simulating a hockey move with some bottle tops.
3. The federation members show little confidence in the methods of the coach, in both cases. Of course, the coaches get the jobs because there are no other contenders.
4. When the coach is pushing the boys/girls very hard, the assistant coach expresses concerns about the ability of the boys/girls to withstand the load.
5. The coaches exhort the players to come out of provincial mindset (Minnesota/Chandigarh etc) and think of themselves as players playing for the country (USA/India). The coaches make the players realise this the hard way.
6. The first training session, where the coaches lambast the players for selfishness, lack of finesse/thought, etc.
7. The coaches make sure that the players dont get cosy with them, i.e.,the coaches.
8. In both cases, personal problems of a few players are highlighted, especially, the goalkeepers (mothers death in Miracle, pressure from husband/in-laws to settle down in the family in CDI).
9. The scenes of world championship in both the cases, and of course the fact that the underdog (USA/India) ultimately wins against the reigning champion (USSR/Australia).
I am sure there are atleast a few dozen similarities more.
Performane-wise, Kurt Russel is far more convincing than Shah Rukh, who looked rather thanda.
I have seen Kurt Russel in Tango and Cash, 300 miles to Graceland and Executive Decision. He is not Marlon Brando, but can do a good job if the director can get him to, and in Miracle, he has put in a good performance. Miracle is a good movie to watch, it is not very entertaining in the usual sense, but I felt good after the movie.
The director of CDI has shown some innovation in Indianising the situations, characters, etc, but surely, it is better, as they say, to fail in originality than succeed in imitation.
A friend of mine told me that Greg Chappel (coach of Indian cricket team during 2005-2007, and an Australian ex-player, regarded as a great player), screened the movie Miracle to inspire his charges, during World Cup Cricket 2007 (Feb-March in West Indies), after India had lost to Bangladesh and was staring at an early exit. It turned out that India lost the next match to Sri lanka and crashed out of the tournament. Apparently, the players didnt get inspired enough. Cant blame the movie or the coach though. Instead, a director called Shimit Amin got inspired and made Chak De India.
You write above: but surely, it is better, as they say, to fail in originality than succeed in imitation.