I laud the balls that Bollywood showed by releasing Commando 2 against Logan and Badrinath Ki Dulhania versus Kong Skull Island. Really, it takes a lot of courage to do this after giving it an ample amount of thought. I hope they gave some thought. Hollywood movies delay their release in India if there is a Salman Khan movie that is clashing with their release date and I think that that respect should be returned. I mean, I’d have done that if my movie would be clashing with Logan and as that wasn’t what the producers of Commando 2 did, I extend my condolences to the respective producers of Commando 2 and Badrinath Ki Dulhania. Before people start condemning me as an anti-national and produce BS theories like why should I compare Hollywood with Bollywood, allow me to clear out those arguments before delving into the financial and critical failure of Bollywood in the first 2 weeks of March.
So, why am I comparing movies that have been released in March and why am I comparing Hollywood with Bollywood. It is evident that the movies that release in January and February are the ghosts of previous year’s movies. They neither have the zing of the December movies of the previous year, nor do they have the driving force to begin the New Year. It is just “eh!”. While Hollywood gave multi-million duds like Underworld:Blood Wars, Resident Evil, Rings etc., it also gave some great ones like Split, Lego Batman and John Wick 2. On the other side let’s see what Bollywood gave us: OK Jaanu, Haraamkhor, Coffee with D, Kaabil, Raees, Jolly LLB 2, The Ghazi Attack and breathed a last sigh with Rangoon. March is the beginning for good movies. It’s the point where the poop ends and the starters to the grand banquet begins and Logan is the perfect example of that. So that is the reason why I am talking about March because I consider March as the beginning of the good times regarding movies.
The second hypothetical argument that ardent supporters of Bollywood will produce is that why compare? It is because both Hollywood and Bollywood produce films. Film is an universal language and movies of the same tone, theme and genre demand comparison just like any other form of art. Hollywood and Bollywood are some of the largest producers of movies and that is another reason why they demand comparison and one of the most basic reason is because I follow these two producer of movies. If these reasons aren’t reason enough for you for comparing Hollywood and Bollywood, I guess the rest of this article isn’t going to provide any further satisfaction.
The last form of argument that anybody can rightfully provide is whether these movies have the same tone or theme or have a similarity in the topics they are dealing with. I have the answer for that too but for that I have to go deeper and so I will write about it in sections and I will also mention in it how the movies are performing critically and financially.
LOGAN V/S COMMANDO 2
Before I begin, I want to mention that haven’t watched neither Commando 2 nor Badrinath and I have no intention to watch it also. I judge a movie from it’s trailers and I don’t want to butcher my senses by going through the task of watching them.
So, on a thematic level Commando 2 mixes action with a serious topic regarding Black Money while Logan mixes action while dealing with serious topic(s) about life in general. This is where Commando receives it’s first blow. Commando needs to mention in it’s title itself that they are dealing with a serious topic and the mention is not subtle. They are writing it in bold letters: THE BLACK MONEY TRAIL, so that it could bank on the current demonetisation incident. Logan on the other hand dishes out a grounded trailer and names the movie just Logan. Not even Wolverine, just Logan and by doing so the makers respect the audience as well as the movie. They are basically saying that if you know this name we think you’ll be interested to watch his story.
Now to the second blow that Logan gives to Commando 2 is on the category of how the movie deals with the topics. Even though I haven’t seen the movie, the trailer pretty much screams exposition and showcases every possible stunt that has been performed in the movie. Basically, the movie sells itself as an action flick which is in contrast with the bold headline of black money trail. The film is contradicting itself from the trailer and judging from the critic reviews they haven’t been able to do any good in the whole movie too.
Here’s where Logan takes the cake by showing almost nothing through its trailers and only solidifies the bleak and dark tone of the movie. I have already seen the movie twice, so I know that Logan is nothing short of a modern classic. Mangold takes two characters that have been around for 17 years and uses them to spin the superhero genre on it’s head. Once you start peeling off it’s layers you can see there is a father-son tale, a father-daughter tale, a story about life and death, a story about sacrifice and that’s just the tip of the iceberg and while doing all that, Logan also provides more than sufficient, well-choreographed action sequences that fans have been asking for a long time. The movie sends the audience on a roller-coaster ride of emotions and also manages to be a critical success. Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof:
Now, onto the financial success. Again, I laud the balls that Bollywood managed to show while deciding what they are going to do on the 3rd of March. Just to bring into context, Commando 2 had a worldwide release and bought out a major chunk of the screens from multiplexes and single-screen theatres. It had a much, much bigger release and even after that it is only showing a steady decline in numbers. Whereas Logan is going to be pushed out of my local theatres after Sunday, but it has a larger audience than what Commando 2 has. That’s the ground reality and if you aren’t satisfied with that, here’s the statistics.
Now, you can rightfully argue that they have a wide gap in the budget but that’s also one of my points. Where one movie knows how to use it’s budget correctly and actually make a profit, the other just doesn’t want to dedicate the requisite amount of grey cells to invest in the movie. The reason why Bollywood doesn’t want to do that is pretty simple, but I’ll keep it for the final verdict.
BADRINATH KI DULHANIA V/S KONG SKULL ISLAND
Just so you know, it hurts to give Badrinath the space of an article but as I believe in the bigger cause I am ready to bear that pain. As it has been only one day, I’ll try to keep it short because who knows what will happen in the long run. Wait, I’ll tell you what will happen. Badrinath will break even and say it’s a “huge success”(and also host a success party because, star kids!) whereas Kong will actually make money and pave the way for further sequels. Mark my words.
So, the themes. Well, both of them are pop-corn flicks. It can be best described as that. Where Badrinath follows the usual cliches of beating the dead horse of love, betrayal and remakes of songs, Kong revives a cult classic and presents it with today’s technology to a modern audience. There are no layers to peel and should and will be judged basically on entertainment value.
Badrinath‘s trailer was just absolute garbage and boasted of colourful sets and over-the-top acting and ah! dance and Holi. I don’t care about “Tamma Tamma” and if the remake has butchered someone’s childhood, I don’t care. There is nothing new about it and I am surprised how these film-makers try to sell it off as a “fresh” take on love. How the hell is this a fresh take? It’s basically what Bollywood has been doing for the past few decades. It’s not fresh in any shape or form. Judging by the reviews, it hasn’t done something radical during the ballsy 2 hours and 20 minute run-time. Here are the glorious reviews:
If that’s not enough here is a much detailed review which I laud the reviewer for. It takes courage, man. It takes courage to go through these tough times: It’s 2017 And It’s Shocking That A Film Like ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ Actually Got Made
Moving on to the movie that got me interested because the film-maker knew what they wanted to do with their money and I enjoyed every second of this monster-mashing epic. It boasted of amazing visuals and a mighty Kong. Nothing more, nothing less and the movie even raises interest by including a post-credit scene. If it would have been a critical flop, then it would have been laughed at just like the post-credit scene of Green Lantern and Fant4stic was laughed at but, as far as I am concerned, everyone was excited to see their favourite monsters being name dropped. The trailers showed Kong in all his glory and no sappy human emotion stuff and that’s what we got. That’s marketing done right and that’s how a old property should be presented to the modern audience. Just to solidify my point, here are the reviews:
I won’t talk about the financial perspective. I will only talk about the ground reality. Badrinath has, as usual, grabbed most of the screens while Kong only has 3 screenings per day and people are coming to the first show of the day to grab their 3D glasses and pop-corn and watch Kong whereas the stars of Badrinath are pleading to the audience, on every single screen, Instagram, Facebook, News channel, to come see their movie. Let’s see what the results are at the end of the week.
FINAL (frigging) VERDICT – You know I don’t mean to say frigging. You know what I am thinking in my mind, but a man’s gotta be civil about his stuff, right?
As I mentioned before that I will say why Bollywood doesn’t want to use a certain amount of grey cells while making movies. Because majority of Bollywood film-makers and producers do not respect the art and do not respect the audience. They just look at movies as money-making machines. Obviously it is but it should be a two-way process. The producers should make their money back and the audience should get their money’s worth. That’s how you make the audience come back. I am not a business student but I think that’s basic business knowledge and there lies the problem. You should respect the intelligence of the audience and if you don’t, then don’t expect respect from the audience. The teaching that Hollywood imparted to Bollywood is the lesson of respect. Respect the property, respect the writers, respect the director, respect the audience and you will be remembered and people will be asking you to make more for them. Until and unless Bollywood doesn’t learn how to respect, it has to wait for the brain-chopped audience of a Khan-starrer movie and hope that it does some good and until then people who want meaningful movies have to wait for the times to change. As for people like me, we have Hollywood to give a huge spectrum of great movies because it’s always quality over quantity. I am every bit a supporter of Bollywood as is practically possible and that’s why I want it to be better than any film-making country but when Bollywood itself doesn’t want to be good, I have no reason to support it. Until Bollywood decides to grow a pair and respect me and the rest of the movie-watching audience, I will stick to Hollywood and enjoy.
Thanks for reading.
Picture Courtesy: Fox Movies, Wikipedia, Imdb, PinkVilla, KoiMoi, Empire.