Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan has given Bollywood the much-needed boost that it desperately needed. Marking Shah Rukh Khan’s return to Bollywood after a span of four years, the film recorded an impressive advance booking, and videos of packed theatres with the audience hooting and cheering did the rounds on social media. Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, who watched the film on the first day itself, expressed his joy and said that he wants SRK’s film to do well.
Talking to Brut, Anurag Kashyap opened up about the boycott movement that has been plaguing the industry for the past two years, “I’m a filmmaker who has never had an opening. And I am still here. And my films have lived on.” Elaborating on why it is important for Pathaan to work, Kashyap said, “It is important for big films like Pathaan or Bholaa to work, because money comes into the circulation. Pathaan works, cinema exhibitors get the money and it gives them courage. What it does for the audience is, they come and throng the halls.”
Pathaan has braved its own controversies, as the song Besharam Rang came under fire for allegedly insulting the sentiments of political parties. Moreover, Shah Rukh Khan underwent a personal crisis in 2021 when his son Aryan Khan was arrested during an NCB drug raid and was later cleared of all charges. Given this atmosphere and the excitement for Pathaan, Kashyap said that these kind of big films are a source of confidence for the rest of the industry, “It empowers. The success of the film empowers the film industry. All of us. It empowers everyone. I might not make a movie like Pathaan. But I want Pathaan to work. Shah Rukh’s success is important to me. We exist because of the big films. If you look at different countries in the world, where there is no mainstream masala cinema, it is very hard to make films. They don’t have a film industry and they’re dependent on cultural funds.” He added that India’s biggest strength is that it has a cinema-obsessed country.
Directed by Siddharth Anand, Pathaan is a spy-thriller, which also features Deepika Padukone and John Abraham. The film has seen 6 am, 12:30 am screenings, with audiences trending the film on Twitter and expressing their love for Pathaan.