Chhapaak vs Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, Deepika Padukone vs Ajay Devgn, have been dominating headlines for the past few days. And if the opening day collections are concerned, there is a clear winner. The period drama on 17th century Maratha warrior Tanaji Malusare has trumped the story based on acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal with almost four times its collection.
Not just the collections, even in the run-up to this opening day, both the films had a contrasting journey. While both the movies faced legal issues, Chhapaak was embroiled in multiple controversies. The most prominent one among them was when Deepika Padukone visited the Jawaharlal Nehru University in the aftermath of the terrifying violence on the university’s campus.
(Photo credit: PTI)
Her visit left citizens of the country divided over whether she came out in solidarity with the JNU students or was it a publicity stunt ahead of her film’s release. Both #BoycottChapaak and #IStandwithDeepika hashtags features thousands of tweets.
The ‘liberal’ brigade came out in support of the actor. Anurag Kashyap, Swara Bhasker, Anubhav Sinha, Richa Chadha, were those who lauded the ‘courage’ of the Padmaavat star.
Congress also joined the bandwagon. Leaders like Digvijay Singh, Raj Babbar, Ashok Chavan, Milind Deora and Sachin Pilot lashed out at the hashtags like #BoycottChapaak while praising Deepika. Even non-Congress politicians like Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien came out in her support.
Deepika also made some intense statements over the violence and the controversy over her visit. She compared the controversy over her JNU visit tkato Karni Sena and other fringe group’s threats against her during Padmaavat. The actor said the row ‘pained’ her while hoping that it does not become the new ‘normal.’
On the violence, she said she was ‘angry’ over the turn of events, and termed it as ‘worse’ that ‘no action was being taken’ on it.
Ahead of the release, Congress-led state governments in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Puducherry declared the movie tax-free. Congress-backed Maharashtra government also is deliberating to follow suit, a minister revealed. On the day of release, Chhapaak screenings were held for students by the party in Delhi.
दीपिका पादुकोण अभिनीत ऐसिड अटैक सर्वाइवर पर बनी फ़िल्म “— Office Of Kamal Nath (@OfficeOfKNath) January 9, 2020
छपाक “ जो 10 जनवरी को देश भर के सिनेमाघरों में रिलीज़ हो रही है , को मध्यप्रदेश में टैक्स फ़्री करने की घोषणा करता हूँ।
Even Samajwadi Party organised a screening for its workers in Lucknow. The student wing of Congress distributed free tickets of the movie to people in Bhopal.
On the other hand, Ajay Devgn and his Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior followed a strictly non-controversial policy for their promotions. The Raid star promoted the film on Bigg Boss and cricket matches.
He also met MS Dhoni and also sent a cryptic message on the current situation, that films and cricket were the 'uniting religion' of the country.
The actor also shied away from making political statements. The Golmaal star only reacted to the JNU violence a day before release, but unlike Deepika, he had not picked any side. Ajay said he was following the news, but was not aware who was responsible for it, while condemning the violence.
On Friday, when the film released, he once again he did not make any sensational statement. Moments after JNU student union president Aishe Ghosh was booked by the Delhi Police, he tweeted for the first time on JNU violence.
He once again reiterated that one should wait for the ‘proper facts to emerge’, an alleged reference to B-Town jumping the gun over it, while sending a message for peace and brotherhood.
#Tanhaji exceeds expectations and posts healthy total on Day 1... Biz grew rapidly from post-noon onwards... Excellent in #Maharashtra [#Mumbai, parts of #CP and #Nizam circuits]... Glowing word of mouth should ensure solid growth on Day 2 and 3... Fri ₹ 15.10 cr. #India biz.— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) January 11, 2020
#Chhapaak is ordinary on Day 1... Collects well at select high-end multiplexes... Biz at Tier-2 and 3 cities and also mass circuits is way below the mark... Growth on Day 2 and 3 crucial for a respectable weekend total... Fri ₹ 4.77 cr. #India biz.— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) January 11, 2020
Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior earned over Rs 15 crore on opening day and Chhapaak failed to cross the Rs 5 crore. Thus, one can clearly say that the ‘liberal’ brigade’s support to Deepika’s film failed miserably. In fact, it might have done more harm than good, as Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior gears up for a big total, while leaving Chhapaak much behind.
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