It’s 23rd May 2014, I reach my cinema in the evening and I am quite surprised to see the collections of Tiger Shroff’s debut vehicle Heropanti. It has done surprisingly well and way over my expectations. My staff are all praises of the actor. I go inside the auditorium to catch a glimpse. Young boys are whistling and shouting at Tiger’s antics. They are loving each of his moves. The connect is there and you could feel it in the nearly full auditorium. A star is Born!
Heropanti was a hit and then Tiger followed it up with Baaghi in 2016. It was a huge hit, setting single screens on fire across the country. Brand Tiger was alive and kicking really hard. Then came two box office duds. A Flying Jatt and Munna Michael. Even these two films took good starts in mass belts and especially single-screen cinemas across the board. Then comes Baaghi 2 in 2018 and it blew the lid off the box office. The film opened to an amazing 25.1 Cr, an increase of 135% over Baaghi. Baaghi 2 went onto gross 165 Cr over its lifetime, doubling what Baaghi did 2 years ago. Then comes Student of the Year 2 in 2019, an average grosser. Currently, Tiger is riding the high of his career with WAR. He alongside Hrithik has set the box office on fire across the country. The film will comfortably cross the Rs 300 Cr mark, making it the highest grosser of the year so far.
In an age of multiplex and metro driven content, this man has carved a niche for himself the old fashioned way. The stars of yesteryear like Ajay Devgn, Suniel Shetty, Akshay Kumar, Sunny Deol, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan etc all stuck to their image initially, rarely experimenting early in their careers. Once the brand established, they ventured out in other areas. Initially, all played to their strengths. Tiger followed this old school methodology to perfection. He knew his strength was action and dance. He made films that showcased these two aspects and with master producer(Sajid Nadiadwala) backing him, he cracked the market.
He has stayed true to his image, never experimenting or deviating from the path. He has played to the masses from the word go. His die-hard followers are masses. Even in his flops, Tiger gave the fans what they wanted from him in abundance. He did no wrong, the films didn’t work. Baaghi 2 was the right film and it exploded on the box office making the whole world realize the power of this rebel.
In an age, when actors of his generation play characters and focus on performance, he focusses on his action and dance set-pieces. He sells tickets on his own strength, people pay to watch Tiger. The film is an excuse to see him do what he does best. Entertain and enthral. That’s how pure stardom works.
Tiger is an exception, not the rule. Today he has one of the biggest dedicated ticket-buying fan base among the young generation. WAR has put him on a completely different level and he will follow it up with Baaghi 3 and Rambo. All action masala films, showcasing what he does best. That’s why I say “Tiger, Tiger burning bright”