There is a set formula to box office success in Bollywood lately. Grab in the star value, add a dash of masala action, give in a sprinkling of ground shattering effects with some sleazy music, it quite much makes for a hit or even a super-hit in Bollywood these days. The highest earners in the recent past haven’t been miraculous stories but more of variation of similar formulaic ideas or a mishmash of films made on a structured schema. However, with Zanjeer, looks like the formula tasted a bitter failure.
Fashioned on Prakash Mehra’s iconic vintage film Zanjeer, this film was another ala Dabangg, minus the charm of its original characters or the story itself. Dishing out caricatures of Amitabh Bachchan’s Vijay and Pran’s Sher Khan, not only were the actors misfit, the bombastic action formula of the current generation seemed quite a dull affair on a film that is not only deemed a classic but is undeniably one of Bollywood’s most prized marvels.
The film saw a major drop in its opening weekend itself, as its earnings at the box office withdrew on its Day 2 itself. Pitted against a romantic-comedy which is of a more urban taste, Zanjeer was the one with a greater mass appeal. However, the figures itself are indicative that formulaic films have perhaps tired themselves out. After a series of thrashing and smashing films which have plundered box office gains relentlessly, the formula itself has concluded its run it seems with Zanjeer.
However, the larger masses might still have a soft corner for such films. With Akshay Kumar’s Boss and even Ranbir Kapoor’s Besharam lined up, perhaps the demise of Zanjeer isn’t really indicative of the failure of the success recipes of these film. Zanjeer was simply an unimpressive remake which doesn’t stay true to the original classic or to new age formula of typical masala flick.
Any formula without gusto will slowly wither away. Such is the fate of films like Zanjeer. Following trade tricks to deliver a hit is fine, but when the effort is too laborious like Zanjeer, which seemed to be on a desperate venture to fare spectacularly. However, it is till for the box office to decide whether such films have had their run or Zanjeer was a mere dry spell which Besharam or Boss might revive.
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