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Despite Testy Ties, Bollywood Movie ‘Dangal’ that addresses Social Themes and Stars Actor Aamir Khan captivates Audiences in China

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In this Monday, May 22, 2017 photo, a group of Chinese women take a selfie with a poster of Indian Bollywood blockbuster film “Dangal” on display at a cinema in Beijing. The Aamir Khan film “Dangal” about an Indian man training his daughters to become wrestlers has become China’s biggest grossing non-Hollywood foreign movie. The Indian film was released in China on May 5. By Tuesday, the Indian film had pulled in 806 million yuan ($117 million) in mainland China, according to data from EntGroup, a leading entertainment consultant. (AP Photo/Andy Wong). VOA
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An Indian film that addresses social themes and stars actor Aamir Khan has captivated audiences in China. The film is thriving, despite the fact that India was the only major country to boycott Beijing’s Belt and Road Forum earlier this month.

But the irony and sharp contrast of those two developments was largely lost on the millions of Chinese viewers who have helped keep the Hindi language film land in the top slot, despite the fact that it has subtitles and no voice-over dubbing.

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Analysts, film critics, and social media pundits are still debating what drove hordes of Chinese viewers to this movie, which is not your standard Bollywood mix of songs, dance and bloodletting violence.

Breaking new ground

According to industry sources, this is the first time a movie that was not made in Chinese or English has emerged as the top seller in the world’s second-largest movie market. China imports very few foreign films a year, and non-Hollywood movies make up an even smaller portion of that share.

A wide range of reasons are being forwarded as explanations for the success of Dangal, which has grossed $124 million since its May 5 release in 9,000 theaters across China. On Friday, three weeks after its release, the movie finally slipped from the first to the second highest selling slot. The runner-up, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 2, has brought in $98 million in China over the same period.

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Perhaps an important reason for Dangal’s success is the celebrity status that Aamir Khan, the star and driving force behind the movie, has enjoyed in China for several years with his previous movies, PK and 3 Idiots, which did very well with Chinese movie-goers. Even before Dangal arrived on the Chinese scene, Amir had a bigger following on his Sina Weibo social media account than Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His following now stands at 600,000 fans compared to Modi’s 165,000.

FILE - Bollywood actor Aamir Khan speaks to the media during the poster launch of his film Dangal in Mumbai, India.
FILE – Bollywood actor Aamir Khan speaks to the media during the poster launch of his film Dangal in Mumbai, India. VOA

Deft marketing including personal canvassing by Khan, who spent a week traveling across Chinese cities, also played a part.

But critics and social media pundits in China see an altogether different reason. Thousands of reviews, articles and social media posts have focused on the peculiar connection between patriarchal society in China and India.

Patriarchy vs feminism

The film revolves around a wrestler father who forces his reluctant daughters to take up the sport.

His authoritarian and strict parenting style is something audiences in China can easily relate to, said Edward Chan, a sociology professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

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“I think the father role portrayed by the movie in India is quite similar to the culture, especially the traditional culture in China,” Chan said.

Tansen Sen, professor of history and Asian studies at the City University of New York said, “It has a story that resonates with the Chinese, both with regard to parent-child relationship as well as the fascination with sports.”

And while some feminists see the father’s behavior as problematic, they also see much to applaud in the story. For those that do, the movie is seen as empowering women.

Two feminist groups, Jianjiao Buluo (Screaming Pepper Tribe) and Cheng Yusan (Orange Umbrella) treated a group of 120 people to a free screening of the film in Guangzhou.

Lu, a 20-something entertainment industry employee, says the movie piqued her curiosity towards India, a country with a population as large as China. Lu says that many young Chinese like her want to follow their own dreams and have the support of their parents.

“I feel the father’s support for his children was especially moving and that parent’s strictness toward their children is for their own good,” Lu says.

An elderly man walks past a poster of Bollywood movie Dangal, a 2016 Bollywood biopic on an Indian wrestling coach and his two professional wrestler daughters, outside a theater in New Delhi, India.
An elderly man walks past a poster of Bollywood movie Dangal, a 2016 Bollywood biopic on an Indian wrestling coach and his two professional wrestler daughters, outside a theater in New Delhi, India. VOA

The party-backed tabloid, the Global Times, slammed the movie for celebrating the values of a domineering father, who pushes his two reluctant daughters into wresting as a career choice. The paper said the film has sparked off a major controversy over different aspects of feminism in China, and whether modern day girls should completely reject the values of patriarchal society.

But the paper also quoted viewers who had a different viewpoint. “It made me think of my father,” the Times quoted one person as saying. “His reticent love for us. I wanted to call him, say nothing, just cry, and cry like a river to release myself from my deep regrets.”

Cao, a fan who says he has been watching Aamir Khan’s movies for years said there are not enough films like Dangal in the Chinese market. He said he admires Khan for his dedication to his profession (how he lost and gained weight) and the effort he put into addressing a social cause through the film.

“Just like people are saying online, he is influencing all of India as a country and all of its people,” Cao says “And I think that’s really great!”

FILE - Zhu Zhu attends the season premiere of the new Netflix series "Marco Polo" at AMC Lincoln Square in New York.
FILE – Zhu Zhu attends the season premiere of the new Netflix series “Marco Polo” at AMC Lincoln Square in New York. VOA

Next Bollywood blockbuster?

Another Hindi movie, Tubelight, is waiting to access the Chinese market. It features Chinese actress and singer Zhu Zhu, and the story revolves around the 1962 India-China war. Analysts are asking if Beijing will allow its entry given its reluctance to discuss this war publicly.

“The two governments should just let the people know each other through free-flowing exchanges and interactions. Sometimes this will result in negative perceptions and misunderstandings, but it will eventually lead to a more nuanced and balanced views of each other,” Sen added. (VOA)

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8 Things You Didn’t Know About Tiger Shroff

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Tiger Shroff has been trained in hardcore martial arts. Wikimedia Commons
Tiger Shroff has been trained in hardcore martial arts. Wikimedia Commons
  • Tiger debuted with a film that borrows its name from his own father Jackie Shroff’s 1983 blockbuster Hero
  • Tiger Shroff has won the Star Debut of the Year at IIFA Awards
  • Tiger is Belgian and Bengali from his mother’s side and Gujrati and Turkish from his father’s side

Tiger Shroff is another star son of a Bollywood actor, who is working hard to stamp his luck on the silver screen. Tiger debuted with a film that borrows its name from his own father Jackie Shroff’s 1983 blockbuster Hero. He had big names like Subhash Ghai, Aamir Khan and Heropanti producer Sajid Nadiadwala vouching for his onscreen talents.

Tiger Shroff is the son of the legendary actor, Jackie Shroff. Tiger is known for his amazing dancing and martial arts skills. It’s almost three years now that Tiger has been working in Bollywood.

Also Read: Top 10 must watch Tamil movies of 2017

The dashing actor has garnered few awards due to his flawless skills and performances. He has won the Star Debut of the Year at IIFA Awards, Most Promising Newcomer at Life Ok Screen Awards and Best Male Debut at Filmfare Awards.

As per some media reports, action thriller ‘Baaghi’ sequel, ‘Baaghi 2’ is in making and people can expect it to be released in 2018 itself. Wikimedia Commons
As per some media reports, action thriller ‘Baaghi’ sequel, ‘Baaghi 2’ is in making and people can expect it to be released in 2018 itself. Wikimedia Commons

u may not have known about Tiger Sharoff.

1) Tiger Shroff’s or Jai Hemant Shroff
Social media was abuzz with trolls of Tiger for his name, it was actually Jackie Shroff who nicknamed him ‘Tiger’ and his real name ‘Jai Hermant’ wasn’t used to address him. Recalling a memory, Jackie Shroff named him ‘Tiger’ because as a kid, he used to bite like a tiger.

2) Tiger is a mixture of descents
Have you ever wondered why Tiger look so unique? Tiger is Belgian and Bengali from his mother’s side and Gujrati and Turkish from his father’s side. It makes him of mixed genes that outstands him from the rest.

3) Being a vegetarian
We all know that Tiger Shroff has a macho built and his ripping biceps only adds to his attractive looks. The secret behind his muscular built is his vegetarian diet. Tiger has admitted being a vegetarian but he tends to eat ‘eggs’ occasionally. Tiger has also said that he never drinks or smokes. So, all these practices help him to maintain a well-toned physique.

4) Aspiration to become a dancer
From the very beginning, Tiger was very much into dancing and did learn several dancing styles. But later, he chose to follow his father’s footsteps. Now that we know about it, we can see where his acting skills and dance moves come from.

5) Tips shared with Aamir Khan
We have all admired Aamir Khan’s six-pack abs in ‘Dhoom 3’ and applauded his physique for the action film. But only a few people know Aamir Khan’s fitness guide was none other than ‘Tiger Shroff’. Tiger worked closely with Aamir Khan during his workout sessions and overviewed his progress.

6) Tiger idolizes Bruce Lee and Michael Jackson
Tiger has been trained in hardcore martial arts and his athletic built explains it all. He has obtained fifth-degree black belt in Taekwondo. Before making his debut in Bollywood, Tiger went through rigorous martial arts and gymnastics training for 3 years. The despotic training included back layout, front pike, 360 degree-backwards twist, wall flips and leaps.

7) Tiger Shroff’s Age

The young actor is just 27 years old as now. Tiger Shroff was born on March 2, 1990, and also has a younger sister named Krishna.

Tiger Shroff has obtained fifth-degree black belt in Taekwondo. Facebook
Tiger Shroff has obtained fifth-degree black belt in Taekwondo. Facebook

8) Tiger Shroff’s Movies

As of now, Tiger Shroff has acted in four movies and all of them has recorded some decent performance at the box office. The movies include Heropanti, Baaghi, A Flying Jatt and Munna Michael.

Tiger Shroff’s new movies in 2018 may include ‘Baaghi 2’ and ‘Student of the Year 2’. The first part of both of these movies did exceptionally well and were even got appreciation from critics. As per some media reports, action thriller ‘Baaghi’ sequel, ‘Baaghi 2’ is in making and people can expect it to be released in 2018 itself.

Also Read: Best Ever Malayalam Movies of Nivin Pauly

We have also compiled a list of Tiger Shroff’s Songs, check it out:

  1. Zindagi Aa Raha Hoon Main
  2. Chal Wahan Jaate Hain
  3. Befikra
  4. Raat Bhar
  5. Sab Tera
  6. Girl I Need You,
  7. Get Ready To Fight
  8. Lets Talk About Love