Wednesday October 17, 2018

How Baahubali entered the Rs. 200 crore club within five days

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Chennai: It took S.S. Rajamouli’s magnum opus “Baahubali – The Beginning” just five days to enter the Rs.200 crore club worldwide, making it the fastest Indian film to achieve the rare feat. It has set several new records, has proved that a film need not always require a superstar to become a blockbuster and has successfully blurred the line between southern cinema and Bollywood.

One of the biggest achievements of the Rs.250 crore film is that it’s being celebrated unanimously across the country. No other south Indian film before has received the kind of reception “Baahubali” has been getting.

“Nobody is asked whether they watched the Tamil, Telugu or Hindi version of the film. Irrespective of the language, ‘Baahubali’ is being watched and that in itself is an accomplishment for the makers,” Karthik Kumar, a Bangalore-based techie, said.

“I’ve already watched the film in Tamil and Telugu. I’m planning to watch it in Hindi as well. It didn’t feel like it’s a dubbed film, thanks to the effort the team has put into to make it look authentic,” Karthik said.

“Baahubali”, about two brothers at war for an ancient kingdom, and which stars Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty and Tamannah Bhatia in the lead roles, is one of those highly successful rare dubbed films. It came out on July 10 in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi parallelly.

The Hindi dubbed version of the film has netted a whopping Rs.46.77 crore, trade analyst Taran Adarsh shared on Friday.

“It’s not just the Hindi version. The film has done extremely well in Tamil as well as Malayalam too. In Tamil Nadu, where the film has released in Tamil and Telugu, it netted nearly Rs.15 crore from first five days, while in Kerala, it has netted over Rs.3 crore,” said trade analyst Trinath.

According to Alok Tandon, CEO, INOX Leisure, different versions of the film have done well in different locations.

“In the whole of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Bangalore for example, the Telugu version has witnessed tremendous footfalls, whereas in Chennai, the Tamil version is doing extremely well. The Hindi version is attracting huge audience in other parts of the country,” Tandon said.

In INOX properties, “Baahubali” is one of the highest grossing non-Hindi language films, according to Tandon.

It is every essential for any big film to sustain the first Monday after release and continue its strong run during the weekdays. “Baahubali” passed that test with flying colours.

Filmmaker Karan Johar, who distributed the Hindi version of the film, posted on his Twitter page on July 13: “When the Monday exceeds the Friday you know the film has won the hearts of all!!!!! #BaahubaliA(sic).”

Monday numbers are very crucial for any big film’s success, said Trinath, and added: “When the Monday numbers didn’t even show slight dip, ‘Baahubali’ was on its way to become a blockbuster.” In Bangalore, Urvashi Cinemas, one of the biggest theaters in the city, has decided to continue playing “Baahubali”, snubbing superstar Salman Khan’s “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”. “Even on weekdays, we’re witnessing occupancy of nearly 90 per cent. We’re playing the Telugu version, and the response has been exceptional. We’ve decided to continue playing ‘Baahubali’ for this week instead of ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’,” a theater representative said. “Baahubali” has also turned out to be one of the biggest grossing non-Hindi films overseas, especially in US, a market that belonged to the stars. As on Wednesday, the Telugu version of the film minted over Rs.30 crore from US market. The film registered the highest opening and opening weekend for an Indian film at the US box office, with a per screen average collections of $17,000, second only to “Minions” with $27,000 over the weekend. The film has achieved appreciation from all quarters. From industrialist Anand Mahindra to Indian cricketer Ashwin Ravichandran, everybody has heaped praise on the movie.  

Andhra Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu wrote: “I congratulate @ssrajamouli & team for creating a masterpiece like #Baahubali. He has showcased might & pride of Telugu Cinema to the world (sic)”

As the title goes, this is just ‘The Beginning’ for “Baahubali”.

(IANS)

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India’s #MeToo Movement Makes The Most Glamorous Industry Its Subject Of Scrutiny

While India has been under the spotlight for sexual violence against women, sexual harassment at the workplace has seldom been under scrutiny.

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#MeToo, women
Bollywood actress Tanushree Datta presents a creation by designer Sanjeet Anand at the Bangalore Fashion Week in Bangalore, India. VOA

India is in the midst of its #MeToo moment as leading figures from the country’s entertainment and media industries face a volley of accusations of sexual misconduct from growing numbers of women.

The firestorm has had a powerful impact. In recent days two leading editors have stepped down, a Bollywood production house has been shuttered, India’s top comedy troupe faces an uncertain future and a popular author has apologized.

#MeToo
India’s Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar (front) arrives in Venezuela’s Caribbean island of Margarita for the 17th Non-Aligned Summit in Venezuela. VOA

The allegations have also touched the government. India’s junior foreign minister, M.J. Akbar, is among those named by several women journalists for alleged misconduct during his previous tenure as a leading journalist and editor. He has not yet responded to the allegations and foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, did not comment either.

The trigger for India’s #MeToo campaign came from Bollywood actress Tanushree Datta who last month filed a police complaint in a 10-year-old case alleging that a leading actor, Nana Patekar, behaved inappropriately during a film shoot. He has denied the accusations and sent her a legal notice.

Soon after, a female comedian, Mahima Kukreja, accused a former member of comedy group All India Bakchod, Utsav Chakraborty, of sending her lewd messages and photos. Following similar accusations by other women, Chakraborty apologized on Twitter saying, “It’s a little too late, but I am sorry.”

The two allegations appeared to have touched a nerve among many women in media. During the past few days, there has been an outpouring on social media from scores of women journalists sharing their experiences of inappropriate behavior, ranging from suggestive messages to unsolicited advances with #MeToo.

#MeToo
Christine Blasey Ford testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sept. 27, 2018 in Washington. VOA

The Network of Women in Media group called it a “watershed moment for all of us in journalism,” and said it encouraged more women to “document their accounts without fear or inhibitions.”

In the glitzy Bollywood industry, producer and writer Vinta Nanda, accused actor Alok Nath of sexually abusing her almost 20 years ago on a Facebook post. Nath has told a news agency, “It must have happened, but someone else would have done it.”

Nanda told reporters the movement taking place is “very encouraging, very enabling and this is the reason why I have brought it up.”

Lawyer Vrinda Grover who has helped draft India’s laws on sexual abuse and harassment, said that enabled by technology and social media, women had spoken out because in a new environment, “They will not be immediately blamed as in the past.” On the other hand, it is bringing consequences for harassers.

A high profile movie company, Phantom Films, was dissolved after HuffPost India published an investigation alleging that one of the founders, Vikas Bahl, had assaulted a female employee after a party in 2015. The other partners apologized for mishandling her complaint.

#MeToo
Queen” star Kangana Ranaut hasn’t been far behind in calling out Bahl,

A popular author, Chetan Bhagat, issued an apology after a woman uploaded a screen shot of a text in which the married writer said he wanted to “woo” her.

The editor of a leading newspaper, Times of India, K.R. Sreenivas, has been sent on leave pending an investigation after several women accused him of making sexual propositions. The political editor of another popular daily, the Hindustan Times, Prashant Jha, stepped down after a former colleague accused him of harassing her.

Amid a global movement to hold powerful men accountable for sexual misconduct, Indian women have picked up courage, said journalist Rituparna Chatterjee. “The floodgates to women’s anger have been opened.”

Some women said they were inspired by the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, the university researcher in the United States, who accused, without evidence, U.S. supreme court judge nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers. He is now a Supreme Court justice.

#MeToo
The hushed whispers are getting louder. Flickr

This is not the first time when efforts have been made to bring the #MeToo movement to India, but in the past it has quickly faded away. Last year for example, a crowd-sourced list of academics accused of harassment got little attention.

Also Read: Nana Patekar Denies Accusations of Sexual Harrassment

But lawyer Vrinda Grover calls the ongoing spontaneous campaign a “significant moment” in the effort to address workplace harassment. But she points out that the women who have spoken out largely represent the educated, urban elite and says it will be much harder for those working on shop floors, on construction sites and as household maids to bring attention to their stories.

While India has been under the spotlight for sexual violence against women, sexual harassment at the workplace has seldom been under scrutiny. (VOA)

One response to “India’s #MeToo Movement Makes The Most Glamorous Industry Its Subject Of Scrutiny”

  1. Although this exposure applies only to the famous men, it surely will open eyes of less successful men involved in this kind on action. But just like men many women employees are also lazy/useless/inefficient etc. So punishing those women employees could be tricky for bosses because they can claim punishment for their refusal for bosses’ advances.