New Delhi: Actor and mass entertainer Salman Khan's Bodyguard, which is a remake of a remake of a remake literally has no new story to tell, but it is bravely jostling for the box office crown on an extended holiday weekend with bold storyteller Anurag Kashyap's unsettling That Girl In Yellow Boots.
For Khan, presently recuperating from a painful nerve ailment, this is a road he has walked down before with macho cop romp Dabangg that went on to set revenue records. He soon followed it up with romantic action comedy Ready.
But from the look of it, Bodyguard, despite its insipid plotline and repetitive performance from India's current favourite performer, is already on its way to becoming a runaway hit. Khan's character Lovely Singh is putting up a spirited fight with Kalki Koechlin's Ruth in Yellow Boots.
Salman Khan\'s character Lovely Singh is putting up a spirited fight with Kalki Koechlin\'s Ruth in \'That Girl In Yellow Boots\'.
Packed Eid weekend
The Eid ul-fitr and Ganesh Chaturthi weekend has five films, mostly dealing with complex interpersonal relationships, lined up. In a way, Bodyguard has less expectation riding on it, being a Hindi-remake of the Malayalam film of the same name. The cult franchise inspired by the original Kevin Costner-Whitney Houston masterpiece has been made into Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi.
In the Hindi version directed by Siddique and co-produced by Salman's brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri and Reliance Entertainment, Khan dogs every step of Kareena Kapoor who has been entrusted to his protection by her business tycoon father.
No matter how beefy or discreet the bodyguard, it is a bother to have him hanging around all the time despite his good intentions. So Kapoor embarks on a harebrain plan of making him fall in love with her to distract him from his work. The rest, as they say, is history. Khan is looking for a hattrick after the phenomenal success of Dabangg and Ready.
What's in store
Also in theatres is Mummy Punjabi, an over the top film about an obsessive if adorable mother played by Kirron Kher, Bas Ek Tamanna that boldly makes a statement on complexities of relationships and Pakistani blockbuster Bol that highlights the oppression and dualism in patriarchal societies that still denies women several fundamental choices.
A bipolar Friday
But this is a weekend of interesting choices for viewers too with the dominantly derisive comedy competing with Kashyap's discomfiting tale of the corrupting of a young girl in a city that really doesn't give a damn.
The film is co-written by Koechlin, who as usual, gets in to the skin of the character she plays. Ruth is searching for her father and supporting herself as a masseuse in a parlour when she isn't giving in to her addict boyfriend's sexual demands.
Koechlin always brings a certain authenticity to a role, and when it is directed by her husband who is known for the intensity he brings to any script, the end effect is deliberately claustrophobic cinematography and brilliant performances. It isn't a film for everyone. She is back after Shaitan and Koechlin is bound to leave an unsettling effect on the psyche.
But the weekend has divided the cinema going audiences into the pure entertainment seekers looking for their three-hour escape into a land ruled by one of Bollywood's best performers of late and those that ritualistically follow Kashyap and his brand of disturbing cinema.
Bodyguard is made on a budget of Rs 60 crore and according to reports it has already recovered Rs 22crore net in its opening. It is bound to be a magnet for NRI audiences.
On the other hand, Kashyap is also looking at his first worldwide release. None of his films have ever reached international audiences beyond festivals as Indian distributors are sceptical of giving them a global release. It was denied permission to be screened at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) last year due to its bold content.
It remains to be seen how the films fare this weekend, but for Khan's fans it's a triple whammy after Dabangg and Ready.
- Anurag Kashyap talks about 'That Girl in Yellow boots'
- That Girl In Yellow Boots: Lot riding on Kalki
- Bodyguard's record opening; Eid lucky for Salman
- Dabangg, Ready, Bodyguard: Khan set for hattrick
- I won't work with Kalki again: Anurag
Which film will you be watching this weekend?
That Girl In Yellow Boots
Bas Ek Tamanna