I am no Salman Khan maniac. I am more a fan of his 90s Hum Aapke Hain Koun era. So, if he performs well, I appreciate it, and if he prefers to do the Robin Hood Pandey act, I take it as his ‘Dabangg-giri’. I simply loved his Bajrangi Bhaijaan and I don’t need to explain why. Sultan was a decent watch. And as against the general review, I even liked Tubelight from last year. But since many had written off the film, which I thought had a good intention, I kept my views to myself. So, when the trailer of his second film of 2017, Tiger Zinda Hai, released, I thought it was too early to predict anything. Then December 22, 2017 arrived, and rest as they say is history!
What really made Tiger Zinda Hai, a roaring success, that it went on to collect Rs 300 crore at the box office in 16 days, became the biggest Bollywood grosser of 2017 and the most successful Yash Raj film ever? Was it about Salman reuniting with Katrina Kaif after 5 years, or a story inspired from real incidents, or a great supporting cast, or the high octane action? I would say all!
Are we surprised that Salman has broken his own records set by Sultan, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and all? Not really. With the filmmaking business growing and budgets swelling by the day, the share of profits have also grown. And given the fact that the fans of Bhai go and book the entire cinema halls for him, only adds to the weekend collections of his films. Remember how the fate of any film today is decided in its first three days itself? And Salman’s movies fall under only one category – entertainment.
Leave aside the entire Bollywood, and Salman alone can pull off a film. Today, he is not just a brand but even the decider of industry business during one particular season. So when his Tubelight failed, the entire box office statistics went for a toss. Its debacle, along with Shah Rukh Khan’s Jab Harry Met Sejal going down the drains made 2017 a dry year.
Tiger Zinda Hai could’ve easily failed to pull off a real life event which had left India on its toes for days. But director Ali Abbas Zafar has smartly picked the best references from it and weaved it into a fictional story quite convincingly. So we had ISC instead of ISIS. We don’t have a team of interrogators but Tiger and his gang of some best minds in the field to carry out the task.
A bird-eye view will show how this smart mashup did the needful. While on one side it touched the emotional chords of Indians reminding them about the 2014 incident of abduction of nurses in Syria, on the other hand, it had Salman going all Rambo-like with machine guns to take on a dreaded terrorist. Just when the non-Salman fans could’ve rejected his one man army act, the makers gave them a set of good actors like Paresh Rawal, Girish Karnad and Kumud Mishra to rely upon. Then there were some surprise names too who caught eyeballs – Sajjad Delafrooz, Paresh Pahuja and Anupriya Goenka. Topping it all was Katrina’s solo action act, one of the high points of the film where she fought the enemies even better than Salman himself!
Salman and Aamir Khan are two stars who do not aim at anything below Rs 300 crore at the box office now. Ironically, Salman gave the biggest flop and hit of the year at the same time. Yes, 2017 indeed ended on a Bhaijaan note.
A Quora thread on “Why is Salman Khan successful?” will give you exciting replies. While some say, “he speaks from the heart”, others say, “whatever he goes, his fans are with him till the end”. Every actor has a target audience and nobody better than Salman knows about it. He knows when to act, when to shake a leg and when to punch his enemies. And TZH had the perfect blend of all.
Tiger Zinda Hai has surely blurred the bad memories of Tubelight (though I would still say, I liked it!). It not just closed 2017 with a bang but kept on roaring into 2018 too. Of course there would be big films and bigger expectations, but going by the trends ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ and will remain so for a long time!