Can Shah Rukh Khan’s Latest Film “Pathaan” Save Bollywood?

India is currently embracing its culture and traditions. It is rediscovering its civilizational heritage and truly delving into it for the first time, instead of imitating the West as it has done in the past.

 

Shah Rukh Khan, a popular Indian actor, has returned to the big screen after a four-year absence.

During this time, his son Aryan was arrested following a drug bust on a cruise ship, which many interpreted as a targeted attack by the Hindu nationalist party in power against a Muslim celebrity.

The Boycott Bollywood movement on social media had begun to lose momentum, and even within the right-wing ecosystem, many criticized the controversy over the song Besharam Rang.

The Prime Minister even urged BJP leaders and workers to not make unnecessary comments on frivolous issues like movies, as it overshadows the party’s development agenda.

With the release of his latest film, “Pathaan,” fans seem to be seeking revenge viewing, and many reviews have given the film positive feedback.

The film is a smartly packaged action film with references to Bharat Mata and Jai Hind slogans and paeans to the soldier’s sacrifice.

However, it raises the question of whether “Pathaan” can save Bollywood. Poor and not-so-poor copies of Hollywood or South cinema will not revive Bollywood’s fortunes.

Bollywood needs to invest more time and money on scripts and perhaps needs to dig into what is being referred to as Indic, stories and sensibilities that are rooted in the sentiments of this land and not copied from the West.

It’s suggested that Shah Rukh Khan’s rise to superstardom coincided with an India that was reaching out to the world, but now India is trying to look at itself, dig into its civilizational ethos, celebrate its indigenous culture and tradition.

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