Box Office: Bewakoofiyaan Is Lacklustre, W Verges On Stereotype
Here is one Bollywood rom-com that could have raised some serious questions about recession and its backlash, hollow consumerism and Gen Y lifestyle, without losing its frothiness. But Nupur Asthana-directed Bewakoofiyaan (from the house of Yash Raj Films) does not go beyond the first layer of the grim reality and tanks at the box office. The flick, starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Sonam Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor, was released on Friday the 14th, exactly a month after Valentine's Day, and turned out to be a damp squib - netting around Rs 6.75 crore at home after the first weekend. That's quite disappointing as business should have picked up during the Holi weekend. Also, the crucial Day 4 figures are not available yet as movie theatres across Northern India did not open till 3 pm on Monday (March 17) on account of Holi. As per a report by Rentrak, the opening weekend collection stood at $46,888 (Rs 28.64 lakh) in the US where Bewakoofiyaan was released in 51 theatres.
Interestingly, Kangna Ranaut-starrer Queen, released on March 7, continues to rule the domestic box office in the second week and has netted a little over Rs 31 crore after Day 10, according to trade estimates. The flick has grossed around Rs 5.3 crore overseas during this time span and could be well on its way to become another Bollywood top-grosser in 2014 after Salman's Khan's Jai Ho. On the other hand, the much-touted Gulaab Gang, starring Madhuri Dixit Nene and Juhi Chawla, has considerably slowed down at the domestic box office, collecting around Rs 13 crore till date, as per Koimoi.
The other release of the week is W, a musical thriller directed by Tarun Madan Chopra and starring Leeza Mangaldas (Sandy), Leslie Tripathy (Ruhi), Sonal Giani (Manu) and others. This one is a movie with a message and deals with the trauma of three rape victims, seeking justice in a male-dominated society. But don't try to compare it with the regional but hugely acclaimed Adalat o Ekti Meye, directed by Tapan Sinha. The emotional pain and conflict are missing here even though the movie is dealing with a sensitive issue like rape. Instead, we land up in a stereotype revenge drama that works out all too smoothly. The box office numbers are yet to arrive and we will keep you updated.
Coming back to the storyline of Bewakoofiyaan, it is not difficult to see how 'grave' issues like joblessness and the consequent loss of social status have been watered down till everything falls into place as per Bollywood tradition. Here, we have Mohit Chaddha (Ayushmann Khurrana), an ambitious airline executive who has landed the infamous pink slip; his girlfriend Mayera Sehgal (Sonam Kapoor) - an upper class, brand-worshipping Delhiite, and her highly placed, 'practical' father VK Sehgal (Rishi Kapoor). While Ayushmann's fall from grace, his anger and frustration at losing the top-end lifestyle look convincing enough, Sonam never walks the talk she hands out to cheer up a depressed Ayushmann. For her, there's no maturing of role and she looks eminently confused - trying to cope with a dictatorial papa and a boyfriend in distress. As for Rishi Kapoor, there is no saving grace either. Once again, he is the quintessential Bollywood father, ruling his daughter's life.
Overall, not an inspiring movie and fails to go beyond the obvious. Critic Sanjukta Sharma sums it up well when she says the film is flat, monotonous and defying all manner of reason, and it is no better than 'a soap opera.'
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