Shahrukh, Kajol, Varun Dhawan in Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale (older post updated)

thanks to Raj5..

It’s his birthday today, but blockbuster filmmaker Rohit Shetty has no time to count the bouquets that will arrive in huge numbers. Instead, he is buried neck-deep in the script of his next film Dilwale that is set to go on floors on March 20 in Mumbai.

Rohit confirms, “The film has Shah Rukh Khan with Kajol, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Vinod Khanna, Kabir Bedi, Johny Lever and Varun (Choocha) Sharma. It is being made by Red Chillies Entertainment in association with Rohit Shetty Productions. It is not a remake of any film and will release this Christmas.”

His last two films ” Chennai Express with SRK and Singham Returns with Ajay Devgn ” brought in envious box-office numbers. Speaking of how with great success, comes even greater responsibility, Rohit adds, “Frankly, I never take my audience for granted. So, each time I launch a film, I work doubly hard.” Ask whether he has any birthday plans and he says, “Every birthday, I resolve to work more than the previous one. Work is my adrenaline and while I do enjoy spending time with family and going on personal holidays (laughs), work is what gives me that special something.”

As he literally juggles three meetings within his own office space, Rohit says, “For eight months, there has been too much speculation about Dilwale. Shah Rukh sir asked me to announce my star cast and start shooting without much ado. So now, please let me make my film the way I know best.”


After the blockbuster Chennai Express, it’s an unofficial remake of Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi for superstar Shah Rukh Khan and superstar-director Rohit Shetty.

The film, which goes on the floors in March, will star Shah Rukh Khan and Varun Dhawan as brothers.

A source in the know reveals, “The basic plot is like Satyen Bose’s Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi and also shades of Mukul Anand’s Hum. Shah Rukh’s role is a mix of Ashok Kumar in Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi and Bachchan Saab in Hum. Shah Rukh Khan plays the Ashok Kumar role of a seeming misogynist while Varun Dhawan playing the flirty sibling is just the opposite.

Like Kishore Kumar in Chalti Ka Gaadi, Varun Dhawan has a love interest, Kriti Sanon (who steps into, ahem, Madhubala’s role). Varun keeps teasing and challenging his brother about his lack of interest in women…until at mid-point in the plot it’s revealed that Shah Rukh had a woman in his life in the past, who deserted him. The experience left him shattered and disillusioned about love. This is where Kajol is supposed to come in.”

Apparently, Kajol is yet to give her nod, while the rest of the cast is all set. The untitled film begins shooting in March and will be released for Christmas this year.

Says the source, “The film’s main plot is like Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi. But the treatment would be like Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal series with many comic actors pitching in.”


Shah Rukh Khan and Rohit Shetty are all set to team up again after the huge success of ‘Chennai Express’.

According to a report in mid-day, Rohit Shetty has decided to remake Amitabh Bachchan’s hit film 90s film ‘Hum’. A source quoted to mid-day, that things are being finalised for the film and it will be a remake of Mukul Anand’s ‘Hum’.

According to the report, SRK will be seen playing Big B’s character in the film and for Govinda and Rajinikanth’s character Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra are being considered but nothing has been finalised yet.

Rohit Shetty has always entertained us with his films and he is back again taking the franchise several notches higher in every aspect of film making! His recent film ‘Singham Returns’ has won critical as well as audience acclaim.
A gripping story, high octane action, power packed performances by the cinema icons of the country and foot tapping music complemented with memorably cult dialogues makes Rohit Shetty’s films a hit.


75 Responses to “Shahrukh, Kajol, Varun Dhawan in Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale (older post updated)”

  1. Gross.


  2. Such emptiness. Mukul Anand must be squirming in his grave.
    He should come back as a ghost and haunt these two so that they never again would attempt a remake.
    Why doesn’t Amitabh Bachchan do something about his films? There was something a while back that the Bachchans have bought the copyright of certain AB films. But just a few specific. I remember reading about this, around AB’s 70th bday celeb’ns maybe.


    • Did you see what bachhan himself did to Sholay (one of greatest indian film of all time) remake?

      At leats what SRK did in Dona dn HR did Agneepath is decent effort with positive boxoffice outcome.


    • Arthi the source is from THE TIMEPASS OF INDIA, the worst ever newspaper ever possible to be published. So I would take this ‘news’ with quite a high pinch of salt.

      Having said that, IF THIS IS TRUE, it is pathetic. These guys have hung on to Amitabh’s legacy like leeches. First KBC, then DON, then AGNEEPATH, ZANJEER. One can even make a point if a nobody like that Chiranjeevi’s son from Gold’s Gym tries to use Amitabh’s legacy as a ladder to gain entry to Hi-fi. But these guys!! The ‘superstars’! Goddamit.

      SRK and the dancer’s fans would immediately come up with RGV’s disaster when one complains about this spate of remakes. But it is the intent behind remakes in Hi-fi that needs to be considered. RGV’s was like school-kid’s blush that he could do something with a toy that he had wanted to play with for ages. There was hardly a ‘commercial’ angle to that. Of course, he realized ‘events’ are called events for a reason and they do not just happen like that. And Bachchan himself said that he wanted to try this out JUST so that he could have his unfulfilled desire of playing Gabbar could be accomplished. Of course, they did pay the price for trying to climb Mount Everest!!

      It is now clear, at least in this HUM case–with Agneepath, I would place the blame more on KJO than Hrithik [he takes the blame later for making a cry-baby out of Amitabh’s Vijay and well, making people finally realize why Bachchan’s performance was so iconic ]– that SRK has just not gotten over with, as Satyam puts it, the Amitabh anxiety. Really, after a 200+ crores movie to your credit, you still want to climb on Bachchan’s shoulders? This is a problem symptomatic of ALL those guys who tried to have a one-upmanship on Bachchan & even other iconic actors and failed. Remember in the 1990s, when Bachchan was supposedly finished, Boney tried to thrust Anil onto Bachchan’s throne with RKRCKR and bit the dust. Anil then moved to another iconic actor Kamal Haasan and tried to stride aside Haasan with remakes of THEVAR MAGAN and SWATI MUTHYAM. He had in fact, gone on record then that he did suffer from some complex and that he really wanted to be considered on the same platform as the 2 greats. Actually, SRK at that time burst onto the scene and put paid to his plans! And if you remember, there was a horrific, public spat between SRK and AK at that time which was out on reams of papers!

      Whether this news is true or false, one thing is sure, the Bombay film industry as we had known, I think can officially be declared dead. This industry should be now officially taken over by Gold’s Gym and an epitaph should be laid out for something called, um, CREATIVITY?

      To be fair to Shetty, I wouldn’t place him in the same category as KJO and Farhan [Jesus, why didn’t this guy just retire after LAKSHYA?]. He seems far more honest and his intention also doesn’t seem to be just ‘milking’ someone’s iconic legacy for moolah. So if this atrocity were to happen, let it at least be in the hands of this guy rather than other leeches masquerading as ‘fanboys’ and film-makers.

      By the way, wasn’t SRK supposed to trust people blindly without any questions and make successful film-makers out of them with his superstardom? Why this ‘calculated’ move of latching onto Bachchan’s legacy?


      • Bandra.NRI Says:

        An Jo

        Not all movies/reasons are good for remake. Perhaps there is a method to this remake madness.

        Here are some facts.

        Sajid Khan took a successful movie with story elements that not make sense in today’s world. These are issue from say Bimal Roy era, today’s movie audience don’t connect to it.

        RGV remade a successful Sholay because Amitabh Bachchan wanted to play Amjad Khan. While Amjad brought out the fear factor “au naturals”, AB did so with a fake contact lens and sound effects. Ajay was no match to Dharmendra and the actor who played Amitabh has not returned to the screen. You don’t remake unless you can definitely kick it up a notch. Ergo the remake was a disaster.

        Likewise, The new Zanjeer (based on the very successful old Zanjeer) did not outdo Pran or Amitabh, hence failed.

        Then look at those that found success. All these remakes found ways to speak to today’s youth. It is all about making relevant material available to a younger audience.

        All the successful remakes took material which did not enjoy success to “its fullest potential” and tried to remove reasons which held it back.

        It hence follows that 1) The material has to be such that it can be made relevant for our age ; 2) There needs to exist a desire (or way) to make it better; 3) The original movie should have enjoyed only partial success.

        Ram Lakhan in my books enjoyed all the success that it could. There is nothing more to prove given that material. I don ‘t see a valid reason why it should be remade. Unless Rohit has found a way to kick it up a notch,


        • ** You don’t remake unless you can definitely kick it up a notch. **

          So I guess in your books, AGNEEPATH and DON I/II are better versions of the older ones? Really? Do you believe that? I wonder why the old AGNEEPATH then has become a cult now and the dancer’s AGNEEPATH made 100 crores and vanished? Also wonder why it was that KJO went on record to say that AGNEEPATH is being re-made JUST because it didn’t supposedly make AS much money as was expected at that point in time and NOT because it didn’t ‘connect’ or doesn’t have the timelessness to connect with the what’s app generation..

          And if this great ‘young’ generation finds it difficult to connect to movies and art work not even 20 or 30 years old, it is better they take their asses somewhere else. Maybe they need Mona Lisa too modified with MS photo manager for them to ‘connect’ with that smile.

          If ‘upgrading’ technical wizardry is ‘kicking up a notch’ in your books, then I guess, everything is interchangeable..

          The Hi-fi of today is the most corrupt and dumb one ever since its inception I think. This is not Hollywood where a 3:10 to YUMA is a successful attempt to better the original or even NOLAN remaking INSOMNIA.


          • Bandra.NRI Says:

            An Jo

            Has the new Agneepath disappeared somewhere ? Where do you think Hritikh’s Agneepath has disappeared ? The way I see it is that It came, it saw, and it conquered the boxoffice. The new vision (& Hritikh) has overcome whatever blocked the original from reaching its ordained destiny. It has fulfilled its purpose of creation.

            Regardless of whether or not I think HR is as good as Mr Bachchan (at his prime), I have to grant him the success of Agneepath. To deny HR his obvious success is to dent one’s own credibility.

            Then let’s move on to Don. This movie is the best candidate to be made again and again. Today’s youth see the old Don and see a man in bell bottoms dancing in a tiger costume. The beauty of the script is lost thanks to such superficial considerations. But then movie like Don depend a lot style and attitudes and hence this is expected. Hence as attitudes change and as styles change, Don will be remade. There will be a Don for each new era. Much like James Bond movies. With new gagets, new villains, there will be a need for a new James Bond movie. Trust me after SRK, there will be another Don,

            Talking about Mona Lisa, has the world stopped doing portraits ?


          • Zee cinema telecast Bachchan’s Agneepath more often than Hritik ones .. says a lot. Even on 15th August .. they preferred Bachchan’s version to air. IMDB ratings further solidifies the fact .


          • Bandra.NRI Says:


            Are you saying that the fact that Amitabj’s movie was telecast on ONE of the channels it sufficiently proves that HR is no good and AB is the real deal ?

            Even if we ignore that in India there are 100s of TV Channels, could there not be other reasons ?


  3. zeroblogs Says:

    Also, with Rohit Shetty, I’m afraid he might have Baashhaa in mind too.


    • This is utter nonsense and nothing else. It is not that Bachchan’s
      movies are impossible to be re-made but Srk is total mismatch as tiger.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yakuza,
      Your zee Tv explanation is laughworthy..Suppose tomorrow any channel will telecast Ram Gopal Verma ki Aag on 26th January then what? Accept one thing and that is Hrithik made Agneepath a huge hit whereas Bachchan failed miserably.


  4. Bandra.NRI Says:

    I have not seen the old Hum with Mr Bachchan. I therefore don’t know what potential exist.

    Farhan took something old and upgraded that to today. Farhan as per requirement, took the sophistication route, and made a product good enough to blow away head on competition. Not surprisingly his efforts paid off, and he got a sequel out of it too.

    I don’t know the old Hum, but without doubt Rohit will also make a product which can like the new Don and the new Agneepath speak to today’s audience.


  5. I don’t know why Satyam wants this as a post. This is not announced, its all rumors unlike Ram Lakhan remake officially announced. Hum remake is not happening.


  6. Guys, SRK is being considered for Kimi Katkar’s role. I think Kimi was far sexier,IMO speaking as a heterosexual male. SRK fans’ mileage may ofcourse vary.


  7. Guess my information was not wrong. I had talked of this happening yesterday.

    Krish Says:
    August 22, 2014 at 1:02 PM
    I think Hum can be a good movie to adapt. There are pieces which can be improved in the movie. I must have seen this movie some 20 odd times and have a great liking for the characters of Kader Khan and Anupam Kher apart from Shekhar/Tiger of course but I know a lot of people who didnt like the characters of Kader Khan and Anupam Kher and found the second half patchy….
    Also considering how Shetty made Bol Bacchan though inspired by Golmaal and then how he made Golmaal 3 which was inspired from Khatta Meetha, he is the kind of director who doesnt do a direct remake. He bring a lot of ‘Shetty’ in his movies…So I would expect this movie to be different from the original with only the basic inspiration derived from Hum.



    Rohit Shetty: I am not directing HUM remake
    August 26, 2014 4:24:38 PM IST
    By Pankaj Sabnani, Glamsham Editorial

    There are stories doing the rounds that Rohit Shetty will be remaking Amitabh Bachchan starrer HUM and that it might star Shah Rukh Khan.

    We got in touch with the filmmaker who set the records straight and said, “I am not remaking HUM. I don’t know from where that news came.”

    CHECK OUT – Rohit Shetty: Don’t know who’ll be a starring in RAM LAKHAN

    Well, we hope that would put an end to all the speculations regarding HUM. Meanwhile, one film that Rohit Shetty is remaking is RAM LAKHAN which is scheduled to release in 2016.


  9. tonymontana Says:

    I was willing to believe Rohit is one of the better entertainers in Bollywood today but coming to think of it, he has made a killing out of remakes n sequels. Where’s his creativity?


    • Bandra.NRI Says:


      Other people have also attempted remakes, but very few outside of Farhan Akhtar, Karan Johar & Rohit Shetty have succeeded.

      As far as not a remake/sequel is concerned Rohit has CE (his biggest hit).


  10. Revealed: Shah Rukh Khan – Rohit Shetty collaborate on Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi

    By Subhash K. Jha, February 11, 2015 – 10:40 hrs IST

    [post updated]


  11. CKNG remake with SRK and Varun is a much and viable option than remaking Hum with SRK

    Hum should have Salman Khan or Akhshay Kumar as Bachchan


  12. I would have been happier with a Hum remake. As a movie it is one of my favorites but there are bits in it which can be improved. I am huge fan of that kader Khan character in the movie. Also since it will be more action oriented, SRK atleast wouldnt be hamming so much as he will do in a loud OTT comedy like CKNG


  13. Rohit Shetty’s next with SRK to feature seventeen other actors
    Deccan Chronicle | February 25, 2015, 09.02 am IST

    Mumbai: After ‘Singham Returns’, Rohit Shetty’s next ambitious project has been in the news for quite sometime. It has already been reported that the director has roped in Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon for the lead roles in the film.

    Apart from this pretty impressive star cast, Shetty also plans to feature a star-studded cast of 17 A-list actors, according to a report in DNA. Shah Rukh revealed to the daily that these actor’s screen time won’t be limited to just a song in the film.

    The actor was quoted saying, “The only thing we are keeping under the wraps is the title of the film, which will have 17 actors in all.”

    “Till everyone has signed on the dotted line yet, it’s not prudent to talk about the casting. I am old-school that way, maybe. I believe in documents and the paperwork to happen first. It needs to be signed first before we talk about it. We should not announce it just because we had a talk about it with certain people and are keen to have them on board,” he added.

    The film is slated to go on floors in March and will most likely release in December for Christmas.


  14. Raj5:

    Good for SRK for taking a heroine closer to his age than the usual Deepika/Katrina. But this will probably affect the opening as Kajol has no BO pull. And I don’t think anyone’s excited to see SRK-Kajol anymore.

    Regardless if this comes out on 25th Dec which is a Friday then I won’t be surprised with a 50 crore opening day. HNY had ~45 crore so with increased screen size, ticket prices, Pritam’s hit music, a Honey Singh song, Varun Dhawan, Rohit Shetty’s brand name, and SRK’s promotional tactics, 50 crores could happen.


    • SRK-Kajol probably has enough nostalgia takers in the family audience. With Varun Dhawan you get some of the younger folks in as well. And Rohit Shetty has the Midas touch these days anyway. But this is otherwise an incredibly stale attempt by SRK with that title and everything else. The problem is that he’ll get a CE kind of success in the best case scenario. Shetty’s films are never super trenders. but the CE kind of gross isn’t enough to be among the very biggest. And so if you do blockbuster-like entertainment only to confirm that you still can’t match up to Aamir or not even better Salman in most cases what’s the point? HNY didn’t do it for him, he’s now delayed Raees and Fan to get this out of the way first. Just not sure what a success really proves here. SRK’s career in the past 10 years has been mostly a case of missed opportunities. His best point was really 2007 in this period with OSO/CDI and he never built on it. That he gets his initial in these circus-like productions is not in question. But he’s truly struggling at this point to match those other two in any reasonable sense. Is there a solution here? Yes. He should do commercial films but somewhat more meaningful ones that can also be very significant grossers. It doesn’t have to be Rohit Shetty or Fan. There are things in between. In any case I have no doubts he’ll get a good grosser here but it seems so hopelessly beside the point at this stage. The films come and go. No one talks about them after a while. Bringing out Kajol in a Rohit Shetty film of all things is hardly a sign of strength anyway. Quite the opposite.


      • Honestly if this is more like CE and less like the golmaal films/BB then it can definitely hit 300. 200 crore week one and then 100 Crores the rest of the weeks. I think that’s similar to CE’s trending. Also I Think one reason CE was so successful (and what I liked about it) was that it had this fairy tale feeling to it where as the golmaal films are literally 5 actors just blurting out internet jokes one after the other.
        And it being a love story as opposed to comedy movie with romantic elements definitely helped.

        None of RS’s films are literally remakes but they are all basically remakes/inspired. I think the Chalti Gaadi something remake rumors could be true. Also PK did over 100 Crores more than SRK’s biggest hit, SRK is definitely aware of this and I’m curious about how SRK makes Dilwale turn out.

        I wonder when FAN will come out/turn out. I think they should go for a non holiday September release


      • RajRoshan Says:

        Aptly put Satyam…SRK needs to mix up little bit with quality and commercial flicks both…like 2007. OD won’t be problem but final gross will be. He shouldn’t care for box office for sometime if the movies are like CDI/Swades. It will help him in the long run rather than doing something like HNY. He doesn’t have to look further than Aamir…who is ahead of both khans now by delivering consistently good flicks and have gained audience trust over the years. But whether SRK will learn and follow is entirely different thing.(controlled/method acting rather than hamming is also another story)


      • True. The other thing is, none of the respected directors working in the mainstream space, look to be casting SRK anytime soon. There isn’t any Rakeysh Mehra, Hirani, Kashyap, Gowarikar, Bhansali, Imtiaz Ali or even a Zoya Akhtar or an Ayan Mukherjee project happening for him in the near future (not even people like Gowarikar and Bhansali who have wroked with him earlier)


        • he could still make something happen with other directors or even some of these. He chased Rohit Shetty quite a bit! Because the problem here is that for years he was so wedded to box office braggadocio that he now finds it hard to leave it behind. I recall a time when he would be asked about Aamir’s films being critically acclaimed and so on (in the post-Lagaan period) and even as late as 2006 he would more or less say that he had bigger numbers and so on (also the stuff his fans would say online). So now it’s a bit hard for him to suddenly turn around and start doing the opposite. Which is why despite CDI it was quite clear that he wasn’t too interested in pursuing that path.

          I will however add this that irrespective of the star’s standing there is always something of the star revealed through the choices. As long as the star is not completely out of the game and not getting anything. So for SRK the box office deal was more important than anything else. Obviously this is so for all stars but SRK enjoyed the ‘I am the biggest’ spiel a bit too much. The different was fine as a bonus but not otherwise. Take Akshay. For the longest time he avoided action-masala when the writing was on the wall. I have long believed he could have been in Salman’s position but even after Ghajini he avoided this path. Saif no matter how poorly he’s doing will never do a multistarrer (and this has been true for many years) while Abhishek is the opposite. Beyond this even when he does films for box office safety he selects something loosely populist (debased as these comedies are) rather than trying something along multiplex lines. When he tries the solo he does All is well (this wouldn’t really be Saif’s choice.. Saif usually bets on the multiplexes). Aamir has a certain populist/rooted theme running through all of the genres he attempts. One could go down the list and cover everyone this way. The point I’m trying to make sounds paradoxical but is true. That even in the midst of understandable box office pressures and cynical decisions there is some core that the star has that he keeps pushing and to the point where such decisions can never only be explained by box office rationality. Obviously a star who succeeds will keep pushing a genre by and large but other than this optimal scenario there’s lots of grey area. And again this sounds counterintuitive but there is some conviction that the star has somewhere deep down that gets reflected in these decisions. We might debate them, disagree with them but there is often more consistency than might seem to be the case. Yes desperate situations force stars to do desperate things, things that they might not believe in but even here there’s rarely only one desperate choice available. It’s still up to the star to do one or the other.


        • Why cannot they think of a decent title for the movie? Dilwaale is probably the most ghisapita title they could have gone with.


  15. There has been absolutely no quality films from SRK off late. CDI, Swades are decade old news now.


  16. charan raj Says:

    Srk and quality are like North pole and South pole.


  17. Aamir turned 50 today – 9 films he rejected went on to become BB:

    1) Saajan
    2) Darr
    3) HAKHK
    4) DDLJ
    5) 1942 – A L S
    6) DTPH
    7) Josh
    8) Mohabbatein
    9) Naayak

    I still wish he should do Naayak part 2


    • Josh and Naayak were hardly clean hits, let alone blockbusters. Saajan and 1942 (was the latter even a hit?!) were not blockbusters either.

      And Aamir was the first choice for DDLJ?! I never knew this. So Aditya Chopra wanted to go for Aamir inspite of the fact that SRK had already had given a huge hit (Darr) for his home banner.


    • most of the producers of those 9 films would be surprised to learn they were blockbusters..!


    • Someone’s dreaming with Aamir offered or rejected DDLJ. Even that rumor about Saif Ali khan being first choice is incorrect. Adi never spoke to Saif, he said later, he was thinking options incase SRK don’t have dates. That’s all is there to it.


    • if someone has been following boxoffice very closely since saajan. He will right verdicts.
      Here it is –
      1) Saajan – Superhit , due to small budget
      2) Darr – Hit
      3) HAKHK – ATBB
      4) DDLJ – BB
      5) 1942 – A L S – Flop
      6) DTPH – Hit to Superhit
      7) Josh – Above Avg
      8) Mohabbatein – Semi Hit
      9) Naayak – Below Average


  18. I think this will be interesting with Kajol on board.


    • I think its remarkable to see a couple first paired together in 1992 and still paired in 2015 in a mainstream commercial movie. Don’t think we have many examples of similar instances. The way Kajol kept her exclusivity, I think this pair will bring some freshness even to this stale title – Dilwale.

      I find it hard to believe they named it Dilwale since everyone from Kajol to SRK always call DDLJ as Dilwale and nothing else.


  19. Suprisingly Kajol is looking great.. doesn’t look her age at all!


  20. taran adarsh ‏@taran_adarsh 19 minutes ago
    #BajiraoMastani trailer is attached to #BajrangiBhaijaan. And, yes, it’s releasing on 18 Dec 2015. Clashing with #Dilwale.


  21. Terrible move by Eros. Even if one negates Kill Dill crap , Ranvir with full trappings and a great back up of songs and cast could not even do a 70 cr recently. He is more a internet phenomena than a movie star. Now even with all the grandeur Bajirao Mastani will suffer heavily and probably never recover from the initial beating if it really needs to score big. I am assuming its an expensive film here.
    If costs are less then the movie may get a chance to survive.

    Even then its a bad move to release with a biggie and the killer instinct in SRK will butcher the movie because Dilwale is simply critic proof and 200 cr for this Rohit Shetty multi-starrer is the base.

    Bhansali’s direction was very average with his last few outings and even with Ramleela an avg. grosser, remove the death scene – movie is hollow.


    • If Ramleela was an “avg grosser’, Bodyguard is a huge flop and Jai Ho a disaster


      • Actually I think Bajirao Mastani will be big enough to take on Dilwale especially with the Ram-Leela success team coming back together. I can see it being grand, wars, epic movie and unmissable on big screen.

        BUT………… the real issue for me is as to how many folks will be interested in seeing a bald peshwa maratha peshwa(not even a King) love story in this age. Already every film by Bhansali is never an all India hit, it just does great around gujarat and northern areas and average elsewhere and for BM might do well additionally in Mumbai(maratha connection) as well but rest of the India, no one cares. You need to have some connectivity to get that huge numbers all over India and there’s nothing uniqueness or breathtaking in maratha peshwa marrying a muslim princess(its not like (well known) Akbar’s story marrying Jodhabai). To get huge numbers, you need to hit the ball outta the park in that specific areas like mumbai, gujarat, etc like Tanu weds manu returns did in north(and just hit elsewhere). If the budget is 100+ crores, then lifetime collections will surely get affected unless its truly spectacular movie.

        Yes, Ram-Leela succeeded but it was full proof – Romeo & Juliet story which hardly goes wrong ever(even Ishaqzaade did well).


        • agreed at many points.. his films are mostly hits in Western India and are sometimes ok or better elsewhere. And certainly he needed a bigger star than Ranveer for this kind of subject. the film could still do well enough against Dilwale but it’s not a wise decision nonetheless because most of the screen space will be dominated by Dilwale. And so it’s not just about WOM in these situations but the added inconvenience of getting the appropriate show. To overcome the latter it has to be really strong WOM. that’s a tall order for Bhansali. Having said that SRK is probably not happy about this either because whether he swamps the competition or not the absolute highest numbers he can get here will still be affected.


        • **Already every film by Bhansali is never an all India hit, it just does great around gujarat and northern areas and average elsewhere and for BM might do well additionally in Mumbai(maratha connection) as well but rest of the India, no one cares.**

          Bajirao’s life is as interesting and colorful as one can have. It is just that the Maratha history has NOT been transferred onto the English landscape and remains more in Maratha folk-lore and mythology.[You will find most of them in the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune]. For starters, he fought 41 battles and won ALL of them! His wife Mastani accompanied him to almost all the battles. And to Bhansali’s delight, she was a damn talented dancer and singer!!

          Come to think of it, there is not even a SINGLE film on Shivaji in the Hindi language that could be considered at least decent. Of course, as I said earlier, the Maratha/i history does not enjoy the nationalization as the Mughal invasion and rule does in India. And when making Shivaji, one has to discard the tendency of being politically correct, which will of course be difficult in today’s India.

          So yes, you are right that not many could care for the Peshwa dynasty but there is a reason why none from outside the western belt would care. But with Bhansali’s tendency for OTT generalization, this could work.

          JODHA-AKBAR, by the way, was one of the worst historicals every made in India. It just stretched yawn and yawn and yawn. A short, relatively fat Akbar was converted to a 6-pack abs king — for the sole purpose of showing a scene where Aishwarya’s Jodha is sexually turned on when he is sword-fighting. Hrithik was just the stud walking around who happened to wear 15th century clothes. Some songs like Manamohana, Khwaaja Mere Khwaaja [mainly], Akbar’s anger [throwing a man down till he dies] and a couple other scenes were the saving grace. The war scenes were childish and amateurish, and the 2nd half was a historical version of Ekta Kapoor’s saas-bahu soaps.


          • I think you’re arguing two different points An Jo. First of all no one is saying that a good film cannot be made on Bajirao. Of course everything you’re describing also suggests a possible success along the lines of what Bhansali already has in the past. So whether he deserves to be more well-known or not the fact is that the rest of India doesn’t know Bajirao the way they know Akbar. He is simply India’s most well know king as a historical and popular matter. So it’s not as if anyone was making a film on just any Mughal. As for his representation c’mon.. this was a commercial film along the lines of amar chitra katha (by Gowariker’s own admission). Yes it would have been better to find a more physically appropriate actor (though I’m not sure how many people want to see a stocky king of average height!) but that’s not the greatest problem here (even if Hrithik looking like the D2 guy is a bit much), specially since the film is not attempting to be an exercise in historical realism. I don’t think Akbar was having vegetarian days for Jodha for instance! I’m not a fan of the film by the way and did a piece on it at the time getting into this. I’d agree with many of your characterizations but I think you’re mixing up two different arguments here.

            In any case no one is saying it couldn’t work. On the rest I’d just say and with all due respect that ‘Maratha’ pride in historical matters and many others (certainly in contemporary India) tends to be a bit divorced from reality. It’s one thing to say that Bajirao might not have got his due (there are many such more figures who are not nationally well-known) and quite another to compare him with the Mughals and certainly someone who’s not just one of the great Indian emperors but also one of the very significant figures of the last millennium. We might not ‘like’ the fact that certain histories came about but we should try not to deny them completely in the service of a misplaced nationalism or regionalism or what have you. The Peshwas were a great dynasty much as the Maratha empire at its peak was formidable and dealt several death-blows to the Moghuls. So I’m not unaware of their significance. But there’s a long such list. First off I’d argue that the entire history of the Indian subcontinent looks extremely different if viewed through ‘Southern eyes’. A lot that’s happening up North if you will has relatively little relevance for the South. That’s a separate debate. My point here is that sure the Peshwas ought to be better known. But the larger historical contexts should also be more truthful for want of a better word. Often the problem with such impulses is that one doesn’t necessarily want a fairer version of history, just a hegemonic one, the very sort one doesn’t like when the other side has it. The Mughal influence in India is of the nature of an event and of course Akbar was its greatest moment. Popular culture in North India (not only in North India) is laced with Mughal lore. One might not like this as a political or historical matter but it’s there.

            And finally once more no one was arguing against the film, this subject or whatever. Certain general points were being made about Bhansali. if anything I believe that precisely Ranveer Singh is the wrong kind of actor to play an iconic figure like Bajirao. I didn’t think Hrithik was a good choice for Akbar either though that film had much bigger problems (precisely the ones you’ve outlined). Not that Bhansali even on his best day is going to make a very worthwhile historical either!


          • Satyam I am not trying to be choose a historical narrative that fulfills my whims. My point was solely on Master’s argument that Peshwas, being Marathas, were hardly ever-important to the pan-Indian public except for the Marathi belt. While that maybe true geographically, narratively their reach extended well beyond the western belt. From being the pioneers of Guerilla warfare in its modern form to exploiting the naval capabilities the Maharashtra sea-coast provided, there is a lot that can be attributed that cannot be pinned down as being ‘local’ to a certain regime. I find it a bit difficult to assume that Akbar getting more prints in history pan-India is EXPLICITLY THANKS to his popularity with the Indian populace. I quite understand from where we got the Lucknawi tehzeeb and how poorer we would be without it. Or the over-lying architecture one sees in areas in North and in Bijapur in the south [thanks to the Bahamanis]. And of course no one is denying that the Mughal and British invasions are ‘events’ in the true sense of the word. It is also a product of the exposure the Mughal invasion and rule got in the non-vernacular press. And I am not talking of the Marathas alone. As you pointed out, there are many other histories that get lost or ‘boxed’ when the balance in historical representation is skewed. If there were enough scholarly work in the English language — not the ones like James Laine’s [& not because of any controversy; that’s quite a silly one actually] — maybe the other parts of India would also have heard of the history more. Right now, Shivaji or the Peshwas are just considered, ‘Hindu’ nationalistic warriers — conveniently forgetting that the Marathas led forces against the colonisers – be they the Mughals or the British.

            What is more prominent in the US in terms of its history? How ‘richly’ preserved is the Native American history?

            With regard to JODHA AKBAR being a commercial film and Hrithik being cast, I am not hauling up Gowarikar just for the casting of Roshan.Of course people would like to see a tall, fair, and 6-packed king. And that’s what he fed them! Gowarikar has a ‘fantasized’ notion of Akbar and tried to live it through the casting of Akbar. He tried to play it like a Chandamama story under the garb of history. I bring this up because he did not characterize JA the way you have. He did talk of having arduous sessions with historians and scholars and then coming up with his script. So to quote scholarly work on the one hand and then present a fantasy on the other is not a good mix.

            Frankly, I am not interested in Bhansali’s version at all. I know he will set it up in his own fertile imagination in Bhansalipur and call it Raigarh. It will have fantastic cinematography and songs and erotica..and history will be as rich as the hair on Ranveer’s Bajirao.


          • I’d mostly agree with this comment. On Master’s I think his choice of words might have been more careful but I think he’s referring to Maratha element purely as a box office reality here rather than making historical statements. At least that’s how I read it.

            Speaking for myself I agree completely that the Maratha ’empire’ can hardly be limited to the Marathi belt (of course it also cannot be equated with contemporary Sena politics on this subject in any sense but that’s another matter). On Akbar I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that his popularity was the reason for his pan-Indian appeal or the measure of his achievements but quite the opposite. Because he is an event that he has such popular currency. The same for the British. One reason why simply dismissing British history by renaming things left right and center has always struck me as a foolish and certainly quixotic enterprise. Of course I’d reject your equation of the Mughals and the british as colonizers in the same way (I wouldn’t define the Mughals as colonizers anyway.. every conqueror is not a colonizer, at least not in the precise contemporary sense we give to the latter). That too is another debate. But the Mughals or the British are both events because they reorder the entire notion of what being ‘Indian’ means in ways so complex that we can’t begin to fathom them.

            Now the Native American history question is a thornier one for all kinds of reasons. In any case this history does not happen by and large ‘within’ the US or is not a subset of US history. In other words once there is a US the gradual extermination of Native Americans more or less begins. And so there is no question of re-reading US history through that prism. Even from a Native American prism I would imagine it’s a history of tragedy and defeat. In any case it doesn’t really shape the US in this profound structural sense I’m referring to when I speak of an ‘event’. Rather the ‘event’ here is the opposite. It’s the ‘white man’ appearing in the N American continent and destroying all other ways of life. So I don’t believe there’s an analogy here. Indian civilization was enriched by some of these ‘invasions’. Of course the Mughals settled down in India. They weren’t ruling it from afar. But other than a right-wing mindset no one things the Mughals destroyed anything. Are there interruptions in cultures and histories because of such conquests? absolutely. But that doesn’t amount to a destruction of civilization. A lot of it is not looked upon kindly by the ‘native’ but such a ‘native’ in any case relies on an imaginary version of the past and forgets other ‘invasions’ that he might have possibly been a part of. or he forgets other contemporary equations in which he might have seemed to be the invader.

            On JA I agree and I’ve criticized the film quite a bit in the past. But the problems of this film might be different from the larger political issues we’re also discussing.


          • Re: “My point was solely on Master’s argument that Peshwas, being Marathas, were hardly ever-important to the pan-Indian public except for the Marathi belt. While that maybe true geographically, narratively their reach extended well beyond the western belt.”

            Their reach was well beyond present-day Maharashtra geographically, i.e. not just narratively: the extent and dispersal of princely states with Maratha rulers surviving into modern times testifies to that extent (consider the examples of Jhansi, in southern U.P.; and Tanjore, in the heart of Tamil Nadu; both were ruled by Marathas). The third battle of Panipat was fought between the Maratha confederacy and the Afghans in 1761 (their crushing defeat here ended long-term hopes of a Maratha imperium in North India; although their late 18th century revival until the British ended that in 1803 is pretty remarkable — as an aside I have long been fascinated by this “twilight” moment in Indian history, and the polities of that moment, specifically the Mughal-Maratha alliance/fusion in the last decades of the 18th century), the point being that they were able to project power across the North in order to even be in a position to lose at Panipat. It is most curious — and just wrong — to say that Marathas were hardly ever important to the pan-Indian public: to this day — to this day — one encounters folk memory in Bengal and Rajasthan that characterizes Marathas as bandits (heck, even in these “let’s all Hindu nationalists get along” days, a visit to Jodhpur shows some embarrassed commentary, with references to Marathas “giving us a tough time” found in the city’s souvenir brochures (this quote comes from the current maharaja, who wrote the preface; and as is typical for Rajasthan Rajput royal families, there was similar awkwardness around the Mughal connections). The wider issue is not that the Marathas do not have pan-Indian relevance — they assuredly do; it is that in large swathes of India, the Marathas are remembered as pillagers and bandits, a polity built on raiding rather than one that put down deep state roots, the way many others did. Thus the map that shows the Maratha empire at its height is a bit misleading: it covered most of the sub-continent, but it wasn’t “a state” in the way we understand the term, certainly not outside the core Maharashtra regions. Note: I am not here expressing a view on whether or not this is the fairest representation of the history, simply that a lot of people have a folk memory of the Marathas that is very very different from the way they do of, e.g. Akbar or Maharana Pratap or the figure of Sivaji himself. That being said, Bhansali need not worry: most of his multiplex viewers couldn’t tell Maratha from paratha, and as long as the visuals are sumptuous enough, and some generalized sense of “look how glorious our history is” (that sense serving to liberate anyone from actually bothering to learn anything about that history) pervades the film, it should garner sympathetic reviews, and perhaps box office success (the X-factor: the crushing boredom Bhansali often induces, and un-cinematic sense of pacing, that evoke more terror than any weapons wielded by Maratha or Mughal)…


          • “On Master’s I think his choice of words might have been more careful but I think he’s referring to Maratha element purely as a box office reality here rather than making historical statements. At least that’s how I read it.”

            yeah… I meant the same with respect to the Indian boxoffice and pan-India connectivity. Every region has their own history and own heroes but that doesn’t mean the subject will excite enough all over India for a potential blockbuster movie.


          • “A short, relatively fat Akbar was converted to a 6-pack abs king — for the sole purpose of showing a scene where Aishwarya’s Jodha is sexually turned on when he is sword-fighting. ”

            Firstly I’m no fan of Jodha Akbar but wanted to add that Hrithik didn’t have 6 packs, just flat stomach. Obviously you can’t worry about height as no one would be interested in casting a short guy as king just to fulfill that aspect closer to reality. Also, not sure if you are aware, the movie is about Akbar’s story from age 13 to 21. That’s all and I don’t think Akbar was really ‘fat’ in that ages.


          • Akbar was apparently of stocky build (i.e. he was always stocky, and as far as I know didn’t have an obesity issue). Physically a guys like Surya would have been a better casting choice, but I do understand that no-one would invest the budget of a big Hindi film on him.


          • Akbar is rightly celebrated in India. But across the border he is reviled as being a “religion-diluter”. Aurangzeb is revered. And Shivaji is considered to be a 17th century terrorist/bandit who dented the glory of the Fifth rightfully guided one.


          • don’t believe that’s the case. Nowhere does Aurangzeb enjoy greater prestige than Akbar. Of course the way things are going cross the border I wouldn’t be surprised if that did happen one day. But doubt that’s the case. JA got massive numbers in the US, disproportionately so given the Indian reception, precisely because the Pakistani audience was involved in a big way. On Shivaji and again taking up what Qalandar said I’d say that rightly or wrongly he’s not one of those figures who has great popular appeal across India. Now one could certainly argue that Indian history (which is to say the writing of it) has traditionally been largely a North Indian affair (except over the last number of decades where academic post-colonial histories have delved into every facet of Indian life). This wasn’t always the case but perhaps this too is a result of Mughal (or even Muslim) rule in North India. The british continued this tradition of historiography. And so anyone else whether they belonged to the Maratha empire or the important Southern kingdoms or Bengal or whatever were not given enough attention or when these histories were often made peripheral. But we see this even at the moment in contemporary India. The North still enjoys the most prestige at a variety of cultural levels. So the sidelining of Maratha history isn’t unique though it’s true that they have a much more negative image than do those others I’ve mentioned. I’d say there’s still an anti-Marathi North Indian bias. Which of course doesn’t excuse Sena politics. And again there are these deeper cultural fault lines. There’s an anti-Southern bias in the North which too is historic. I don’t think they have the highest opinion of Gujaratis either (alright if that’s the only way you can gain power in Delhi that’s another matter!). So there has been a certain setting of the terms of the debate by North India for complicated historic reasons which continues to this day. But these are historical cycles that last centuries. Once the seat of culture and power used to be in Bihar. All the great empires of ancient Indian and even a bit beyond were centered here. Scarcely seems imaginable from our contemporary perspective but times change. But we are still living in the North Indian moment.


          • Satyam I am quite surprised that you would be surprised that Aurangzeb gets more footage than Akbar in Pakistan! The establishment – especially beginning with Zia — has been notorious in ‘re-writing’ history. The ‘details’ of fooling Pakistani public and changing history in school syllabus are well known and endorsed by the likes of Najam Sethi and even Hasan Nisar..

            If Pakistan has won all the 3 wars against India as per its history books, I don’t think it is a bit rich in assuming that Aurangzeb is considered a greater king in Pakistan..


          • I haven’t seen that video nor can I claim to be an expert on Pakistani popular opinion. I just haven’t seen anything concrete about this, anything that suggests Aurangzeb is enjoying a renaissance there. And to the degree that he’s overtaken Akbar. Now is it possible that with the Islamization that the country has undergone that this has become a distinct possibility or that such might already be the case in many circles? Sure. But I don’t think it constitutes a sea-change at least uptil now. Of course given the way things are going there nothing would really surprise me.

            Having said that we have nothing to crow about either. Because Akbar too has been under assault from the Right in recent times. he was one king who was so popular that rightly or wrongly he would never really be criticized. Other Mughals (usually just Aurangzeb) would come in for criticism but he would always be held up as the model for a composite India. In my own shorthand if you’re a Manmohan Desai person Akbar is your king! But in any case this whole move has been afoot to deconstruct Akbar. So the irony is that even as we can all agree that Pakistan is a model to be avoided in every respect the Right in India has been trying rather hard for very long to make it a mirror image of the same in many matters. That it cannot is because of the strength of Indian institutions. Not that their aims are any less ambitious. And these are the very institutions (that protect them against their own excesses) that are also lambasted by the Right for being products of Nehruvian India or whatever. The idea that you have a society that is based on a fantasy version of history and that is all about Hindu triumphalism and is nonetheless a wonderful pluralistic democracy is a contradiction in terms. But just look elsewhere around the world. Democracies that operate with those kinds of exclusive principles don’t last very long in any recognizable sense of the word. I bring up all of this because while a potential or possible assault on Akbar in Pakistan would merely be another symptom of what is already a broken and disturbing system in many ways the same in India would concern me a lot more. Because we certainly don’t need to follow that model in any sense. Of course we tend to remain blind to our own intolerance and jingoisms in this sense and hence what we find miserable in the other side we find merely ‘course correction’ in our own. Pakistan is an extreme example but we presumably have a higher bar to live upto?! When European countries are attacked for their immigration politics or religious politics or whatever they don’t turn around and say ‘we’re better than Saudi Arabia’! We shouldn’t either.

            By the way all of this doesn’t mean that historical revision isn’t always a necessity. I am all for this and good history is nothing but good historical revisionism. However there are certain protocols to this stuff. You can’t substitute mythology and popular beliefs for history and call it a corrective to the existing stuff. When JA released some groups were protesting in Rajasthan and elsewhere partly based on the belief that Akbar didn’t even have a Hindu wife. Some Islamists argue the same thing. This is not a sign of greater sanity!

            And all of this also connects with my Maratha point. By all means give this history more attention but don’t try and replace one mythology by another. Or use a different set of anecdotes to counter an existing one.

            Finally glad you brought that up about changing curricula. I’m smiling…


          • Who wants to say we lost? Even with China, we lighten the blow by suggesting we fought valiantly and start reciting “Aye mere watan ke logon..”.


      • “Akbar is rightly celebrated in India. But across the border he is reviled as being a “religion-diluter”. Aurangzeb is revered.”

        That is more from the point of religious personality, not as a ruler. Akbar more or less moved away from Islam and even started new religion – Din-E-Ilahi which combines best qualities from all religions whereas Aurangzeb is considered to be devout muslim compared to other Mughal rulers. But I don’t think anyone thinks he’s bigger or better ruler than Akbar at all. So, all religious folks will praise Aurangzeb over Akbar especially once Pakistan became an Islamic state.


  22. MSDhoni Says:

    of course whatever you say. Its all out in the open.


  23. BM reminds me of Hema starrer Lal Patthar.


  24. MSDhoni Says:

    Shah Rukh Khan ‏@iamsrk 19h19 hours ago
    I ran100 mtr races with seniors. Bigger& faster than me. I won often.Cos their issue was not 2 come 2nd,my desperation was not 2 come last!

    Tabloids are hinting at srk’s prep for the clash.

    Not withstanding the fate of projects having lived a long cherished dream ( recent example BV ), the genre being attempted by Bhansali is tricky – a historical romance where the Peshwa has to balance between his 1st wife and his love interest…and Ranveer has the gravitas for such a role – If wishes were horses, beggars would ride…

    Ranveer’s limitations were visible with Kill Dill….where he was grossly out of sorts… a movie I thought he would score and enter the big league. But it was dud from the get go and could not even muster 30-40cr on box office if I remember correctly. Ranveer is following a pattern of showing up with outlandish outfits and behavior and then anything sober he does in movie is considered the surprise element.

    Coming back to the clash, it will eat up a lot of space with nonsensical chatter in media until release date, but results are pretty much known. Its time like these the fan element of the stars starts to come into play and there will be no dearth of that in Dilwale being a SRK-Kajol lethal combo. It’s going to be a repeat of Saawariya phase but this time with another actor facing much of the brunt ….Ranbir never recovered fully from that awful outing and still finding his bearings a good 8 years later. Here too its srk’s home production coming after success of CE (MHN- OSO same director similarities) where he leaves nothing much in terms of going for the kill promoting his project.


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