Lyricist Javed Akhtar today said one of the prime reasons for the success of Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Pathaan was that “people are fed up of this cancel culture”, adding that Indian films and music are creating a lot of goodwill all over the world.
Pathaan has done gangbuster business by becoming the first Hindi movie to cross the Rs 1,000 crore mark at the worldwide box office in phase one of its release, Yash Raj Films (YRF) said on Tuesday.
“It must be an interesting film. People must have liked the film. But one more factor is that people were getting fed up of this cancel culture. Ban this film; ban that film. We are a country where there is a constitution; central government has a certification board. And the film is shown to that board. Then the film is released,” Javed Akhtar told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
“I am so happy that the film has done so well. It is not only good for Shah Rukh or YRF but good for the whole film industry. We were rather thirsting for a hit. And it happened. So the positivity and the self esteem of the film industry has gained a lot,” said Mr Akhtar, who admitted he is yet to see the film but promised that he will do it at the first opportunity.
Pathaan had run into major controversy ahead of its release over its song Besharam Rang because of Deepika Pdukone’s outfits. There were demands for cuts and #BoycottBollywood trended on Twitter.
“Home ministers of certain states said hum dekhenge (we will see). Then you should have your own censor board if you don’t trust the judgment of the central government,” said 78-year-old Akhtar.
The lyricist said that “we tend to underestimate Indian film industry and its contribution and its soft power”, adding that everywhere the country is recognised by the name of its stars.
“We are great goodwill ambassadors. Why are you trying to destroy it. What’s the agenda. These films and music are creating a lot of goodwill all over the world. Why are you trying to kill this goose. I want to know,” he said.
Pathaan is the fourth movie in producer Aditya Chopra’s spy universe, following Salman Khan’s “Ek Tha Tiger” and “Tiger Zinda Hai”, and “War”, featuring Hrithik Roshan.