Chappak vs Tanhaji - Fan War But Who Is Winning? -
Chappak vs Tanhaji - Fan War But Who Is Winning?
Posted 16 Jan 2020 05:48 PM


The clash of two major films on the same day is sometimes chaotic. But there are times when such a situation has turned out to be beneficial for the box office -- just like the releases this week.

This Friday (January 10) Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak and Ajay Devgn’s Tanhaji hit theatres and the buzz was strong for both the offerings.

The Twist

But something unexpected happened. This was after Padukone visited the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus in New Delhi to show solidarity with students who were attacked by a mob on January 5. This is when the divide crept in among the audience, who before the actress’s visit, had not taken sides.

A strange opposition was set up last week after Deepika Padukone took time out from promoting her film Chhapaak, which also released last week, to visit Jawaharlal Nehru University and show solidarity with students who were beaten up on January 5. Right-leaning trolls announced they were going to boycott Chhapaak and make Tanhaji a hit to teach Padukone a lesson. This resulted in a few hundred men booking the same ticket in the same multiplex. Some announced they had blocked Padukone on Twitter.

Neither Padukone nor Devgn have suggested their films are competing against one another.


Chhapaak is based on the life of activist Laxmi Agarwal who survived an acid attack at age 15. Even though Chhapaak is actually the kind of film you can (and should) take your whole family to see, ‘acid attack’ isn’t what comes to most people’s minds when you think “family entertainment”. Sure, it has unnecessary song sequences and a superfluous flashback, but that’s about all the film has in common with a masala movie. Chhapaak delivers a story rooted in reality, pain, and patriarchy. Despite the grimness of the topic and a script that verges on being simplistic, Padukone’s film leaves us with fragments of hope to which we can hold on.

Tanhaji, on the other hand, is a big-budget, escapist crowd-pleaser. The ₹150-crore film is ridiculous and over-the-top, with a villain who barbecues crocodiles and Aurangzeb who looks like Luke Kenny. The film will teach you nothing about Indian history and it wraps its Mughal-hating heart in some beautiful cinematography, excellent visual effects, and good action sequences.

The Result

In all this fuss, it was the box office that was at an advantage. If you are wondering why then let us take a look at the business these films have done in two days since their release.

Chhapaak, despite all the controversy, managed a decent start with an opening of Rs 4.7 crore. Remember that this Meghan Gulzar film is medium-sized, reportedly made with a budget of Rs 35-40 crore and was released across 1,700 screens.

Tanhaji, a big-budget venture made with an investment of Rs 150 crore, collected over Rs 15 crore.

So even though fans are taking sides, it seems Bollywood is winning after all.

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