While promoting 'Saaho' on one of the reality shows, when the host asked Prabhas the meaning of the film's title, pat came the reply, 'Jai Ho' (All hail). Well, it was quite apt, considering it marked the 'Baahubali' hunk's first step into Hindi cinema and he deserved a royal welcome!
The blockbuster success of 'Baahubali' franchise made Prabhas, the nation's darling. Trust me, it's hard not to fall in love with this epitome of masculinity and style! After playing a dutiful son and a noble king in SS Rajamouli's magnum opus, Saaho was a perfect opportunity for him to break free from that image and give us a new memory to cherish.
Meanwhile, the makers got their casting on point when they zeroed in Shraddha Kapoor opposite him in the film. Considering Saaho was supposed to be a pan-India film and the actress enjoys an immense fan-following, this Sujeeth directorial was a golden opportunity.
However, when the much-anticipated movie finally hit the theatrical screens yesterday (August 30, 2019), the reaction was quite unexpected! The film failed to strike a chord with the critics. It received criticism for its wafer-thin plot and tiring run-time.
Speaking about the aam-junta, a section of netizens dissed Saaho for failing to meet their expectation levels and even trolled the film with memes on social media. At the same time, there were many who rose to defend Prabhas and his film.
Just like the two sides of a coin, Saaho too comes with its pros and cons. Yes, the film wobbles when it comes to writing. Yes, the random insertion of songs add insult to the injury. Yes, perhaps writer-director Sujeeth got carried away with the ambitious budget and forgot that at the end of the day, content is the king!
Having said that, one simply cannot deny the hard work put in by the team! The makers might have got it wrong this time. But that shouldn't deter our Indian filmmakers from mounting their films on a lavish canvas! At the same time, they should also be cautious when it comes to the story-telling part.
While Saaho received mixed reactions, the action-thriller has been successful in bringing the audience to the theatre halls. Early reports suggest that the film has received a blockbuster opening in all languages and is now the second-highest opener ever for a south Indian film in Hindi markets.
This brings us to the crucial question- What does an audience look for in a film? Is it just 'entertainement, entertainment and entertainment'? Or do they look for subjects which are closer to home? Well, no one in the world has been able to decode this mystery yet!
Filmmaking has always been a trial-and-tested area. Nothing can guarantee you success here. What works today might not work tomorrow. However, one thing is for sure, a successful film always has its emotions in the right place! Then it could either be a larger-than-life story or a simple tale based in a small town. The audience wants to laugh, cry and dance with the film's protagonists. Whoever succeeds in achieving these emotions passes with flying colours at the box office.
Last month, when Shahid Kapoor's Kabir Singh hit the big screens, it left many critics and a section of people fuming over its alleged glorification of masculine toxicity and the regressive troupes. However, its stupendous success at the box office had a different story to tell! The audience embraced it with open arms and the film laughed its way to become one of the biggest grossers of this year.
Now, it needs to be seen whether Prabhas-Shraddha Kapoor's Saaho turns out to be a 'masterstroke' or an 'all fizz' at the box office. Whatever the fate, the show must go on when it comes to moving out of one's comfort zone!