After a dismal 2022 where flops far outnumbered hits among Hindi-language films, and which ended with the box office failure of Ranveer Singh’s “Cirkus” on which Bollywood analysts were resting their revival hopes, “Pathaan” is the first flag bearer for the beleaguered industry for 2023.
“Pathaan” is also the comeback film for Khan, known as one of the great romantic stars of Bollywood. Some of his last few films have underperformed at the box office and his most recent release as a solo hero was “Zero” in 2018. He has since had cameos in “Laal Singh Chaddha” and “Brahmastra Part One: Shiva.”
However, “Pathaan” has been in the eye of a storm after lawmakers belonging to India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, took umbrage to the “Besharam Rang” song in the film saying that costumes in the song were “objectionable” and that it had been shot with “a dirty mindset.” This led to India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) calling for some edits to the film. CBFC chair Prasoon Joshi had said at the time: “Our culture and faith is glorious, intricate, and nuanced. And we have to be careful that it does not get defined by trivia which takes the focus away from the real and the true.”
Directed by Siddharth Anand, “Pathaan” is part of producer Aditya Chopra’s spy universe, which also includes the “Tiger” franchise, starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, and “War,” starring Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff.
“Pathaan” is due a Jan. 25, 2023 release in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu-language and Imax versions.
Watch the trailer here: