Jackie Chan and Sonakshi Sihna may not have anything in common on the surface. But this week they will both be fighting (in more ways than one) for boxoffice space in Indian movie theatres.
It’s an unexpected blow for Sonakshi Sinha’s debut as an action hero in the Japanese-sounding but very desi Akira. The ultimate action superstar Jackie Chan’s new bone-cruncher Skiptrace , directed by Renny (Diehard) Harlin in which Chan plays a detective from Hong Kong who partners with an American gambler(played by Johnny Knoxville), is all set to storm the boxoffice worldwide , including India.
It’s a huge setback for Ms Sinha’s sinuous stunts because, as one of India topmost action stars succinctly puts it, “No one takes a panga with Jackie Chan at the boxoffice.”
There is more distressing news for Akira. Chan’s Skiptrace is being released in dubbed Hindi,Telugu and Tamil versions, thereby capturing a sizeable portion of the market that would perhaps, just perhaps,have opted for Sonakshi’s stunts over Jackie Chan’s action (miracles do happen in this country).
As things stand now, Akira is placed at a distressing disadvantage vis-à-vis Jackie Chan.
A major film producer who doesn’t wish to be named says, “There was very low buzz for Akira in the first place.This is surprising, considering the director Murugadoss’ two Hindi film so far Ghajini and Holiday were big hits. Traditionally Bollywood films about female action stars died a quiet death after the stunt actress Fearless Nadia who ruled the boxoffice in the 1930s.Also, Sonakshi lacks the star power to carry a film on her shoulders.Perhaps Akira could have had more face value with Deepika Padukone or Priyanka Chopra in the lead.”
However trade analyst Atul Mohan is optimistic about the boxoffice outcome of Akira. “Akira can be special in many ways. First the film comes from the director whose first Hindi film Ghajini created the 100- crore club at the Indian boxoffice. His second Hindi film Holiday also geneated a 100-crore revenue also gave Akshay Kumar one of the biggest hits of his career. Sonakshi Sinha has huge fan base and her coming after brief hiatus has also added to the curiosity. And most importantly the nation is going through a wave where we have women making presence felt at the just-concluded Olympics .Akira being a woman-oriented film should take advantage of the wave. Smart marketing by producers Fox has made sure that the film doesn’t get competition from another big-ticket film by clashing with it. And history has proved that if a woman-oriented film is made and presented well nothing can stop it from wearing the boxoffice crown.”
Another trade analyst Amod Mehra is less optimistic about Akira, “As there is no buzz nor any awareness of the film, it will go unnoticed.”
Adds film critic Raja Sen, “ I have no idea what Akira will hold but I remain extremely wary of Mr Murugadosswhose Ghajini re-instated Hindi cinema on the road to making sloppy South remakes. Hopefully this isn’t here to do the same thing to our actresses.Then again, that might be interesting.”