With the only Hindi release this week Vishal Mishra’s Coffee With D opting out due to “pressure and unforeseen circumstance”(as Mishra says) this is a unique all-Hollywood week at the Indian boxoffice, with A-list actors like Brad Pitt, Jenifer Lawrence and Liam Neeson lending glamour and hopefully heft to a Dangal-obsessed nation.
Neeson who is currently being seen in Martin Scorcese’s disturbing thrust at theology in Silence, plays a friendly monster in J A Bayona’s A Monster Calls who befriends a troubled child. While the film has Neeson in a rousing performance we all know what happened to Steven Spielberg’s ambitious film about the BFG(Big Friendly Giant) and his little friend. Meant to be large-screen adaptations of children’s novels BFG and A Monster Calls are too scary for tender minds.
Allied is perhaps the poshest product of the pack . A moody bluesy World War 2 romantic thriller with a very attractive lead pair Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard directed by the distinguished Robert Zemeckis. The film’s premium comportment is not likely to impress Indian audiences who flock for Hollywood films only when it is a comicbookfranchise.
Allied comes to India with the tabloid gossip about the lead in atorried affair that broke Brad’’s marriage with Angelina Jolie,and an added disadvantage of stinker reviews. The Gurdian critic has described it as Brad Pitt’s “flattest performance” since Troy.
The fact that Pitt and Ms Cotillard were pitted against one another in the gossip columns won’t impress Indian audiences.
Jennifer Lawrence, considered one of the three biggest contemporary female stars in the world, teams up with Chris Patt in the posh but bland Passengers about two people who fall in love in outerspace. Norwegian director Morten Tyldum helms this sci-firomance which has underperformed at the international boxoffice.
A better bet could be the sleeper horror film Friend Request directed by Paul Verhoeven, since cheesy horror is the only genre in the English language that sells apart from the VFX-driven fanchises. The film’s Indian distributor Sunil Udhani who last year brought the sleeper hits Arrival , Desierto and Hands Of Stone to us grateful Indians is giving the film a low-profile release. This is just as well since the Indian boxoffice is still gripped by the Dangal fever.
May the best win.