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Can Taapsee Rescue Alia?

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With two major films  about female heroes Meghna  Gulzar’s  Chhapaak and Ashwiny IyerTiwari’s Panga, under-performing at the  boxoffice, all eyes are on Anubhav Sinha’s Thappadwhich opens at the end of February. It features Tapsee Pannu playing  the hero. She had scored  resounding successes  as the hero on  films like Pink, Saandh  Ki Aankh   and  Badlaa.Would she  able to turn the disturbing tide  of  women in the lead not doing well at the boxoffice this year?

Anubhav Sinha who directs Thappad feels it’s not about gender. “The audience  doesn’t care whether a man or a  woman directs  any film. They  just have to connect with the theme  and characters. Then  the film works. Otherwise it doesn’t.”

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Anubhav feels  well-made  film are  a  genre of their own. “It’s not about the gender of the director. Or  whether it stars a  male  or a female  hero. It’s just got to be a good film.”

But then  Meghna  Gulzar and Ashwiny  Iyer Tiwari are exceptional filmmakers, and DeepikaPadukone and  Kangana Ranaut  are  huge stars. It is explicable why they were rejected by the audience. 

Trade experts who wish to remain unnamed  say a strong women-oriented  subject needs  the support of  big  male actors to  get the audience interested. 

This is why Sanjay Leela  Bhansali is keen to get Ajay Devgan on  board  in  his Alia-helmed  Gangubai Kathiawadi. Devgan’s is  a powerful cameo designed to prop up Alia Bhatt’s central  performance as  a gangster.

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 Making the  brains behind Gangubai even more  jittery  is  the fact that films about female gangsters have  never worked at the boxoffice  in the past, be it Dimple Kapadia in MeraShikar,Amrita Singh  in  Khoon Baha Ganga Mein, Shabana Azmi in  Godmother  or KanganaRanaut in Revolver Rani.

Will  Alia Bhatt who has scored a resounding  hit in an author-backed role in  Raazi ,break the jinx?