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Deepika, Kangana Flop At The Boxoffice Bad news for films starring female heroes in 2020

Is 2020 an  unfavourable  year for  female  heroes? Two major films in January  with leading ladies  in author-backed  roles has tanked at  the  boxoffice one after another.

Chhapaak and Panga,  coincidentally  both  directed  by reputed  female directors Meghna  Gulzarand Ashwini  Iyer Tiwari, both  under-performed at the  boxoffice,  although they starred prominent actresses in central  roles.

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Deepika Padukone who is undisputably the no.1  leading lady in Bollywood, was seen in Chhapaak after a gap of two years. Her  last release was  the spectacular  Padmaavat which earned revenues worth nearly 300 crore rupees at  the boxoffice worldwide.The political  controversies surrounding the  project  certainly helped generate surplus  revenues.

 No  amount of controversy  helped Chhapaak sink  at the  boxoffice,in spite of  its intrinsic merits. Director Meghna Gulzar had two previous  critical and commercial successes Talvar and Raazi(the latter, another female-centric film in 2018 featuring Alia Bhatt in the central role).

Just a few weeks after Chhapaak comes Panga directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari whose earlier film Bareilly Ki Barfi with Kriti Sanon playing the central  role made decent profits. Pangafeatured Kangana Ranaut who has a track record of  successes in  central roles(Tanu Weds Manu, Queen,Manikarnika). This time the audience was just not interested.

In spite  of  being excellent films, why did Chhapaak and Panga not work at the  boxoffice?  I this bad news  for films starring female heroes in 2020?

Film critic  Sreehari Nair opines, “I don’t see  films in such terms.And  so,  a film that is constructed to fit into such narrow categories deserves  to fail,  I think.”

Critic  Raja Sen feels the modest production-budget  for Chhapaak and Panga  justifes their finalboxoffice outcome. “It’s important to note that both these films are modestly-budgeted small releases. We can start making statements about the female hero only after a massively mounted film doesn’t work: for instance Alia Bhatt’s film Gangubai Kathiawadi  by Sanjay Bhansali.”

No wonder at  the moment the  most worried filmmaker  in Bollywood is Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

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