Sunny Deol, Anil Sharma eye 'all time biggest success' tag for Gadar 2

"Luckily for us, every generation of viewers, even those who weren't born when the first Gadar was released, have taken to the film as if they own it," says Deol

A still from Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (photo: @navneet_mundhra/ X)
A still from Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (photo: @navneet_mundhra/ X)

Subhash K Jha

Leave behind the 500-crore club, director Anil Sharma, leading man Sunny Deol, and their producer Zee Studios are looking to make Gadar 2: The Katha Continues the most successful Hindi film of all times, despite the roaring run of Shah Rukh Khan starrer Jawan.

Even as Gadar 2 nears the end of its theatrical run, the film is still alive and kicking at the box office. On Saturday September 23, Sharma's directorial venture netted Rs 50 lakh, according to industry tracker Sacnilk. This brings its 44-day collection to Rs 522.84 crore.

Deol, who seems to enjoy the same kind of grip on the Gadar franchise as Arnold Schwarzenegger has on the Terminator series, says he is still sorting out the enormity of the film's success.

“When we were making it, we knew it was either going to be rejected completely or become a massive success. No in-between kind of success for this. If young audiences had rejected the film (Gadar 2) for being too closely related to a film (Gadar Ek Prem Katha) that came 22 years ago, we would have been in trouble. Luckily for us, every generation of viewers, even those who were not born when the first Gadar was released, have taken to the film as if they own it,” he said.

Critic Raja Sen sees the stupendous success of Gadar 2 as a sign of the times. “We live in a time when audiences want to celebrate what they have celebrated before: the films that are working are doing exactly what they promise on the label. Gadar 2 is the most effective kind of throwback that actually leans hard on nostalgia and uses characters and elements from the first film with affection, not irony. It harks back to cinema of a simpler time... people are going to movie theatres in order to time-travel.”

Starring Deol and Ameesha Patel, the war drama was released on 11 August and its box office was affected only once director Atlee's Jawan hit theatres on 7 September. While the film has earned Rs 546 crore in just 17 days, it seems as though Gadar 2 may fall short of this year's other SRK-starrer Pathaan’s eventual collection of Rs 543 crore, with trade experts estimating the film will end up with a lifetime collection of Rs 525 crore.

Critic Mayank Shekhar says, “Gadar 2 is essentially a loud, earthy, angry-man movie, with a credible, relatable working-class hero, that audiences can repose their faith in (something Bollywood stopped manufacturing, post 1990s). The love for this genre, I suspect, never left Hindi film audiences. Only those movies did.”

Roshan Singh, a prominent exhibitor in Patna, is a diehard Gadar supporter. “In its third week, Gadar 2 did four times the business of Dream Girl 2 in its opening week. Gadar is beyond anything I’ve seen in my lifetime.”

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