Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur should meet an astrologer asap! They really need to check out if the planets controlling their career graphs are in some bad phase or not. Both have entered 2017 with a flop behind them in Rock On 2 and Fitoor respectively. At least Shraddha had a great time before Rock On 2, with her movies till Baaghi working well at the box office. Unfortunately for Aditya Roy Kapur, Aashiqui 2 remains his solo hit till date. But this year did look promising for them, or at least their second movie together, OK Jaanu, looked like that!
It had all the ingredients to be a youth entertainer. It was the official remake of Tamil hit OK Kanmani, that was a craze among the youth when it released. The songs, including the much debated Humma Humma reprise, were all popular. Aditya and Shraddha's chemistry looked sizzling in the trailers and the songs. The movie was co-produced by Karan Johar and Mani Ratnam. There was no other major Bollywood release trying to overshadow it - there was Nawazuddin Siddiqui's indie flick, Haramkhor, and Dangal still bringing in audience. But both movies shouldn't have been a threat, since OK Jaanu is a fresh commercial movie. Of course there was Deepika Padukone's Hollywood debut, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, releasing a day after, but it was an English movie with limited release. So OK Jaanu should work, shouldn't it?
Unfortunately, that didn't happen. OK Jaanu had a very average weekend, collecting just above Rs 13 crores at the box office, with collections dropping further on Monday. At the same time, despite its release limited to multiplexes, xXx: Return of Xander Cage earned just about Rs 30 crores gross (nett amount coming around Rs 21 crores something). So by the looks of it, both Shraddha and Aditya are looking at another debacle in hand.
In short, a movie that should have been hit on paper is struggling at the box office to even meet Rs 20 crores at the box office over the week. Here are five lessons every film-maker should learn from the poor performance of OK Jaanu...
Lesson #1 - Ex-lovers reuniting doesn't guarantee a hit
Ever since Jab We Met, Ek Tha Tiger and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani became blockbusters, film-makers are under the impression that bringing ex-lovers back on screen is surely a hit formula. But they fail to notice the flops that also came in the way like Milenge Milenge (Shahid - Kareena), Tamasha (Ranbir - Deepika) and Dil Dhadakne Do (Ranveer - Anushka). Aditya and Shraddha may have dated in the past, and they still do look together onscreen. But relying purely on their ex-factor and their chemistry cannot save a movie, unless backed by a great film. And that's where OK Jaanu faltered.
Lesson #2 - Just because a combo worked once doesn't it will work again
Shraddha and Aditya delivered a huge hit when they worked the first time in Aashiqui 2. Similarly, Shaad Ali made a dazzling debut as a director remaking his mentor, Mani Ratnam's Alaipayuthey with Saathiya. Mathematically, the same formula should give the same result everytime. Unfortunately, cinema is not mathematics, and law of averages do catch up with you eventually. And in the case of OK Jaanu, it caught up too soon.
Lesson #3 - Some loved movies are better left untouched (for remakes)
Okay, I am not saying that OK Kanmani is a movie that is too far above the process of remakes. I am no fan of the original, and I felt it was just an updated but weaker version of what Mani Ratnam did in the far superior Alaipayuthey. However, OK Kanmani was a movie that was still fresh in everyone's minds. Many of my Hindi-speaking friends had seen Kanmani thanks to their crush on either Dulquer Salmaan or Nithya Menen, so OK Jaanu doesn't offer anything new for them.
Lesson #4 - And if you do remake, never go for a frame by frame adaptation...
One thing I loved about Rohit Shetty's take on Singam was that he changed the screenplay and made the remake his own instead of a copy - paste job. As a result, Ajay Devgn's Singham was a far more different, and thus enjoyable, experience than the original Suriya starrer. Shaad Ali, on the other hand, tries very less to deviate from the original screenplay, going for a frame by frame adaption with slight changes for dialogues and songs. The only huge difference was the addition of kisses, which were absent in the original. But by doing so, he has completely alienated the South audience who won't venture into the theatres just to experience a deja vu experience. OK Kanmani was no The Godfather; Shaad could really have some fun with the material.
Lesson #5 - Check if the USP of the story is still novel
When OK Kanmani was released in Tamil, the concept of live-in relationships was something of a bold idea for the viewers there (that's why the movie worked in the cities more than rural centres). But is the same concept novel for Bollywood viewers? Haven't we had our share of live-in relationships in movies like Salaam Namaste and more recently in Befikre - both of which have the pairs finally ending up marrying each other? If the crux of your movie is stale, better not adapt the source.
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