This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
Box office figures were updated daily for the first three weeks; regularly thereafter.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015)
Salman Khan, film actor, as Bajrangi
Kareena Kapoor as Rasika
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the Pakistani reporter
Ali Quli Mirza
…and Harshaali Malhotra
Indpaedia has a special page about the little doll who has already taken India and Pakistan by storm, Harshaali Malhotra
Bajrangi Bhaijaan was shot in:
New Delhi: November 2014
Mandawa, near Shekhawati in Rajasthan: January 2015, including at the Fort
Jhunjhunu district: January 2015
Kashmir, mainly Pahalgam: April,May 2015
‘As expected, Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor starrer "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" has opened to rave reviews from film critics,’ IBTimes wrote a few hours after the film’s first reviews started coming in.
Imdb summed up the First Day’s reviews with an average of **** four stars from selected reviews and an 8.3/10 rating from 123 votes.
The Times of India gave the film **** four stars out of five.
Srijana Mitra Das wrote: ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan is Salman Khan's most daring film where Salman presents a beautiful performance - but allows the story to be the real dabangg… With Bajrangi, you meet a whole new Salman - this is not the shirt-ripping, ab-flaunting, dialogue-maro-ing Khan but a simple, innocent and honest man, who fails, gets tricked and beaten up - but never shaken from his purpose.
‘With gentleness and no gimmicks, Salman puts on a polished, luminous performance …Bajrangi Bhaijaan is a pure South Asian jalebi, rounded, warm, simple and sweet. Kabir captures the tension of India-Pakistan without negativity and with soft charm, skillfully using a superstar as an actor, a child artist as a superstar and a border as a muse that opens up the world.’
India Today gave the film 3.5 out of 5.
Ananya Bhattacharya went to the extent of asking ‘Bajrangi Bhaiijaan is a Salman Khan film. Honestly, why does one even need a review!?’ However, Bhattacharya added, Bajrangi Bhaiijaan ‘does have Salman, sure, but he's hardly the driving force of the film; What shines through more than anything else in this film are two people - Nawazuddin Siddiqui and child artiste Harshaali Malhotra.’
Almost all critics agreed on the contributions of Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Harshaali Malhotra.
‘In all, Bajrangi Bhaijaan works for both a Salman fan and a non-fan,’ Bhattacharya concluded.
Bhattacharya’s India Today colleague Suhani Singh gave the film 2 ½ stars. Shubhra Gupta of Indian Express also gave 2 ½ stars. So did Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV: another 2 ½ stars. India Today’s average of these 5 leading reviewers was *** 3 stars out of 5.
ndtv.com echoed the mood of the critics. It wrote: ‘Watch Bajrangi Bhaijaan even if you aren't an inveterate Salman Khan fan. Harshaali will steal your heart.’
Indian Express said: ‘An adorable little girl, a superstar named Salman Khan - bhaiyya, and behena presenting 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan'.’
KoiMoi.com gave the film 3.5/5 stars, adding, ‘What's Good: Emotion, drama, humour- in short, the Salman Khan package of entertainment.’
Hindustan Times gave the film 2 ½ stars. Rohit Vats wrote:
‘Kabir Khan's Bajrangi Bhaijaan is one film that will bring them to the theatres in droves and you'd do yourself a favour by keeping quiet even if you think this film is over the top. But then, chances are that you may also love it.’
Mid-Day’s Shubha Shetty Saha wrote:
‘If you think you have to leave your brains at home for a Salman Khan film, be surprised. This one will need you to take your heart along with your brains as well. For above everything else, 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' sure has its heart in its right place.
‘This movie portrays secularism in an unpreachy, fun way. No taxing jingoism, no chest beating dialogues, instead you are served self-effacing humour and smart lines
‘The story (by V.Vijayendra Prasad) is about conversion. No, not the archaic one religion to another kind, but of the humane variety; from being conditioned to be rigid about one's own religion to peacefully accepting to co-exist with the unique ways of other religions.
‘Salman Khan pleasantly surprises with his un-hero like …and Nawazuddin, who's trusted to make his characters most believable is perfectly cast. But it is the little Harshaali Malhotra who will steal your heart with her angelic face and evidently natural talent.
‘Be ready to want to wolf whistle, even when you have a tear or two stealthily streaming down your cheek. Watch it.’
Karan Johar tweeted much the same: There wasn't a dry eye at the end of the screening
Box office collections
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The Rs500 crore club?
Films that make viewers’ eyes go wet are those that connect with them. Bajrangi Bhaijaan has obviously done that. which is why in yet another article in India Today Ananya Bhattacharya speculated if the film would collect Rs500 crore—just under one and a half times the previous record—at the international box office.
Bhattacharya proved right. And by a margin.
(Domestic + overseas)
After 3 days: Rs226.64 crore gross
After 4 days: Rs264.45 crore gross
After 6 days: roughly Rs.304 crore (gross)
After 8 days: Rs197.77 crore (domestic net) + Rs83.29 crore (overseas gross)
After 9 days: Rs.350.27 crore worldwide
After 11 days: Rs 453.11 crore worldwide (Dom Gross Rs337.52 crore; Dom Net Rs250.02 crore; Overseas: Rs115.59 crore gross)
After 12 days: Rs472 crore (worldwide); Domestic net Rs. 259.12 cr; Dom. gross Rs349.81 crore; overseas Rs122 crore.
After 13 days: (Worldwide must be around Rs485 crore) (Rs266.22 crore Dom Net Overseas total $ 20 million i.e 128 crores (on 29 July))
After 14 days: Rs.508 crore Worldwide; Dom NetRs272.25 crore Dom gross Rs 367.53 crore; Overseas$ 22.00 million (Rs140.80 crore)
After 15 days: (Worldwide must be around Rs514 crore) Rs 276.36 crore net Domestic
After 16 days: (Worldwide must be around Rs520 crore) Rs282.86 crore net Domestic (now the 2nd highest domestic net in Indian history)
Third weekend Rs19.98 crore
After 17 days Worldwide: Rs539.51 crore; dom net: Rs292.23 crore; dom gross 394.51 crore. Overseas (rough figures: Rs145 crore/ $ 22.65 million)
After 24 days: Worldwide gross: (Around Rs 579 crore); Rs 310 crore domestic net; Overseas: $ 26 million/ Rs166.08 crore. Now the 2nd highest earner in Indian history
After 31 days: Rs 606.70 crore worldwide; domestic: Rs 316.67 crore nett.
In its sixth week: Rs 1.56 crore domestic net
After 42 days: Rs 319.62 crore domestic net
In its seventh week Rs 72 lakh
After 50 days: Rs 320.34 crore domestic net; overseas: $28 million (Rs182 crore at Rs65 to the dollar); worldwide: Rs.612 crore (Behind PK's domestic performance by less than Rs19 crore)
After 52 days: Rs 626 crore worldwide (Rs193.39 cr overseas gross + Rs432.46 crore domestic gross)
(Select day-wise details are as below)
Day-/ week- wise figures
Mumbai alone: Around Rs 10 crore.
All India: Rs 27.25 crore
This was better than expected. However, in post- Bãhubali: The Beginning India even Rs.27.25 crore do not look spectacular any more. (The film’s Day 1 was in the month of Ramzan, though its last day. Therefore, most pious Muslims stayed away from the film on 17 July. Kick, which was released around Eid in 2014 had faced the same issue and had opened with Rs 26 crore. Bajrangi Bhaijan has done somewhat better.)
The Bahubali juggernaut hit Bajrangi Bhaijan in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and other major South Indian cities, reducing its collections somewhat. In the Hindi-Urdu belt the reverse happened. See Bahubali: The Beginning (2015)
(Saturday/ Eid holiday) Rs. 36.50 crore
1st Sunday Rs, 38.75 crore
Opening weekend total: Rs102.60 crore (domestic)
1st Monday: Rs26.80 crore (domestic) (a new record for Hindi-Urdu films)
4 day total: Rs129.40 crore net// Rs 175.75 crore gross -(i.e. including entertainment tax)
1st Tuesday Rs21.40 crore
5 day total Rs151.05 crore net; Rs204 crore gross(domestic)
1st Wednesday Rs 18.02 crore
Six day domestic total: Rs169.07 crore (net); Rs228.24 crore (gross)
Rs. 13.15 crore net
Rs20.05 crore (a very significant jump)
Nine day total: Rs217.82 crore (domestic) net
Second weekend Rs 55 crore (Joginder Tuteja, KoiMoi.com)
11th day: Rs9 crore (unusually high for a second Monday)
11 day total: Rs250 crore approx., domestic net (Joginder Tuteja, KoiMoi.com)
Day 13 (2nd Wednesday)
Rs7.10 crore (the first day on which collections showed a drop)
Day 14 Rs6.03 crores Domestic (2nd Thursday )
Day 15 Rs 4.11 crore
Day 16 Rs 6.50 crore net
Day 17 Rs9.07 crore Third Sunday
Day 22 (Fourth Friday) Rs 1.45 crore
Day 23 (Fourth Saturday) Rs 2.73 crore
Day 24 (Fourth Sunday) Rs 3.51 crore
Days 29-31 (fifth weekend) Rs. 2.67 crore
1st weekend overseas total: Rs50.89 crore
4 day total: $ 9.5 million (Rs60.40 crore)
5 day total (till the end of 1st Tuesday) $10.85 million (Rs69.05 crore). At this stage Bajrangi Bhaijaan was no. 10 on the week’s box office chart in the USA, ahead of Sir Ian McKellen’s Mr Holmes
6th day (Wednesday) collection: Rs7-8 crore
6 day total (till end of 1st Wednesday) Rs76 crore or slightly more
8 day total Rs.83.29 crore
10 day total $ 18 million/ Rs 115.59 crore
'Bajrangi Bhaijaan Surpasses Kick’s Overseas Opening Weekend Performance In 2 Days'
The above headline of KoiMoi summed up the extent of Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s success: it is a mega-hit, it is Salman’s biggest hit ever, but it is unlikely to create new all India records.
The first two days’ figures given by Taran Adarsh are as below:
Fri A$ 142,533
Sat A$ 208,744
Total for two days: A$ 351,277 [₹ 1.64 cr] .
(In comparison Salman Khan’s megahit of the previous Eid, Kick (2014) had earned A$ 263,095 during its three-day opening weekend)
Thu NZ$ 724
Fri NZ$ 53,946
Sat NZ$ 75,024
Total for three days: NZ$ 129,694 [₹ 53.70 lakh]
Kick (2014) had earned NZ$ 81,721 during its four-day opening weekend.
Fri £ 176,178
Sat £ 280,356
Total for two days: £ 456,534 [₹ 4.52 cr]
Kick (2014) had earned £ 239,150 during its three-day opening weekend.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays Chand Nawab, a Pakistani journalist, in the film.
Chand Nawab is also the name of an actual Pakistani journalist.
India Today recalls: Chand Nawab is a Pakistani journalist based in Karachi, who was employed with Indus News when he shot to fame. An unedited P2C clip of Chand Nawab had been uploaded on the internet by his colleagues, to play a prank on the reporter.’ After the video [of Chand Nawab reporting from Karachi on Eid] went viral in 2008 many parodies and remixes of the original P2C clip followed. These can be viewed on the India Today site.
While reviewing the film India Today added: Nawazuddin Siddiqui ‘steps into the shoes of the famous journalist Chand Nawab, using the same name, and kills it from Frame 1. Post intermission, the actor reiterates the shot that had shot the original Chand Nawab to fame - the rail over bridge, the moving train in the background, Nawab's irritation, et al. And what doesn't require saying is that Siddiqui gets it perfect, even better than probably the real Chand Nawab.’
The Times of India describes the ‘crackling Nawazuddin[‘s role as a] small-time Pakistani journalist Chand Nawab, hungry for 'Bariking News' but moved beyond TRPs by Bajrangi's quest, and the screen's alight with lovely acting, with a hilarious 'Begum', a child who glows and wanes like the sun, humans who treasure humanity beyond barbed wire and border guards.’
The Hanuman Chalisa controversy
In the trailer of Bajrangi Bhaijaan the leading character, a devotee of Hanuman ji (played by Salman Khan, film actor), is heard chanting two verses from The Hanuman Chalisa, both of which assure devotees that Hanuman ji will protect them.
He first chants
sab sukh la-ha-é tumhârî sharnâ
tum rakshak kâhû ko Darnâ?
(‘Under Your shelter are joy and cheer/ With You as protector what’s there to fear?’: From Parvez Dewan’s now out-of-print The Hanumân Châlîsâ of Goswâmî Tulasi Dâs jî (Viking-Penguin/ 2001)
Here he resorts to two minor over-compensations: he uses the Hindi sharnâ and rakshak instead of the Avadhi sarnâ and rach-chhak of The Hanuman Chalisa. The sincerity of Salman Khan and director Kabeer Khan should be appreciated. However, clearly they did not research adequately—or their advisor on Hinduism did not tutor them adequately.
(The concept of over-compensation in the context of Hindi-Bhojpuri was lucidly explained in the song Saawan ka maheena--pawan karey sor/ shor from the film Milan/ 1967.)
sañkaT hara-é miTa-é sab pîrâ
jo sumira-é Hanumat bal-bîrâ
(Calamities vanish, pains disappear/ For those who Hanumat, the brave, revere: : From Parvez Dewan’s The Hanumân Châlîsâ of Goswâmî Tulasi Dâs jî (Viking-Penguin/ 2001))
Here, he says hara-é (is taken away) instead of kaTa-é (is cut short). Both words reach the same conclusion.
Parvez Dewan’s The Hanumân Châlîsâ of Goswâmî Tulasi Dâs jî had looked at around 51 versions of the Châlîsâ. They have minor differences, like the less common tãsu amit instead of the more popular soî amit, Sajeevan and Sanjeevan. However, none of the versions said hara-é instead of kaTa-é. In two Google searches by Indpaedia’s volunteers, out of twenty results nineteen said kaTa-é. The twentieth had a third alternative! RS-rel uses the word haTey (is removed), which, too, leads to the same assurance.
Summary: There is no need to shriek ‘the biggest blunder of Salman Khan,’ as a Hyderabad daily did. There are minor regional variations not only in very old Hindu prayers (e.g. the Ram Dhun/ Raghupati Raghav…) but also in lists of The 99 Names of Allah. Kabeer Khan’s advisor chose some obscure variant that meant the same as the mainstream versions, but used different words. This is not a blunder. Just a lack of a scholarly approach, using which scholars weigh the relative usage of different versions. The newspapers calling this a blunder, too, lack a scholarly approach, because they are not aware of the existence of regional variants.
Indeed, one of the newspapers has got the words wrong. It has written ‘Hanuman balbeerâ’ instead of ‘Hanumat balbeerâ.’ Hanuman has a longer mãtrã than Hanumat. Therefore, no version can possibly say Hanuman.
In their recitations, Amitabh Bachchan and Hari Om Sharan have employed the usages Sajeevan-Bharathi and Sanjeevan-Bharatahi, respectively. Which of them has committed the blunder? Indpaedia's view is: neither.
There is no blunder if you use an obscure version. However, you win more hearts if you use a popular version.
Censored in Pakistan
Reference to Pakistan chopped off from Bajrangi Bhaijaan
Bajrangi Bhaijaan opened in Pakistan on July 17, along with three local films: Bin Roye, Aansoo and Wrong Number. According to exhibitor, Amjad Rasheed, all films are running to packed houses due to Eid. However, the film had to chop out quite a few sequences in order to be shown across the border. The Central Board of Film Censors (Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi) raised objections to a scene depicting an attack on the Pakistani embassy. The scene has been excised even though there's a reference to it later in the film, when Pavan's 'story' is being checked. And along with it, all shots of soldiers of the Pakistani army shown on the border while people are crossing over, have also been axed. The censors also wanted to mute the chant of 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan.' According to the certificate issued by the CBFC in Pakistan, the “entire sequence from `Bajrangi Bhaijaan' onwards (should be) excised." There are dialogue cuts as well, including "Pakistani bohot martey hain" and "Woh Pakistani is ka kya haal karengey." Another interesting deletion is the line, "Kashmir ka chota sa hisa hamrey pass bhi hai." Obviously, Kashmir is not just a contentious issue at global summits and news hour debates. Even a passing reference to the state in a Bollywood entertainer will not pass muster.
17 July 2015 (a day before Eid ul Fitr in most parts of India; Eid day in some other regions)
Total running time: 2 hours 39 minutes/ 159 minutes.
The film's budget
Bajrangi Bhaijaan was made on a budget of Rs 90 crore.