[Watch] Why ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’s’ Fate Reminds Us Of ‘Mera Naam Joker’ & Other Now, Cult Movies

New Delhi: It seems Aamir Khan is heartbroken at the dismal response to ‘Laal Singh Chaddha,’ his most ambitious project, which took over 15 years to be made. The film, which was released last Friday, has failed to create magic at the ticket window. It had an opening of Rs 12 crore, the worst opening figure of any Aamir Khan film in the last 13 years.

‘Laal Singh Chaddha’s’ no-show at the box office takes us down memory lane to a similar fate of another labour of love, legendary Raj Kapoor’s 1970 film ‘Mera Naam Joker,’ which failed to resonate with the audience.

Said to be much ahead of its time, upon release, ‘Mera Naam Joker’ was declared a flop in India. Its long length and the emotionally tightening plot did not grab the enthusiasm of the audience. Soon it was reported as a commercial and critical failure. Today, it is considered a cult and the best movie produced by Raj Kapoor.

In 2018, Raj Kapoor’s son Rishi Kapoor, who too, died of cancer in 2020, revealed that Bollywood’s showman mortgaged all his assets and studio to ensure the release of ‘Mera Naam Joker.’ But the film’s failure did not deter the showman, who went on to produce the hugely successful ‘Bobby.’

Some other movies too suffered a similar fate at the box office.

Agneepath, 1990

Considered to be one of the landmark films of Amitabh Bachchan’s career, directed by Mukul Anand and produced by Yash Johar, the gangster revenge saga was influenced by Al Pacino’s 1983 film, Scarface, and took its title from Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s poem of the same name, which was used in the film. The film flopped at the box office, mainly because Amitabh Bachchan’s unique voice did not go down well with the audience. However, the actor won his first National Film Award for Best Actor for this film and the film started gaining appreciation. It is not only regarded as a cult classic but has also been remade.

Shaan, 1980

The action-thriller directed by Ramesh Sippy, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Parveen Babi and Bindiya Goswami, with Kulbhushan Kharbanda as the iconic Shakaal, it proved to be a below-average performer upon release. However, it did great business after re-runs with packed houses and emerged as the highest-grossing film of 1980.

Andaz Apna Apna, 1994

Starring Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, Raveena Tandon, Karisma Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Shakti Kapoor, Tiku Talsania, Shehzad Khan, and the late Viju Khote in pivotal roles, the film did moderate success upon release. Now, it is considered a cult classic and the greatest Bollywood comedy.

Lamhe, 1991

Produced and directed by Yash Chopra with Sridevi and Anil Kapoor in lead roles, ‘Lamhe’ did below-average business at the box office but who doesn’t remember it today?

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