Bollywood, the world-renowned film industry of India, is always buzzing with excitement and anticipation for new releases. Every year, audiences eagerly await the debut of new actors and their potential to become the next big thing in the industry. However, 2023 brought disappointment for two highly anticipated debuts – Kangana Ranaut's Tejas and Kartik Aaryan's Shehzada.
Kangana Ranaut, known for her astounding acting skills, has been dominating the Indian film industry for over a decade. Fans were thrilled when it was announced that she would be making her directorial debut with Tejas, a film about a woman fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force. The movie garnered a lot of attention for its concept and Ranaut's involvement as a filmmaker.
Despite all the hype, Tejas failed to make a mark at the box office. The film, which was released in March 2023, received mixed reviews from both critics and audiences. It was praised for its action sequences and Ranaut's performance, but many felt that the story lacked depth and failed to leave a lasting impact. As a result, Tejas had a dismal opening weekend with only a moderate collection of around Rs. 15 crores at the box office.
On the other hand, Kartik Aaryan's debut film Shehzada faced a similar fate. The highly popular actor, known for his boy-next-door charm, was expected to bring in the crowds with his first leading role in the action-thriller film. However, Shehzada fell short of expectations and failed to attract audiences. Despite being marketed as a mass entertainer, the film failed to strike a chord with the audience, resulting in a box office collection of only Rs. 10 crores.
The disappointing box office results of Tejas and Shehzada have raised questions about the ever-changing taste of Indian audiences. Both films were marketed as commercial entertainers with big names attached and had all the elements for a successful debut. Unfortunately, they failed to make a connection with the audience, leading to their underwhelming performances at the box office.
One might argue that the ongoing pandemic played a role in the low footfall in theatres, but it cannot be the only reason for the disappointing debuts. In today's times, where streaming platforms are thriving, the success of a film cannot be solely measured by its box office collection. However, a film's performance in theatres is still considered crucial for its overall success, and the underwhelming box office results of these debuts cannot be ignored.
The failure of these much-awaited debuts raises questions about the constant pressure on actors to deliver hits and the need for box office success. In recent years, we have seen an emergence of 'outsider' actors, such as Ayushmann Khurrana and Radhika Apte, who have broken the norms and proved their talent with unconventional roles. However, with the rise of social media and the constant scrutiny of actors, there is still a huge burden on star kids and established actors to deliver box office hits.
In conclusion, the disappointing debuts of Tejas and Shehzada in 2023 Bollywood may serve as a wake-up call for the industry to focus on content rather than star power. It is high time we start giving more opportunities to talented actors, regardless of their background, and let their performances speak for themselves instead of just relying on their popularity. After all, it is the story and the craft of filmmaking that truly matters, and not just the box office numbers.