"What does he mean there’s no money?"
Anupam Kher has hit out at Anurag Kashyap’s statements about the ongoing boycott campaigns against major Bollywood films.
The actor initially said he did not want to “legitimise” the filmmaker’s comments by responding to them.
But he later gave his own take on the growing concerns in the film industry.
Anurag had previously said that audiences are staying away from cinemas because they no longer have purchasing power due to an economic slump in India, not because they want to boycott a film.
Anupam Kher was asked about the filmmaker’s comments during an interview with RJ Siddharth Kannan and he replied:
“Why should I legitimise his statement by answering that question?
“It’s not important for me what he think, it’s not important what he believes.
“This country gives him complete freedom of speech, and he exercises that. But he has been proven wrong.”
Dismissing Anurag’s claims, Anupam continued:
“You can’t find plane tickets these days, you can’t buy tickets for good films because the halls are packed. Malls and five-star hotels are overflowing with people.
“The parking lots are full, roads are jammed with cars.
“What does he mean there’s no money? People are just spending intelligently.”
Anupam Kher explained that the pandemic opened the audience’s eyes to different kinds of cinema and that the Hindi film industry should try to change itself instead of blaming the audience.
Throughout 2022, several Bollywood films such as Laal Singh Chaddha have failed at the box office.
While the lines between streaming and theatrical have only been highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic, investors are also reassessing the huge fees paid to stars who aren’t able to pull audiences to theatres anymore.
Anurag Kashyap previously said:
“People want to go and watch good cinema.
“I agree there are a few good films in the recent past which haven’t worked but one should also understand that we are going through an economic slump in the country.
“Basic things like biscuits and paneer are being taxed today.
“Do you think people will buy expensive tickets of a film until they are sure that the film will entertain them?”
Meanwhile, Anupam Kher’s The Kashmir Files remains one of 2022’s biggest Hindi language hits, alongside Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and Gangubai Kathiawadi.
But Anurag had said that he hopes the film is not selected as India’s official entry for the Oscars.