"This movie is a total disgrace"
Laal Singh Chaddha, a remake of the popular 1994 film Forrest Gump, has been hit by boycott calls in India.
The hashtag ‘#BoycottLaalSinghChaddha’ trended on Twitter, meant to urge the public to not watch the film following Aamir Khan’s comments on “India’s growing intolerance”.
Similar calls were raised when the trailer of the film was released in May 2022 as well.
Former England cricketer Monty Panesar also joined the bandwagon as he posted a tweet supporting calls for the film’s boycott.
Alongside a picture of the film’s poster, Monty Panesar wrote: “Forrest Gump fits in the US Army because the US was recruiting low IQ men to meet requirements for the Vietnam War.
“This movie is a total disgrace to India Armed Forces Indian Army and Sikhs!! Disrespectful. Disgraceful. #BoycottLaalSinghChaddha.’
In another tweet, Monty Panesar listed the number of honours given to Sikhs who served in the Indian army.
The former England cricketer also labelled the film “disrespectful” and “disgraceful.”
Earlier, Aamir Khan had requested people to watch the film while interacting with reports in Mumbai ahead of the release.
Aamir was quoted by ANI as saying: “That Boycott Bollywood, Boycott Aamir Khan, Boycott Laal Singh Chaddha.
“I feel sad also because a lot of people who are saying this in their hearts believe I am someone who doesn’t like India.
“In their hearts, they believe that. And that’s quite untrue.”
Forrest Gump fits in the US Army because the US was recruiting low IQ men to meet requirements for the Vietnam War. This movie is total disgrace to India Armed Forces Indian Army and Sikhs !!Disrespectful. Disgraceful. #BoycottLalSinghChadda pic.twitter.com/B8P2pKjCEs
— Monty Panesar (@MontyPanesar) August 10, 2022
He further said: “I really love the country. That’s how I am. It is rather unfortunate if some people feel that way.
“I want to assure everyone that it’s not the case so please don’t boycott my films, please watch my films.”
Laal Singh Chaddha, as well as Raksha Bandhan, was thought by many to help revive Bollywood.
With Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar headlining the two films, many expected the films would break the rut of Bollywood non-performers.
However, the first signs do not appear to be promising.
The bookings for both films stayed quite low and the opening day occupancy is lagging at 12-20%, depending on the location.
This has led many industry experts to predict gloomy times for the two mega films.
Trade analysts say the figures should improve over the weekend but 60-70% occupancy looks unlikely, which means the films will struggle to post huge opening weekend numbers.
The one thing working for the two films is positive critical reception, which both have received.
This can lead to good word-of-mouth. Films have seen growth through word-of-mouth, however bigger films like Laal Singh Chaddha work on strong opening days.