"it would have been better to have shot a porn movie."
With the hashtag #BoycottPathaan trending on Twitter, does this mean social media users will impact another Bollywood film?
Bollywood has come under fire with many significant films feeling the wrath of ‘boycott’ hashtags, including #boycottbollywood.
Some of the films affected included the likes of Laal Singh Chaddha and Liger.
#BoycottPathaan commenced trending after the song ‘Besharam Rang’ from the film was released on YouTube.
One reason netizens are unhappy with recent Bollywood productions is that the films are not meeting their cultural own values.
For Pathaan‘s ‘Besharam Rang‘, many social media users claimed the song promoted vulgarity.
Vulgarity translated as actresses wearing bikinis, minimal clothes and western attire in films is becoming a common target.
Throughout the music video, Deepika Padukone is scantily-dressed and some of her dance moves have been called provocative.
Some netizens believe the filmmakers have a strong feeling Pathaan will flop. As a result, they have released such a music video in a bid to get people into cinemas.
One Twitter user wrote: “The difference between a South Indian film which pays tribute to our Bharatiya culture and traditions and a Bollywoodiya dirt which latches on to obscenity for gaining some success.
“No wonder the former is a blockbuster and no one watches the latter.”
Another said: “If Deepika Padukone has the right to wear whatever she wants in her movies then people also have the right to criticise her for her for vulgarity and boycotting her.
“There shouldn’t be any double standards on it.”
A third commented: “Brother, this is the limit of obscenity, it would have been better to have shot a porn movie.
“Perhaps they have come to know that the movie will not work anyway, so they released this nude song first in the movie to attract the youth.”
One user said: If you support #MeTooIndia, you should condemn such groping too.
“There is a difference between eroticism and harassment being played out on the big screen.
“What was the need to exemplify ‘the bad touch’ in a song without any context anyway?”
— Aditya #EqualRights4Hindus (@centristop) December 12, 2022
One comment read: “All these looks are very ridiculous And the way the woman is being shown naked in this movie, these people want to give a clear message that Bollywood has only one aim to destroy India and its dignity.”
Also, religion plays a key role in this divide and Pathaan is being touted as being anti-Hindu by those opposing it.
In the past, films released by stars such as Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan were blockbusters and fans could not get enough.
However, now this seachange within some of the audiences who once watched these films has progressed into negativity.
Be it more awareness, more support for their own identity, culture or faith values, there is a definite movement opposing new films like Pathaan.
Comparisons on social media are being made as to how real pathans live versus the depictions in the film’s trailer and song.
Pathans originate from Afghanistan and Pakistan and belong to the Pashtun ethnic group. Pathans living in India belong to the Pashtun ancestry.
Hence, a lot is being tweeted around the film being pro-Muslim and because SRK is Muslim himself, it is a deliberate ploy by him to be anti-Hindu.
Check their hand gestures. What she’s doing & what he reciprocated her with? ?
— Tathvam-asi (@ssaratht) December 12, 2022
One person commented: “Anti-Hindu SRK only makes movies like My Name is Khan but never makes My Name is Pandit.
“Any patronage/money given to this movie by Hindus is like digging their grave in advance.”
“Remember what happened to Laal Singh Chaddha and how Aamir Khan went crying after it was boycotted??
“The same will be the fate of Pathaan.”
Aamir Khan’s film Laal Singh Chaddha went through a similar witchhunt.
The film did feel the impact in cinemas with low figures and with it being released on OTT platforms much earlier than expected.
Therefore, there is a possibility that Pathaan, when it is released in January 2023, might suffer similar abstinence from audiences.
For Shah Rukh Khan, this film in many ways is a make-or-break film further to his major absence from the silver screen and Bollywood.
If impacted by the #BoycottPathaan movement, SRK’s acting career could be damaged further.
Pathaan is produced by Aditya Chopra for Yash Raj Films and is the fourth instalment in the Yash Raj Films Spy Universe.
It stars SRK, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham and Dimple Kapadia, and features a cameo by Salman Khan. It was shot in eight countries.
With such big names in the film, still having strong fan bases, it definitely remains to be seen how this latest anti-Bollywood campaign on social media could affect such a major film.