Speedy Singhs may have made a speedy exit from theatres in India but co-producer Akshay Kumar is upbeat. He insists the film has done amazingly well in Canada and even beaten his own records.
But is he disappointed it didn’t fare better in India? “Not at all. In fact, I told everyone associated with it that the film wouldn’t do well here,” asserts Akshay. “I know my country. Speedy Singhs is not for the Indian audience but for NRIs across the world who find it hard to settle down in a foreign country and follow their dreams, particularly when they have to deal with extremely traditional parents in a western world.”
Speedy Singhs is the journey of Toronto-based Rajvinder Singh, who cuts his hair, discards the ‘pagri’ (turban), quits his education and turns his back on the family business to live his childhood dream of playing ice hockey professionally. This puts him on a collision course with his father and earns him the tag of ‘joker’ for his ethnic background by the mainstream Caucasian players. Then he finds a saviour in his girlfriend’s brother Dan, who puts Rajvinder and his team of Singhs on the winning track.
Says Akshay, “I would never expect a film about a sport that doesn’t even exist in India to be of interest here and impact the box-office. The idea was to show an Indian’s struggle in a foreign country and given its success in Canada, we have been able to do that. The film’s struck a chord with its target audience abroad, far more than I could have wished for.”
Directed by Robert Liberman, Speedy Singh was titled Breakaway in the west, and was Hari Om Productions’ first international venture. Quiz him on his next international production and Akshay smiles, “We need to let this film run its full course first before we plan another flag off.”