Some Bombay film insiders have it that Shah Rukh Khan’s quick and frequent intake of breaths, in response to being asked by doe-eyed reporters about whether he’ll ever work in Hollywood, resulted in his ‘six-pack’ abdominal muscles. Even if you don’t believe that explanation, it is confirmed that Shah Rukh doesn’t need Hollywood, at least for street cred in the West. The news is that the sideburns and six-pack-starring
Om Shanti Om has
raked in more greenbacks than the Tom Cruise biggie,
Lions for Lambs
, in the first two days of release — just in case a comparative study in numbers settles matters once and for all.
But what has got the ‘Incredible India’ cheerleaders jumping up and down in their wrongly-tied saris is that the Farah Khan homage to the Manmohan Desai genre of films has topped the box office list in Britain. Such a bumper crop can’t be paper-trailed back only to the young NRI lot who have no problem gushing to an over-the-top Shah Rukh fare on Saturday and regaling itself on a Johnny Depp movie on Thursday.
Without taking away anything from the global charm that Shah Rukh Khan exudes and the OSO mega-marketing machinery, it would be wise to say that anything from India — the bigger, the bolder, the better — is being lapped up by desis abroad as well as inquisitive non-desis. That could explain why Saawariya, which has so far lagged behind its ‘competition’ (guess who?) in India, has done incredibly well abroad, earning nearly 15 times more from international markets than here. So who needs Hollywood, eh?