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Siddharth Anand’s bizarre claim: Fighter failed because 90% of Indians haven't flown in planes

Feb 03, 2024 08:42 AM IST

Siddharth Anand is being mocked on X after he said Fighter failed to perform well at the box office as majority of Indians haven't flown in planes.

Siddharth Anand's Fighter released in theatres on January 25, but did not perform per expectations on the opening day. The film stars Hrithik Roshan as an Indian Air Force (IAF) officer. Now, in a new interview with Galatta Plus, director Siddharth Anand has addressed the average response of the film at the box office. His claim that Fighter is a completely new territory for the Indian audience as 90% of them have not flown in planes is grabbing attention. (Also read: Siddharth Anand on comparisons between Fighter and Tom Cruise's Top Gun: 'Start looking at our films with more respect')

What Siddharth Anand said

Siddharth Anand and Hrithik Roshan have previously collaborated on the films Bang Bang (2014) and War (2019).

In the interview with Galatta Plus, Siddharth Anand shared why he thinks Fighter did not do the opening day numbers as expected. He said, “Fighter is a huge leap. As filmmakers to do in this in the country, and the kind of genre it is. Its a space that is unexplored, and is absolutely new. It has no reference point for the audience, that means what they are seeing is a little... accha... such big stars, a commercial director, accha ye planes kya kar rahi he (what are these planes doing)? I am like is this my film, I don't know this. If you realize, there is a huge percentage of our country... I would say 90% who have not flown in planes! Who have not been to an airport! So how do you expect them to know what's happening in the air?”

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Reactions to Siddharth Anand's Fighter comment

Siddharth Anand is facing criticism for his comment about the reason for Fighter's box office performance. Speaking about the filmmaker's 2023 blockbuster Pathaan, a person tweeted, “Pathaan was hit because 90% Indians are RAW agents.” The spy film featured Shah Rukh Khan in lead role.

Another tweeted, “12th Fail was hit because 90% Indians are twelfth fail??” Vidhu Vinod Chopra's 2023 film 12th Fail is based on IPS officer Manoj Kumar Sharma's life, with Vikrant Massey playing the lead role. Manoj overcame poverty to become an IPS officer.

A third X user also joked, “And Dangal was a blockbuster because 130% indians are into wrestling.” The 2016 sports drama was directed by Nitesh Tiwari and was based on the life of Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari.

'The genre of it is very new'

In the same interview, Siddharth had further said, "This is my dissection. They felt like this is a little alien. How many percentage of Indians... I mean this is a variation, for an academic discussion, how many of them have a passport? How many travelled in a plane? You are talking about plane's action. They have not understood what is the exhilaration that they are supposed to feel the action? There's a certain initial disconnect like 'Mujhe nahi pata ye kya hai (I do not know what is happening)! But once you enter the auditorium, you realize this is such a basic film. It is an emotional kahaani, a very desi story. It appeals to the lowest common denominator as a story. The genre of it is very new and I think that was the initial hesitance."

Fighter is said to be a tribute to the sacrifice and patriotism of the Indian armed forces. The film revolves around a new elite unit, Air Dragons, which is commissioned by the Air Headquarters in response to militant activities in the Srinagar Valley.

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