Art & Entertainment

Rani Mukerji Believes 'Pathaan' Revitalized Cinema Post-COVID, Salutes Aditya Chopra's Conviction

Rani Mukerji discussed how important 'Pathaan's theatrical release was, post-pandemic. She praised Aditya Chopra's conviction on not releasing films on OTT platforms.

Vogue India
Rani Mukerji Photo: Vogue India
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Actress Rani Mukerji was present at the FICCI Frames event in Mumbai where she recalled about her and her husband Aditya Chopra’s process of making the 2023 hit ‘Pathaan.’ She talked about how the film was not only a game-changer for Yash Raj Films but also for paved the way for theatrical releases post the pandemic.

She said at the event, “During the pandemic, Adi (Aditya Chopra) had these couple of big films that were to be released. They were those commercial potboilers, which started in the pre-pandemic time. Unfortunately, when the pandemic started, there was a question mark on all the films. And that’s the time when I observed my husband closely because there were no talks of films releasing. There was a lot of pressure on filmmakers to release all these films on OTT and a lot of them were doing that. The biggest films were releasing on OTT. And my husband was completely calm and composed.”

“I would use the word ‘conviction’, that my husband had, and he said, ‘These movies were made for theatricals, for the audiences at large to enjoy. I would want to release these films theatrically.’ He was being offered a lot of money to release it on OTT, which would be a win-win situation for the OTT platform, and for the producers, where he was making a profit by releasing it on OTT,” she talked of how he refused to release the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer on OTT without a theatrical release.

The actress also highlighted how the success of ‘Pathaan’ played a crucial role in bringing things back on track for YRF. “In time when the films came, all of those films flopped because the whole way the audience watched content changed overnight because of OTT. All these films failed at the box office and it took a complete hit commercially because none of the films did well. It was like complete depression. People were sad in our company and the whole conviction that Adi stood with that his movies would be released theatrically. We thought that there would be some divine intervention and that he would be rewarded for his conviction of releasing films theatrically, and everything kind of didn’t work for us. Then came ‘Pathaan.’ It changed the entire thing forward at Yash Raj. When God gives, he does so in abundance. He just tests your courage. Adi had that courage and I salute that.”

The ‘Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway’ actress emphasized that “‘Pathaan’ stood the test of time and opened the floodgates for people going into cinemas.”

The film stars Khan, Deepika Padukone and John Abraham, and crossed ₹1,000 crore at worldwide box office collections. The film, helmed by Siddharth Anand, released on January 25, 2023, and became the highest grosser of 2023.

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