Two big-banner films – Pushpa and Spider-Man: No Way Home – released in cinemas within a day of each other this week, proving to be crowd-pullers despite offering primarily non-Hindi content.
Contrary to expectations, Pushpa clashed with the Marvel film and continued to perform at the box office.
Anupam Reddy, secretary of the Telangana State Film Chamber of Commerce, noticed that as Pushpa released, occupancy for shows screening Spider-Man: No Way Home, that was running successfully at 100%, has reduced to a 90%. “More shows are screened for Pushpa, as it is a regional content,” he told Silverscreen India.
Silverscreen India brings to you a compilation of reviews, from both critics as well as the audience of films that released offline and online.
Directed by Sukumar, Pushpa features actors Allu Arjun, Rashmika Mandanna, and Fahadh Faasil in lead roles. The story revolves around the titular character, Pushpa Raj, and is set against the backdrop of red sandalwood smuggling.
For Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India, while the film has a working-class hero, it “is sternly cold towards the plight of the forest-dwellers and workers caught between the state and the mafia. Sukumar erases the several layers of history from the forest and shoots the woods in wide-angle lenses”.
Mukesh Manjunath of Film Companion, reflects similar sentiments and writes, “The red sanders, which has driven the people mad after power, gives Pushpa a sense of identity and respect. But the story settles for using it as a mere theme to stack set pieces on, instead of exploring what Pushpa might be willing to sacrifice for it”.
For Sankeertana Varma of Firstpost, while the film promises craft and thought, it fizzles out in prioritising the temptation to create a superhuman hero. “A hero who can hurt someone in creative ways gets whistles. But three hours is a long time and claps and whistles can only take you so far,” she says.
Pushpa which released in Hindi, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam has collected Rs 45 crore (net) in all languages, as per a Box Office India report, and over Rs 38 crores in just the Telugu-speaking states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Pushpa has an IMDb rating of 8.0.
The third part in the Spider-Man: Homecoming series released in India, on December 16, a day ahead of its global release on December 17.
It features actors Tom Holland, Zendaya and Jacob Batalon, who reprise their roles as Peter Parker, Michelle Jones or MJ, and Ned Leeds, respectively. The film also features Benedict Cumberbatch who essays Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The story follows Peter Parker alias Spider-Man as he fights multiple villains from earlier Spider-Man films who return after Doctor Strange unleashes the multiverse to help Parker.
For Anupama Chopra of Film Companion, the film is the exact the tonic that was needed in the post-pandemic era. “Some of the action sequences hover on the edge of impersonal and the film’s midsection hits flat notes. But [director Jon] Watts gathers the various narrative threads and yanks up the adrenalin with skill.”
Pradeep Menon of Firstpost says “Full credit to the film that, despite it feeling unwieldy at times, it manages to ensure too many villains don’t end up spoiling the broth. Neither does the excess of feel-good drama and checkbox-ticking on display.”
The film has managed to earn a whopping Rs 33 crore (nett) on its first day, Rs 20 crore on the second day, and Rs 26 crore on the third day, thereby, taking up the tally to Rs 79 crore, according to a Box Office India report.
According to the report, multiplexes around the country are seeing houseful shows and it has managed to overtake collections of some of the biggest releases in the last few months.
The Hollywood film has beaten the total amount collected by Akshay Kumar-starrer Sooryavanshi in West Bengal and East Punjab. The film was the highest grosser after theatres re-opened post the Covid-19 induced lockdown. Across India, the film has clocked in the third-best opening post-pandemic after Vakeel Saab (Telugu) and Master (Tamil), the report stated.
The film has a current IMDb rating of 9.1.
Apart from the aforementioned films, the television show Decoupled, that features R Madhavan and Surveen Chawla in lead roles released on Netflix.