Ranbir ‘Shamshera’ Kapoor doesn’t want the same result as Thugs of Hindostan

Kapoor, his co-actor Vaani Kapoor and director Karan Malhotra downplay the perception of Shamshera sharing the same spirit of freedom like the 2018 Aamir Khan-starrer period, action adventure drama.

[L-R] Ranbir Kapoor in and as Shamshera [2022], Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan in Thugs of Hindostan [2018]

By Mayur Lookhar

In the age of social media, the traditional media comes much later as a film undergoes scrutiny the moment a poster/teaser/trailer is dropped on YouTube. Yash Raj Films had released the trailer of their period, action adventure drama Shamshera on 24 June.

The trailer has largely received positive response, however, it has also evoked a sense of déjà vu after some netizens opined that it partly suffers from Thugs of Hindostan [2018] hangover. Both are period, action adventure drama films. Both have a protagonist who doesn’t represent the civil society and there is the shadow of the evil British Raj lurking in them, and both are produced by Yash Raj Films. While it would be unfair to compare the two films, but we felt both films share the same spirit i.e. the spirit of freedom.

We sought the views of Shamshera lead actors Ranbir Kapoor, Vaani Kapoor and director Karan Malhotra on this aspect. The trio were unanimous in affirming that the two films are poles apart.

“I don’t think Shamshera is similar to any other film whether in spirit or story. It is an animal of its own,” Malhotra said emphatically.

The director backed his views with good reasons. He says, “I don’t think there is any accurate reference point to what Shamshera has eventually become in its complete form. Yes, it is a period film. We have British in it, there is a tribe, it has action and everything but when you see the film it will still feel like today’s film.”

“You watch an American film like a Braveheart [1995] or The Last of the Mohicans [1992], you still enjoy each one of them despite [they] being your period or historical films. You still like the crafting, the mounting of it. I would say that Shamshera would fall into that category of experience,” added Malhotra.

Lead actress Vaani Kapoor echoed the same sentiments. Says she, “It’s a very different film from Thugs of Hindsotan [2018] or any other film. It is a different concept with a different director, different cast, brainchild, a different vision altogether. I think it would be unfair to compare any film with any other film in the past or future. I hope every film gets its due respect and credit”.

Ranbir Kapoor was in sync with his co-actor and director and simply said, “I agree with them, but I just hope the result is different.”

Vaani Kapoor, who has a limited footage in the Shamshera trailer, also found her character being compared to Katrina Kaif’s cameo in Thugs of Hindostan. Vaani was quick to dispel such fears.

“There is only so much that you have seen in the trailer. One must be perceiving way more than one can understand from the trailer or the song that has come out. There is a different arc to my character. I’ve seen Thugs of Hindostan [2018], it is a different film. Katrina is a wonderful dancer, actor. If you’re comparing me [with someone] then please compare me with a beauty,” quipped Vaani.

Made at an estimated budget of over Rs300 crore, the Aamir Khan-starrer Thugs of Hindostan [2018] had opened to a record Rs48.27 crore nett box office collection, but the negative reviews and the poor word of mouth spelt doomsday for the Bollywood film as it came crashing down from day two onwards. The film made just over Rs138 crore nett in domestic business and was deemed a flop.

Shamshera [2022] is set to be released on 22 July.


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