Despite positive reviews, the Emraan Hashmi and Humaima Malick starrer “Raja Natwarlal” has failed to make an impact at both the international and domestic box office.
The movie which has been directed by Kunal Deshmukh, who has previously helmed successful films such as Jannat and Jannat 2, had already generated a lot of controversy before its release due to the on-screen initimacy between Emraan Hashmi and Humaima Malick.
This is Hashmi’s first film to have completely failed at the Pakistani box office after his previous releases such as Jannat, Jannat 2 and Murder 2 enjoyed a good run at the local box office. Even his lesser known releases, such as the 2013 crime caper comedy Ghanchakkar, had exceeded expectations recieving decent showings.
Renowned film critic and trade analyst Nawab Huzoorul Hasan also expressed his surprise at the failure of the film stating that, “It is strange that the younger lot did not respond to an Emraan Hashmi film as expected, especially the girls as he has always attracted humongous crowds to local theatres,” Hasan told The Express Tribune.
“I personally saw bits of the film and frankly there is not enough box office attraction within the film, in spite of the fact that we have a Pakistani leading lady. Even the chemistry didn’t seem to work between the lead characters,” said Hasan.
However, factors like the ongoing unrest in Islamabad need to be considered before giving a final verdict on the film’s performance. “We cannot rule out the fact that the movie has suffered from the current political unrest in the country, especially in Islamabad and Lahore. Several cinemas in Karachi aslo remained closed on Sunday due to protests in the city.”
Raja Natwarlal is a crime caper comedy film set against the backdrop of the sinister world of gambling with Emraan Hashmi playing the titular character Raja who seeks the help of his mentor Yogi (Paresh Rawal) to settle a score with the gangster Vardha Yadav (Kay Kay Menon).
Made on a budget of INR350 million by the UTV Motion Pictures, the movie marks the debut of Pakistani TV and Movie star Humaima Malick, who made her feature film debut with the 2011 drama Bol. Her captivating performance in the movie shot her to instant fame and led her to being associated as the face of the resurgent Pakistani cinema.
Released on about 2,000 screens in India on Friday Raja Natwarlal has underperformed miserably earning INR110 million in two days and is expected to cross the INR200 million mark in about a week’s time.
Critics have praised the writing and performances of the film while singling out the romance and music as the weak links of the movie. The film boasted of seasoned and veteran actors such as Paresh Rawal and Kay Kay Menon, but their presence alone wasn’t enough to elevate the meager box office of the film.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 2nd, 2014.
Like Life & Style on Facebook, follow @ETLifeandStyle on Twitter for the latest in fashion, gossip and entertainment.