With crackers and confetti, dancing and drumbeats, and whistles galore, Shah Rukh Khan’s Jawan got off to an exuberant start on Thursday morning with audiences streaming into theatres across India– all the way from Srinagar to Chennai.
The thriller in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu is directed by South filmmaker Atlee, and if scenes inside and outside theatres in cities such as Jaipur, Jammu, Mumbai, and Kolkata are any indication, Shah Rukh’s second film after “Pathaan” may have hit an early winning streak.
Ahead of the film’s release, #BoycottJawan trended on social media for a while with some users calling for the film’s boycott because it is distributed by Red Giant Movies in Tamil Nadu. The company is owned by Tamil Nadu minister Udhayanidhi Stalin, who has courted massive controversy for his comments against Sanatan Dharma.
SRK’s fans on X hit out at the actor’s detractors, saying the film will beat their negative campaign to become a blockbuster.
The controversy, however, didn’t appear to gather much momentum.
Theatres in several cities went ahead with their plans for early morning shows to maximize the excitement and Janmashtami, a holiday in many parts of the country.
In Mumbai, fans queued up in large numbers at the Gaiety Galaxy in Bandra and were seen frantically dancing to drum beats inside a theatre, recalling celebrations seen during the festive season.
Fans were also seen forming a human pyramid outside a theatre at a 6 a.m. show.
There were similar scenes inside a cinema hall in Chennai where fans broke into whistles as the film unspooled in front of them.
At Bengaluru’s Urvashi Cinema, a huge gathering was seen for the first show of the film.
A young woman, who came to watch with her friend, told PTI, “We are very excited. We came here to dance on the movie. I’m a very big Shah Rukh Khan fan, I love him.”
In Hyderabad, hundreds of SRK fans gathered at the Devi Theatre, placed large cutouts of the superstar, threw confetti, and danced their hearts out before the first show early on Thursday. Many donned SRK’s looks from the movie.
Jawan is described by makers as a high-octane thriller outlining “the emotional journey of a man who is set to rectify the wrongs in the society”. It also stars Vijay Sethupathi and Nayanthara.
Trade experts are betting big on Jawan as they believe the movie will outperform Pathaan.
Jawan also features Sanya Malhotra, Priyamani, Girija Oak, Sanjeeta Bhattacharya, Lehar Khan, Aaliyah Qureshi, Ridhi Dogra, Sunil Grover, and Mukesh Chhabra as well as Deepika Padukone in a special appearance.
A Red Chillies Entertainment presentation, Jawan is produced by Gauri Khan and co-produced by Gaurav Verma.