The Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Pathaan was released last month, on January 25, and ever since, it has broken several records in India. Even overseas, it has managed to achieve historical collections in several territories. Now, director Siddharth Anand’s action entertainer will achieve a significant milestone this Friday. On February 24, it will have a grand release in Bangladesh. Interestingly, Pathaan will be the first Bollywood film to have a release in the neighbouring country after nearly 8 years.
For those who are unaware, there has been a ban on Indian films in Bangladesh for more than 5 decades. The ban was lifted temporarily in 2015 and the Salman Khan-starrer Wanted (2009) became the first Indian film that saw a release in Bangladesh. However, it led to a massive protest in the country by the local actors and filmmakers who felt that it could cripple the Bangladeshi film industry. The protest was led by popular Bangladeshi actor Shakib Khan. The protestors, meanwhile, ripped the posters of Wanted and also requested moviegoers queuing outside the theatre to boycott the film. Angry exhibitors, meanwhile, decided to boycott the films starring Shakib Khan.
As per reports, films like Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots (2009) and Shah Rukh Khan’s My Name Is Khan (2010) had also released at the time in Bangladesh. But due to the protests and pressure from the local film industry, the ban was re-imposed. Meanwhile, Bangladesh Bollywood buffs continued to catch the new releases on pirated prints.
However, as per reports, as many as 19 film-related associations have unanimously agreed to allow the release of Hindi films in Bangladeshi theatres. However, the catch is that only 10 Hindi films will be allowed to be released in the neighbouring country in a year.
This decision has led to discussions not just among movie buffs in the country but also experts and industry people. A few of them believe that the decision to allow Hindi films can be detrimental to the local film industry. On the other hand, several people are of the opinion that Hindi films can give a new lease of life to the exhibition sector in Bangladesh, especially after Covid havoc. Some also argued that when Hollywood films are allowed to be released, then there’s no reason why Hindi films can’t be screened in the cinemas of Bangladesh.
Pathaan also stars Deepika Padukone and John Abraham. The details regarding the screen count will emerge closer to the release date.
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