New Delhi, Jan 25 (EFE).- Indian film actor Shah Rukh Khan, popularly known as “the king of Bollywood” or SRK, on Wednesday returned to theaters after four years with spy-thriller “Pathaan,” a film that has grabbed headlines in recent weeks for various reasons.
“#Pathaan is finally here… See you at the Big Screen,” Khan tweeted on Wednesday.
The film opened on Wednesday in three languages simultaneously, with many theaters being sold out from as early as 6 am.
Along with co-actors Deepika Padukone and John Abraham, Khan stars in a mainstream entertainer full of explosions and actions scenes with a story revolving around a fictional nuclear threat to India.
Khan’s fans took to social media to share videos of jam-packed theaters and fans dancing on some of the songs in the soundtrack, especially “Besharam Rang,” which has received over 238 million views on Youtube already.
The video had triggered controversy among Hindu fundamentalists ahead of the release, as Padukone is seen wearing a saffron bikini – a color considered sacred in Hinduism – and the song’s title means “shameless color,” which led to some hardline Hindu groups protesting against the movie and calling for its boycott.
Khan had to intervene personally on Sunday, when he called the chief minister of the northeastern state of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, after the film’s promotional hoardings were vandalized by members of the Hinduist group Bajrang Dal.
“Bollywood actor Shri @iamsrk called me and we talked today morning at 2 am. He expressed concern about an incident in Guwahati during screening of his film. I assured him that it’s duty of state govt to maintain law & order. We’ll enquire and ensure no such untoward incidents,” said Sarma, who belongs to the Hindu right wing Bharatiya Janata Party,
However, the controversy seems to have had no affect on ticket sales for the movie, as film critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh said that it had sold 500,000 tickets on the first day and was being screened on more than 8,000 screens, including around 2,500 cinemas overseas.
The mega-production directed by Siddharth Anand has been shot in eight foreign countries, including Spain, France and Italy. EFE