Filmmaker Maneesh Sharma came to Mumbai with a dream of directing Shah Rukh Khan and he finally realises it with next week’s release FAN. Directing a film starring SRK in the lead has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The advantage is, Shah Rukh’s presence guarantees a good opening at the box office, but on the other side, his films also come with immensely high expectations. The burden of directing a Shah Rukh film, which is watched by millions of people worldwide, is huge. When expectations are high, the chances of disappointing the audience is higher and Sharma knows it.
He had earlier said “I was an assistant on Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and today I’m getting to direct Shah Rukh Khan. It’s a dream come true. I’m a big fan of his powerhouse talent. Fan comes with a lot of responsibility. I have followed SRK’s life since his Fauji days. There’s no way I can let him down”
From a box office point of view, Sharma’s films in the recent past haven’t really performed well. His debut film ‘Band Baaja Baarat’ did well, ‘Ladies vs Ricky Behl’ tanked, while ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’ just about recovered its investment because of its opening. His highest grosser to date is ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’ which collected Rs 47 crore at the box office.
Almost all films have only appealed to a tiny section of the audience. That would have to change with a film starring Shah Rukh in the lead.
With FAN, the onus is on the director to deliver a good film because in today’s times when the word-of-mouth is spreading quicker than ever, only films that are liked by the audience are performing well at the box office. The multiplex audience isn’t even willing to give bad films a chance, because the ticket prices are too high for the middle-class to afford – especially at big cities.
For Shah Rukh, the success of FAN will be important. His last release ‘Dilwale’ did well at the worldwide box office, but the general perception is that the Rohit Shetty film did not perform.
The box office outcome of FAN will also have a direct impact on the much-hyped Eid clash between ‘Raees’ vs ‘Sultan’. If FAN fails, ‘Sultan’ will have a massive advantage this Eid. If FAN does very well, the battle will be more even.
Box office and everything else aside, when it comes to a film like ‘FAN’, the expectations from Shah Rukh Khan fans is huge. Will Maneesh Sharma deliver?
FAN releases in theatres on April 15. Advance booking opens across all theatres on Sunday.