This Friday, It’s Vidya Balan Versus Dhanush; Get Ready To Witness The Sherni Vs Jagame Thandiram Clash

Box-office clashes have shifted base nearer home. This Friday on OTT witness Sherni Vs Jagame Thandiram.

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This Friday, It’s Vidya Balan Versus Dhanush; Get Ready To Witness The Sherni Vs Jagame Thandiram Clash
Couch rivalry has finally arrived in India. Boxoffice clashes were  quite prevalent in the past, for example the historic clash between Lagaan and Gadar Ek Prem Katha 20 years ago on June  15, 2001. But now these clashes have shifted base nearer  home. This Friday on the OTT platform Netflix has decided to upstage their nearest rival Amazon with their action-clogged Tamil Dhanush starrer Jagame Thandiram about a  Tamilian gagster taking on his enemies on the streets of London.

A week prior to Netflix’s announcement Amazon had  announced  its Vidya Balan starrer Sherni about a forest officer taking on poachers on June 18,  the  same  date as Dhanush’s cinema-converted-into-OTT blockbuster. Also read: Sherni, Jagame Thandhiram, And More Interesting Content Coming Up This Week, Save These For Your Weekend Binge!

Can Vidya Balan take on Dhanush? The Sherni  team  thinks it  has a linguistic  advantage. “It’s  in Hindi therefore it automatically  captures  more eyeballs  than   a Dhanush  starrer in Tamil,” one of the actors from Sherni tells me.  Also read: Sherni: Vidya Balan, 'We Have Been Brought Up To Believe That It’s A Man’s World' - EXCLUSIVE

 This  line of thought in this  day and age when cinema  from all over the world is  a click away, is not just fallacious  but  also  self-defeating .This is the era of  democratic digital platforms where Indian audiences watch film in all Indian and foreign languages. The cinematic supremacy  of  Hindi in Indian cinema is  long over. The Great Indian Kitchen  in Malayalam was watched by more people on  OTT than  Coolie No.1 and  Radhe.

Given the  changed scenario and dynamics of  the boxoffice,would Sherni be  able to  hold its own against  the  Tamilan Sher(lion)?  I am not  too sure. Though known for her  strong  women-oriented  parts  Vidya Balan  has hardly  ever proven herself a safe  boxoffice draw. Kahani her only boxoffice hit  came 9 years  ago.  Since then the  Vidya-centric flops—Ghanchakkar, Bobby Jasoos, Kahani 2, Te3n, Tumhari Sallu  and  Begum Jaan—have piled  up.

That apart, Sherni  with its  bland plot and  anaemic  dialogues hardly looks inviting. The last time  a powerful heroine Sridevi,with her  terrific boxoffice draw, played Sherni, the  film released  in 1988 was  a massive flop, and is  remembered  today only for Sridevi’s  co-star Shatrughan Sinha’s famous  quote, “Sridevi played the  Sherni. I  played  the Bakra.”

As  for Dhanush’s film it has been in  the  news from its announcement when the main antagonist  was announced to be  Pierce  Brosnon , then Al Pacino. It is  finally The Game  Of Thrones actor James Cosmo.All the  potential viewers  of  Jagame Thandhiram are familiar with  Como’s cosmos. Language  and  race  no  barrier.

Image source: SpotboyE archive