After Befikre disappointment, Aditya Chopra might just change track
Joginder Tuteja (DNA; January 16, 2017)

Befikre did barely Rs 48.75 crore in its first week. Now that’s a total which was expected in the opening weekend itself for the film which was announced with much fanfare almost a year ago. The message was loud and clear — the audience had given the film a big thumbs-down and that could well be evidenced in rapidly declining collections.

So what does the man behind an all-time blockbuster (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge) and a couple of other well received films (Mohabbatein, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi) do next?

“Well, definitely ‘not reinvent’ himself,” says a trade expert, tongue firmly in cheek, “He has had enough of that with Befikre. Clearly, Aditya Chopra is a brand and what audience expects is nothing, but unadulterated family fun with loads of entertainment. No one knows what really prompted him to try something like Befikre, which was neither entirely original (considering its similarities with Tamasha and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil), nor supremely entertaining. The biggest problem here was lack of content for family audiences. Now that’s not what you expect when someone like Adi Chopra makes a film after eight long years.”

What Aditya needs next is a three-point approach for his next. Firstly, he needs to make his next in the next three years itself. Secondly, the film has to appeal to family crowds. Thirdly, and most importantly, he needs to deliver a huge grosser now which matches to the level of at least Mohabbatein, if not DDLJ.

“Exactly,” an industry insider adds, “Aditya is too huge a Bollywood veteran to let one Befikre make him take a step back. As a matter of fact, what he needs to do next is instantly sprint ahead and deliver a biggie. What better way to do that than to pick up Yash Raj Films’ biggest franchise, Dhoom? The film is all set for its fourth installment, in any case. The earlier parts were accepted wholeheartedly by families. Also, it is set to be a huge grosser by all means. With this, it ticks all the boxes in the three-point approach.”

The immediate question is around the cast of the film. Now considering the fact that Aditya and Shah Rukh Khan are already slated to work together soon, it would only do wonders if that happens for Dhoom: 4.

As an antagonist, it would be a huge casting coup to have the superstar be the latest inclusion after John Abraham, Hrithik Roshan and Aamir Khan.

“As for the leading lady, don’t be surprised if Aditya’s current favorite Vaani Kapoor makes the cut,” the trade expert wonders, “Given her current looks and styling, it won’t be surprising if she ends up bagging a spot of one of the heroines in Dhoom: 4!”

The ball is now in Adi’s court now and if he indeed decides to direct Dhoom: 4 next, then rest assured, him jumping straight into the Rs 300 crore club is pretty much on the cards. All he needs to do is announce it quick, get the best and biggest star cast at his disposal and then call the shots!