Tiger Shroff has been the lead actor in three films so far in his three-year young career. Two of those have been directed by Sabbir Khan. Khan’s third film with Tiger Shroff, Munna Michael, releases this Friday.
Both their previous collaborations – Heropanti (Tiger’s high-profile debut) and Baaghi – have been hits in terms of lifetime box-office collections. Heropanti, made on a budget of 25 crore, tripled its investment earning up to 75 crores in its theatrical run. Tiger Shroff established a large fan-base with the film. It does help that there are not many full-blown action heroes left out there, except perhaps John Abraham and, to an extent, Vidyut Jammwal.
Martial arts drama Baaghi earned even more – up to 127 crores after being made on a budget of 35 crores. Tiger’s third film was the semi-satirical superhero action comedy, A Flying Jatt, directed by Remo D’Souza. This was the least of his ‘hits’, in terms of collections (it earned 56 on a budget of 35).
Third Time Lucky
Sabbir Khan and Shroff are now aiming for a ‘mass’ hat-trick with this one. After an old-school eloping drama and a Martial arts flick, Sabbir Khan seems to have now fashioned a professional-dance drama around Tiger, and new actress Nidhi Agerwal. One can’t fault them for exploring every possible physical variety of entertainment. It’s best to capitalize on Tiger’s skills (agility, strength), instead of trying to make him act too hard (like Salman Khan did in Tubelight).
The Munna Michael trailer dropped over a month ago. It clearly shows that even though this film is fashioned around a dancer, like most of Tiger’s films, this will be an old-fashioned hero-saves-the-day-and-heroine action drama. Dance is of course the peg and the selling point. Shroff’s moves do prove that he seems to have worked hard enough to pass off as India’s finest Michael Jackson emulator. He plays a typical ‘tapori’ with great ambitions (accent not withstanding), with Nawazuddin Siddiqui playing a gangster who needs to learn how to dance in a month. Nawazuddin will probably serve as comic relief till things get serious. There is a love triangle, given that Nidhi plays a starlet who might eventually be torn between hero and villain.
Most filmmakers are now picking up on the ‘Nawaz formula’ – that is, the practice of using his inimitable timing opposite largely conventional stars to have the best of both worlds. This one, too, could have its moments until it gets serious in the final act. There is, as always, a dance context to be won, too. One can almost envision the climax sequence intercut between life-saving histrionics and a dance for the ages.
The only problem for Munna Michael is its release date. On the same day, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is expected to leave the audience mindblown, while Alankrita Srivastava’s much-hyped indie, Lipstick Under My Burkha, will finally release. There will be a genre of film for each section of Indian audiences, and Tiger Shroff will hope that he serves as the light relief for shell-shocked Dunkirk viewers.
While we don’t assume this to be Tiger’s biggest hit, it’ll perhaps do better than A Flying Jatt. Coupled with Nawaz's charm, there is no doubt that Tiger's lucky streak will continue. Read more about Munna Michael here.