Aamir Khan took the bar - both commercially and critically - quite a few notches up with Dangal. So, naturally there were a lot of expectations from his next offering, Secret Superstar that has Zaira Wasim in the lead. Aamir Khan appears too in a special role in the movie.
Secret Superstar is set to release in 1,100 screens on Diwali, October 19. Trade analyst, Girish Johar believes that the fact that Aamir Khan is releasing Secret Superstar on Diwali, reflects his confidence on the movie. Films are usually released around Diwali and seldom on the same day. Already, Aamir Khan mentioned in an event that he believes that Secret Superstar is a bigger film than Dangal, in terms of what it is trying to say.
While Dangal was about how two daughters fulfil a father's lifelong dream, Secret Superstar is about a teenager fighting against all odds to achieve her dream. Irrespective of its strong plot, will Secret Superstar be able to match up to Dangal at the box office or break the boundaries that the biopic did? In a report, Forbes predicted that the Zaira Wasim-starrer would collect Rs 1,000 crore.
That whopping amount is indeed possible, if the movie is released in China.
In fact, every movie of Aamir Khan's since 2008 has been a commercial hit. Up till 3 Idiots, Aamir Khan's fanfare was mostly restricted to India. But something about 3 Idiots resonated with the Chinese audience, perhaps the same familial and academic issues, along with the movie's running theme of friendship propelled 3 Idiots to the cult status it now enjoys. In fact, Dhoom 3 was also received well, and PK too. PK managed to earn 20 million USD in China alone, which is more than any Indian film had earned anywhere outside India at that time. And then came Dangal, that shattered all box office records in both India and China. Even now, no Hollywood movie except for Transformers 3 has overtaken Dangal in China since May.
So, Aamir Khan's appearance in Secret Superstar would definitely help the small-budget movie.
Although India and China differ vastly when it comes to political issues, the social fabric of both the countries is cut from the same cloth. Strong familial ties and expectations from children could be one reason Dangal fared so well in China. Secret Superstar has also been made along the same lines and could resonate with the Chinese audience.
Another reason Dangal managed to become such a blockbuster hit was because of its underlying theme of female empowerment. In recent times, movies with similar content have found a strong footing in China. Like in India, Chinese women too have to face a lot of social hurdles to achieve their dream and make something of their lives. Hence, there is a strong possibility that Secret Superstar is wholeheartedly accepted by the Chinese audience.
The release date in China has not been fixed as of now but it is likely to be released soon. Even President Xi Jinping in his meeting with PM Modi mentioned that he loved Dangal and hopes that more such movies come to China.
Initial responses from critics are pouring in and the movie has received positive reviews. Zaira Wasim has been especially praised for her performance. It still remains to be seen how the audiences from all across the globe react to Secret Superstar.