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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Weekend
CHINA OUTSPENDS INDIA ON BOLLYWOOD FILM
    2018-February-2  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

BOLLYWOOD superstar Aamir Khan’s “Secret Superstar” earned more in China within days of its release than it did in totality in India.

Khan’s latest film topped China’s box-office charts for five days since Jan 19, raking in around 250 million yuan (US$39 million).

Although the 150-minute film is longer than the usual length of films most Chinese moviegoers are comfortable with, its story won over many local fans.

Reviews from netizens have accumulated in high scores on popular websites, such as 8.0 points out of 10 on Douban and 9.5 on the box-office tracker Maoyan.

Set in Vadodara, a large city in the western Indian state of Gujarat, “Secret Superstar” centers on Insia Malik, a 14-year-old Muslim girl who strives to realize her dream of becoming a singer, with the support of her mother. Her father disapproves of her ambition and habitually hits her mother.

Teenage actress Zaira Wasim, who debuted in Khan’s earlier movie “Dangal,” which is among the top movies of all time in the Chinese box office, plays the protagonist in “Secret Superstar,” while Khan plays a quirky pop musician who helps the girl realize her dream.

Most Chinese netizens say they shed tears watching the film despite the story seeming cliched as it unfolds with a series of easy-to-guess plot twists.

“It’s a typical Khan production. The story looks like a follow-up of Khan’s television talk show ‘Satyamev Jayate’ (Truth Alone Triumphs) and his daughter-themed films,” says the netizen Qingtong Xiaoshou, whose review has been marked as “useful” by more than 1,000 people on Douban.

“Khan again proves his charm. The movie is very entertaining and thought-provoking.”

“Satyamev Jayate” is Khan’s television show that has aired in India since 2012 and focuses on the country’s social issues, such as child sex abuse, gender violence, “honor killings” and domestic violence.

For most Chinese industry watchers contacted by China Daily, “Secret Superstar” is predicted to maintain a good position at the box office thanks to the word-of-mouth praise and marketing.

Since last week, director Advait Chandan along with Wasim have toured cities on the mainland to promote the movie, followed by more hyped-up promotional events by Khan earlier this week.

In Beijing, for example, Khan discussed the movie with Chinese critics and played an exhibition table tennis match with Liu Guoliang, a world champion, Tuesday.

As the former coach of China’s national table tennis team, Liu once organized athletes to collectively watch “Dangal,” when they were training for the World Table Tennis Championships last year.

With an astonishing box-office taking of nearly 1.3 billion yuan, “Dangal,” a biographical drama about a former wrestler, has become the highest-grossing non-Hollywood film in China ever.

Khan, 52, has expanded his influence among Chinese fans. Earlier he was called “India’s Andy Lau,” referencing the iconic Hong Kong film star, for making his status in India better understood by Chinese. But this year onward, he is being called “Uncle Aamir” by media and fans, exemplifying his rising popularity.

Chandan, who has worked with Khan earlier, says he is excited about his directorial debut’s success in China.

“I think the credit goes to Aamir Khan, as his previous films — “3 Idiots,” “PK” and “Dangal” — have really impressed the Chinese audiences, and therefore opened the gates for Indian films. I’m simply enjoying the fruits of their hard work,” Chandan tells China Daily in an email.

Two years later than its Indian premiere in 2009, “3 Idiots” was released in China in 2011. But for both “PK,” which opened in China in 2015, and “Dangal” in 2017, the delays were less than six months.

This time, Chinese fans only waited three months to watch “Secret Superstar,” showing that Indian films have become more competitive among foreign films.

Speaking about his inspiration for “Secret Superstar,” Chandan says he had always wished to produce a film for his mother, his own “secret superstar” to encourage him to pursue his cinematic dream. And he was also inspired by a mother’s story from Khan’s hit television show “Satyamev Jayate.”

“Also, the power of the Internet had a lot so much of influence on people in India. Therefore, I incorporated into in my film as well,” Chandan says.

“I was trying to imply what is happening in India, where young girls have begun to fight for their dreams and rights. In the 1970s, there was this famous notion of the ‘angry young man’ in India. Now, I feel the real heroes are the ‘angry young girls’ in India. They are fierce, ambitious, independent heroes who aren’t scared to voice their opinion. So, I made the protagonist of my first film a 14-year-old girl who doesn’t rest until she has achieved her goal,” the director adds.

He also attributes the success to Wasim, who, in his point of view, has given a natural and seemingly effortless performance in the film.

Now, wishing to cooperate with Chinese filmmakers in the future, Chandan went to see two Chinese movies during his trip in China.

“The (filming) techniques might be different (in the two countries), but the emotions conveyed in the films are universal.”

(chinadaily.com.cn)

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