(This article is authored by Alar)
Saif Ali Khan, who played the villainous Lankesh in the mega-budget film Adipurush, has finally spoken about the film’s dismal performance at the box office and the harsh criticism it received from the critics and the audience.
In an candid interview with Film Companion, the actor revealed that he does not consider himself a star who can carry any kind of project on his shoulders. He also said that he is not afraid of failure and that he learns from his mistakes.
Saif Ali Khan, who had earlier faced controversy for his comments on the film’s portrayal of Lankesh, said that he did not regret doing the film and that he enjoyed playing the character. He said that he was not delusional about his star power and that he did not take success or failure too seriously. He cited his 2019 film Laal Kaptaan, which was also a flop, as an example of his experimental approach to cinema.
“I’m not star enough to pull off anything,” he said with a laugh. “It’s nice to be realistic, and I’ve never actually thought of myself as a star, and I don’t really want to also. I like being a star, but I don’t want to be delusional. My parents are big stars, but very realistic, very normal. There’s so much more in life to be real about, my focus has always been on that…"
"The idea is not to be scared of failing. People say, ‘That was a brave choice…’ You talk about Adipurush, for example. People talk about risks, but if you fall on your face, it’s not a risk really. You have to have a few of those also, and it’s a part of the approach. You have to shrug it off, feel bad, and say, ‘Nice try, but bad luck, let’s go to the next one’.”
Adipurush, which was released on June 16, 2023, was a highly anticipated film that was touted as a retelling of the epic Ramayana. The film starred Prabhas and Kriti Sanon as Raghava and Janaki, the divine couple, while Saif Ali Khan portrayed Lankesh, the demon king. The film was directed by Om Raut, who had previously helmed the blockbuster Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior. The film had a whopping budget of over Rs 600 crore, making it one of the most expensive films ever made in India.
However, the film failed to live up to the expectations and was panned by the critics for its poor script, direction, and visual effects. The film also faced backlash from some sections of the audience who accused it of distorting the original story and hurting the sentiments of the Hindu community. The film could not recover its cost and was declared a box office disaster.