It came as a shock to fans when Thugs of Hindostan, starring Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, bombed at the box office. The period drama that promised to be one of the grandest films of the year, was panned unanimously by critics and audience alike. Despite being released on 7000 screens worldwide, the film struggled to make even Rs 150 crore at the ticket window.
At a recent conference, Aamir Khan took full responsibility for the debacle. The 53-year-old actor said, “I take the full responsibility of Thugs not working with the audience. You can be sure that we tried our level best but somewhere we went wrong. There are a few people who liked the film. I would like to thank them. We realise that most of the people did not like the film. I want to apologise to fans that I couldn’t entertain them the way they wanted, though we did try our best.”
Earlier, Aamir had received much support from Shah Rukh Khan, who is his friend in the industry. He had said it was heartbreaking and that people have been too harsh on the film. “I would like to say something. It’s a little personal and I don’t know whether it’s right to say it or not. This is something that’s saddened me and so I want to share it. When it happened to me personally, I wasn’t so sad, but this time I am.
“There are people who have given excellence to cinema for years. A film can be good, a film can be bad; none of us can ever claim ki maine duniya ki sabsi achchi film banayi hain. Mr Bachchan and Aamir have been people who have constantly contributed to the excellence of cinema,” SRK added.
Shah Rukh also said that Aamir and Amitabh have made a significant contribution to cinema in their career. “The greatest contribution to Hindi cinema in the last 10 years has been from Aamir, and with Amitji, it’s been even longer. Now if a film of theirs (Thugs of Hindostan) doesn’t reach the level that you expected it to, does it take away from what they have done for cinema? I think some people have been a little too harsh. It’s heartbreaking. It doesn’t mean that their spirit is broken, they are all amazing artistes who will bounce back.”
SRK added that people have been too hard on the film. “I also think that Thugs of Hindostan is fantastic. Sometimes we do go wrong, but Aamir has never done a film in which he hasn’t put in his best. I’ve known him for 20 years. And if there’s anyone who can put in even more effort than Aamir which Aamir will also agree it’s Amitji… and at this age! So they’ve come in with good hearts and great talent and tried to make a film which tries to open up a new genre.”
As if being slammed by critics wasn’t enough, the entire film was leaked online in HD print by the piracy website TamilRockers. This also made a huge dent in the collection of the film.
Thugs Of Hindostan revolves around the “thugs” led by the fierce Khudabaksh (Amitabh Bachchan), who pose a threat to the John Clive-led East India Company in 1795 Hindostan. The British recruit Firangi Mallah (Aamir Khan) to infiltrate the band of rebels and get them the leader of the thugs.