Arré Checklist: How Protest Publicity Can Make Manikarnika and Super 30 a Hit

Bollywood

Arré Checklist: How Protest Publicity Can Make Manikarnika and Super 30 a Hit

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

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t’s another proud moment for Rajasthan, as yet another freaking fringe outfit, this time a group called Sarva Brahman Mahasabha, has begun protesting another movie – the upcoming Kangana Ranaut-starrer Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. The premise? The usual! Distorting history, hurting sentiments, yada yada yada. Originality is clearly not the Mahasabha’s strong suit, as their entire protest and bone of contention (a supposed love affair) is a beat-for-beat remake of the Rajput Karni Sena’s opposition to Padmaavat.

All said and done, Padmaavat, which turned out to be one of Bhansali’s biggest (and most expensive) brainfarts, made a ton of cash on the back of the Karni Sena’s stunts. Those who wanted to protect freedom of speech went to watch it and those who wanted to kill Bhansali went to watch it as well. Either way, Bhansali won. Is Kangana hoping for a win? Should filmmakers now rely on protests to drum up interest in their projects? Are good old posters, teasers, trailers, teaser trailers, and controversial bytes no longer enough?

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