Gone are the days when we in the Third World had to wait years on end to watch an “English movie” on the big screen.
In fact, sometime during the past decade or so, India must’ve come a really long way seeing as how ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ will be released in India before it hits theaters anywhere else in the world.
Social media is abuzz with said news. Deepika Padukone is chirping merrily about it, too.
इंडिया बेसब्री से तुम्हारा इंतज़ार कर रहा है! जल्द ही मुलाकात होगी, १२ और १३ जनवरी को!
हम सबका ढेर सारा प्यार! ❤ pic.twitter.com/VYqJ76WkjG
— Deepika Padukone (@deepikapadukone) January 3, 2017
Everyone is talking about it. But nobody is talking about why that is. Worry not! That’s what we’re here for. Here’s why Hollywood thinks breaking tradition and releasing a movie in India before anywhere else is a good idea.
For starters, ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ has two things Indians love — an Indian actor and a muscular man.
Even a cursory glance at the reigning “superstars” of India will show that the Indian masses seem to love muscular men — Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, and the two Johnny-come-latelys to the muscle brigade, Aamir and Shah Rukh. And if anyone from Paramount Pictures has ever met a desi, they will have noticed our tendency to gravitate towards all things Indian.
Nora Jones wins 8 Grammies, India proudly accepts Pt. Ravishankar’s bastard child, even though Ravishankar never did. 3rd generation Indian-American kid wins the spelling bee, India celebrates; 2nd generation Indian-American kid wins a science/math competition in America, and it sends the Indian media into a tizzy.
Admit it, we like taking credit for stuff. Especially where it isn’t due.
Let’s call it the Yay India Syndrome. I mean, if a stupid show like ‘Quantico’ can work just because it’s got an Indian actor in the lead, xXx is going to do just fine. It’s got Vin Diesel, for God’s sake, and Deepika Padukone, too.
Then there’s the simple truth of numbers. India’s sheer population makes it a more-than-feasible market. Upwards of one billion moviegoers plus that whole “Yay India” thing discussed earlier, equals a neat little profit for Paramount Pictures if they release in India first.
And, even if they don’t make a profit, they will definitely break even. Because everybody who’s anybody will make the time to watch Indian heroine with Hollywood hero. That’s just the way it is.
Tragic and pathetic though it may be, Indians set too much store by all things gora and firangi. Look at AR Rahman. He was always good. But never was he appreciated as much as after he won two Oscars.
‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ is coming to India before anywhere else not because we’re special, or a discerning audience. It’s because we are many, and self-absorbed, and suffer from a chronic case of colonial hangover. So calm the fuck down, already!