The latest Nationwide Sensation “URI: The Surgical Strike” starring Vicky Kaushal and Yami Gautam in the lead roles is a certified blockbuster and is the first hit for Bollywood in 2019. Loved by millions and with over 150 cr gross domestically, let’s go ahead and analyze the reasons behind this gargantuan success.
5. Right Place Right Time
Being the first movie to release in 2019, the release date of January 11, 2019, worked wonders for the film’s success especially because of two primary reasons. First of all, no movie released in the previous week on January 4 and on January 18 (the following week after the release) had no big releases cause movies like ‘Why Cheat India’, ‘Fraud Saiyaan’, ‘Rangeela Raja’ were deemed to fail despite having a star-studded cast. Furthermore, Uri is just coming off the enormous success of Rohit Shetty ‘Simmba’, and people are on a high to watch another entertaining movie in the theatres.
4. A Nationwide Phenomenon
With over 120 crores gross domestically, Uri metamorphosed into a gigantic blockbuster and is not only popular among the Hindi-speaking community, but also the entire nation variegated with different languages. I personally watched the movie in an almost packed theatre, 11 days after the release on January 22 in a tiny city in Andhra Pradesh where Telugu is the primary language and only big-shot Hindi films of Khan’s and Kapoor’s release from time to time. The same trend is chronic all across South and East part of the country where people are curious and excited to watch (especially) in theatres, which only happens for a few special films in a calendar year.
3. Emotional Manipulation and Patriotism
Now, Indians are ALL IN for a good shot of emotion and patriotism in real-life, movies and even on the inter-webs (just take a look at the enormous view counts of the dumb foreign YouTube reaction channels make on a daily basis just by staring and making dishonest (shocking) reactions). We all LOVE sweet and high praises, which is why almost every patriotic movie has a shot of the Indian flag flying high, or someone shouting ‘Mera Bharat Mahan’ or in this movie’s case ‘Indian Armyyyyyy!’ These ‘patriotic’ sequences manipulate our emotions instead of earning them, as the filmmakers adjust or even alter the actual facts for our viewing pleasure and making the movie entertaining to watch. Director Aditya Dhar duplicated the exact similar formula in Uri which works with the audience by making sure that there is an emotional, tear-jerking scene in the middle of the film to kick-start the actual storyline. But hey, who am I to criticize him for using that scene, he certainly understands what works and what doesn’t.
2. An Intense Thriller Based on True Events
Coupled with the emotional drama are the action and the combat scenes, which for the most part, were shot and produced well on-screen, which in turn gave the film a more realistic and a vivid vibe. But, the most important and crucial part of the conversation and one of the main reasons why the film is a gigantic success is because it is ‘based’ on true events. Although it is no ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ when it comes to execution and legitimacy, Uri at least showcases the brave steps taken by the Indian Govt. despite colossal pressure and constraint from the opposition parties. ‘Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures!’
It is the main reason why movies are succeeding these days. Take stock of last year, ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’, ‘Stree’, ‘Badhaai Ho’ were all smaller and low budget movies turned into blockbusters by the audience through word-of-mouth and this implies to any movie around the world. In spite of the fact that critics panned Uri calling below average to bad, the audiences’ WOM worked tremendously for the film, and the evidence is right there on the bookmyshow app where the movie scored a magnificent 90%. It once again proves the point that the general movie-going audience does not walk into the theatre listening to a critic but to his WhatsApp and Facebook friends.