Hundreds are queuing up outside the Liberty Cinema, in Colombo, to see the controversial Bollywood blockbuster, “My Name Is Khan”, starring Bollywood heavyweight and international film icon Shah Ruk Khan.
According to Liberty Cinema manager P. K. J. Perera, the film has broken records already at the theatre. “We have had our highest collection ever for a 3pm screening,” he said.
|Film-goers queue up outside the Liberty Cinema, in Colombo yesterday to see “My Name Is Khan”.
The Indian-made, mostly America-set drama opened on Friday in India, the US and elsewhere.
The film seems set to rewrite box office history, smashing international box office records for the highest ever opening day collections for a Hindi film worldwide, beating its closest competitor, the hit “3 Idiots”, by almost 30 per cent.
In the film, Khan plays an Indian Muslim suffering from Asperger’s syndrome whose life in the United States changes after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. The love interest centres on Khan’s involvement with a Hindu single mother.
The movie has generated controversy in India because of Shah Ruk Khan’s expressed regret that members of the Pakistani Cricket Team had not been picked by clubs taking part in the 2010 Indian Premier League tournament.
Khan’s comment has drawn ire from the hard-line Hindu nationalist party, Shiv Sena. There have been anti-Shah Ruk Khan protests and demonstrations, and two cinemas in Mumbai screening the film came under attack on Friday.
More than 1,800 people have been arrested at protests against the film.
Tight security outside theatres where the film is being screened in India continued yesterday, with sporadic protests occurring in parts of Maharashtra,
The Sunday Times spoke to members of the audience streaming out of the Liberty Cinema after the matinee screening yesterday.
“It was really good,” said one of them, young moviegoer B. Galely. “The story was interesting and very emotional, and it had a good dose of humour,” he said.