Indian film “Dangal” has earned more than 450 million yuan (65 million U.S. dollars) in 11 days, becoming the highest grossing Indian movie in China.
The film is based on the true story of an Indian father, played by Aamir Khan, who challenged gender discrimination and taught his daughters to wrestle. The girls went on to become two of the world’s best female wrestlers, winning medals for their country at world events.
The low-budget film grossed nearly 100 million yuan in a single day on May 13, and its current attendance at cinemas has exceeded that of Disney and Marvel’s “Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2” released on the same day, May 5.
”Dangal” is rated 9.2 out of 10 on Douban, a well-established film review website in China.
The latest film has brought Khan further online acclaim. He was previously best known in China for the 2009 Bollywood comedy “Three Idiots.”
As well as the well-written storyline and excellent acting, the ideas of breaking gender roles and reforming education inspired by the film have struck a chord with many Chinese parents.
In addition, “Chinese filmmakers could learn from the film’s storytelling to improve the quality of domestic films and arouse emotional responses from the audience,” user Dongchengguang wrote on Chinese microblogging site Weibo.
With less of the traditional group dancing and singing scenes and featuring gender equality, the film has changed many viewers’ impressions of India’s films and even the country.
Indian films have long been appreciated by Chinese audiences for their lively mix of drama with music and dance. “Awaara” and “Caravan” are still remembered by many as classic Indian films.
Attending the 2017 Beijing International Film Festival that concluded last month, Khan said he wants to co-produce a film in China.
He said he is studying the Chinese culture and how Chinese films tell stories, and wants to experience different aspects of culture in more Chinese regions to promote closer cooperation.
In recent years, China and India, two large developing countries, have strengthened cooperation in the film industry, signing agreements to encourage co-production, mutual imports and investment.