Kangana Ranaut’s latest film, “Tejas,” has unfortunately failed to soar, earning the unenviable tag of an “unmitigated disaster.” Since its release on October 27, the film has managed to amass a meager 4.5 crores in earnings. The poor occupancy, nonexistent ticket sales, and discontinuation of shows have left us pondering: Is this the beginning of the end for Kangana Ranaut’s cinematic journey?
Trade Analyst Sumit Kadel doesn’t mince words when he declares that Kangana is no longer the box office draw she once was.
“Her last successful venture was ‘Manikarnika’ in 2019, which raked in 90 crores, and her major hit was ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ back in 2015. Over the past eight to ten years, she has been unable to deliver a hit. Her recent films fail to meet the standard, and her public image has estranged a significant portion of the film-going audience, who no longer wish to see her on the big screen.”
In recent years, Kangana’s public image has transformed from a daring actress known for her complex roles into a troublemaker and, at times, a bully. Her controversial and provocative statements, both political and cultural, coupled with her disdainful comments about co-actors and the film industry, have come at a high cost.
But was Kangana Ranaut always like this? No. The actress, celebrated for her audacious on-screen choices, portrayed complex and multifaceted women in roles such as an alcoholic in “Gangster,” a schizophrenic in “Woh Lamhe,” and a troubled fashion model in “Fashion.” Her success with “Tanu Weds Manu” and “Queen” solidified her reputation as a trailblazer for women-led narratives. This three-time National Award winner earned praise from critics and fans for championing the cause of women in an industry that often demanded diplomatic statements. While other female actors played it safe, Kangana fearlessly tackled issues like misogyny, pay parity, and nepotism in the film industry, remaining unapologetic about her small-town origins and her rise to stardom. She stood as a survivor who fearlessly stood up for her convictions and enjoyed unanimous support.
So, what led to her fall from grace? Her dictatorial attitude, inflammatory comments on sensitive issues like the farmer protests, the Israel-Gaza conflict, and her advocacy of toxic nationalism have caused significant damage. Kangana’s habit of slut-shaming female actors, making personal attacks, and undermining the very industry to which she belongs has painted her as a pariah. Despite its differences, the film industry abides by a strong code of conduct when it comes to supporting one another, and Kangana’s actions have pushed many away.
Sumit Kadel reiterates that while Kangana once gained popularity for her off-screen views and life, this is no longer the case. Her real-life image has adversely affected her reputation as an actor.
“Her rhetoric, especially on topics outside her expertise, as well as her disdain for her own industry, have estranged a substantial portion of the audience. They no longer wish to see her on screen, which partly explains the dwindling box office appeal. Her core supporters are not the typical cinema-going audience. Her public image has taken a considerable hit, and it seems the Kangana phase in cinema is coming to an end.”
It’s high time for Kangana Ranaut to engage in deep introspection and undertake a positive image-building exercise. She has transformed into an anti-hero that the industry no longer requires in these trying times.