Aamir Khan’s Dangal is 2 hours 21 mins long! Will that be a problem?

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All eyes are glued to the new Aamir Khan starrer Dangal which opens across the country on Friday. While the film is expected to be one of the major blockbusters of the year, its inordinate length of 2 hours 21 minutes may prove problematic specially in the North where severe winter has set in.

A top personnel from a multiplex in Bihar says Dangal has a double-edged sword hanging over its head but will still emerge a winner. “There is demonetization. And then there is the film’s length. We had to cut down on the number of shows to accommodate the film’s length. However the advance booking is still encouraging, though not as overwhelming as it was for Aamir’s 3 Idiots.”

Though films longer in duration than 2 hours are frowned upon, lengthy film like the three back-to-back Salman blockbusters, Bajrangi Bhaijaan which was 2 hours 43 minutes long, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo whose playing-time stood at a staggering 2 Hours 50 minutes and Sultan which was 2 hours 50 minutes, proved that audiences just can’t get enough of Salman.

But will they be as tolerant of Aamir’s excessive running-time especially in the Northern sectors where it’s difficult to step out in the night?

Says trade analyst Atul Mohan, “No I don’t see the length of Dangal as a problem. All the big money grossers are of more than average length. Except for relatively limited showcasing at the plexes, there shouldn’t be any problem. When it comes to a big star like Aamir Khan who appears on screen once in a year, you can’t deprive audience of screen time and besides Aamir being a perfectionist the length must be justified by the storytelling. Otherwise he himself would have trimmed it.”

– By Subhash K. Jha