Aamir Khan hoping Dangal will cross borders and wow Chinese fans.


Bollywood star Aamir Khan had a simple message when he spoke on international co-productions at the Beijing International Film Festival (BIFF) this week: “A good character and a good story can help you cross borders.”

Khan is hoping his hit movie Dangal is able to do just that and strike a chord with Chinese audiences – who have just delivered a fantastic record opening for The Fate Of The Furious, the latest in The Fast And The Furious series, fuelling its box office earings of $ 190 million over the first weekend.

Dangal, which releases across China on May 6, will be tested against Hollywood blockbusters that routinely do well in the country.

If it doesn’t fare well, it won’t be because the movie hasn’t been promoted in China.

Dangal’s promoters in China told Hindustan Times that Khan’s five-day, three-city tour and events organised to popularise the film have made it, by far, the most-promoted Indian movie in China, both in terms of budget and scope.

Known to be a hard worker, Khan’s schedule was packed. Talking at BIFF, sharing the stage and events with China’s top boxer and most popular American basketball player in Beijing, interacting with students in Shanghai, feeding giant pandas, wrestling with two members of the Sichuan women’s wrestling team in Chengdu and giving an interview to China’s national broadcaster CCTV were some of his engagements.

In the meantime, Khan’s new account on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, notched up around 220,000 fans and his first welcome comment on it was liked some 30,000 times.

He is possibly among the few Indian stars known in China, because of the popularity of 3 Idiots and PK and despite the failure of Dhoom 3. His fans were clearly thrilled with his China visit and the promotional events.

Weibo user AkarLai wrote: “Dear Aamir, welcome to China. Love you and your work so much. Hope you have fun on Weibo.”

Another fan, Nemo, left a message that said: “So many years have passed, and finally have the opportunity...thank very much for your movie ‘3 Idiots’ giving me a very profound education.”

A young fan, Jinranfengyu, wished him in Hindi: “Suprabhaat (good morning) uncle Aamir, I am overjoyed to know that you will come to China. Your movies and talk show series open a window for us to understand India culture and people living there. I am quite moved by the characters in your movies for their wisdom, courage and love.”

Another fan, Xusongtao, was impressed with his varying looks in movies: “Forgive me, I didn’t recognise him. His ability to change appearance is unbelievable.”

What will be tested here in May is Khan’s ability to deliver another hit in China.

At the same BIFF event, China Daily newspaper quoted Khan as saying that he doesn’t look at the market when he is searching for a story and that he follows his heart and the script he likes. In India, that has worked for him. Now, for China.

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