Among the biggest challenges faced by any emerging superstar is chasing stardom while simultaneously evolving as an actor. Do you want to be a bigger star or a better actor? Very few have managed to get the mix right, as it can be a slippery ground to tread on. And that’s the kind of crossroads Dulquer Salmaan is currently at. His most recent film, The Zoya Factor, is among the biggest disasters of Bollywood in recent times. Of course, Dulquer shouldn’t get much stick, given that it was only his second Bollywood outing.
Despite being an on-screen adaptation of a best-seller, marketing blitzkrieg and a theme of sports-meets-cinema, the film couldn’t muster even one crore on its opening day across India. To put into perspective how big a debacle it is, Dulquer’s Malayalam films have had openings of two crore-plus in Kerala alone in the past. Needless to say, The Zoya Factor had an unprecedentedly awkward opening even in the actor’s native state where many single screen theaters reported poor occupancy.
Since it wasn’t a Malayalam film, Dulquer’s stardom is reasonably intact—for now at least. In such a scenario, his next two projects in Mollywood are of utmost significance, given the lag that he has created in the industry over the past two years. Srinath Rajendran’s Kurup and Anoop Sathyan’s untitled project are the films in question—the former in particular seems to be an exciting project for many reasons— Srinath’s directorial debut (Second Show) was Dulquer’s debut.