Anticipation in China high for Friday debut of Indian film 'Toilet: A Love Story'

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/6/7 17:38:39

‘Toilet: A Love Story’

Promotional material for Toilet: A Love Story Photo: IC

Indian comedy drama Toilet-Ek Prem Katha (Toilet: A Love Story) will become the fifth Indian film to be imported into the Chinese mainland when it hits theaters on Friday.

Translated as Cesuo Yingxiong,  or "Toilet Hero" in Chinese, the film is inspired by a true story of an Indian man who manages to win back the heart of his newlywed wife by building an in-house toilet for her, an act that stands up against local traditions of defecating out in the open.

The film is "in support of a campaign by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to improve sanitation conditions in India, with an emphasis on the eradication of open defecation, especially in rural areas," wrote an article from Indian news site

On April 21, the film was screened during the 2018 Beijing International Film Festival (BIFF) at a special event attended by the film's director Shree Narayan Singh and creative producers Neeraj Pandey and Shital Bhatia.

"There is a great chance that the film can become a black horse in the market when it is released," said one audience member who watched the film at BIFF, according to a report from Chinese entertainment news portal NetEase Entertainment.

"By tackling sanitary issues, Toilet: A Love Story turns the conflict between a couple into a feminist struggle. I'm really looking forward to this Indian film!" wrote Sina Weibo user Shiwen Sean.

"I think Indian films often show more respect for women than Chinese films. At least, Indian filmmakers are willing to discuss women's social status using their own cinematic language," wrote another netizen.

Some Chinese netizens are not very positive about the film's box-office prospects in China.

"Some people may find the story hilarious, but I think it will be very difficult for this movie to do well at the box office in China," posted netizen Looking for Little Birds under the NetEase Entertainment report on the film at BIFF.

"The several Indian films that have come to China before this one were successful because they all touched upon social issues that Chinese can resonate with, but building a toilet is not an issue that people in the Chinese mainland feel strongly about," Looking for Little Birds went on to explain.

While the film's release date was not announced until May 31, the film currently has 7,039 "want-to-see" votes on Chinese review platform Douban, ranking it at No.1 among the 11 films set to premiere on that same day.

The film's presale figures for Friday reached 2.10 million yuan ($328,000) by Thursday noon, surpassing the 1.39 million yuan in presales of the unexpected Indian hit Dangal and a bit behind Indian film Bajrangi Bhaijaan's 2.95 million yuan.

Newspaper headline: ‘Toilet: A Love Story’


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