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Cinematic Triumph

September 9, 2023

Superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s latest blockbuster ‘Jawan’ has hit the screens all over the country and film lovers in the Kashmir valley too have given ‘thumbs up’ to the movie. The history books of Indian cinema will undoubtedly mark this day as a remarkable moment, as ‘Jawan’ catapulted to unparalleled success, raking in a staggering Rs 75 crore on its opening day in India. With a worldwide box office collection exceeding Rs 150 crore, the film has left an indelible mark on the annals of Bollywood. The film’s release in Srinagar was nothing short of a spectacle, with houseful screenings at the INOX Cinema, a pivotal establishment that has ushered in a new era of cinematic delight in the valley. Srinagar’s INOX Cinema, the region’s first multiplex, boasts three theaters with a combined seating capacity of 520 people. Its inauguration last year marked a turning point in the cultural landscape of Kashmir, offering residents a modern cinematic experience they had been yearning for. The overwhelming response to ‘Jawan’ in Srinagar affirms that cinema is not just a source of entertainment but also a bridge that connects communities, transcending language, culture, and geography. Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Jawan’ represents more than just a cinematic triumph; it symbolizes a rekindled hope and enthusiasm for art and entertainment in a region historically renowned for its vibrant culture and heritage. The film’s release has reawakened the spirit of nostalgia and joy among the residents of Srinagar, reminding them of the golden days when cinemas thrived in the valley.  SRK’s previous blockbuster ‘Pathaan’ too had brought the ‘Houseful Sign’ back to Kashmir after over three decades. To appreciate the significance of this cinematic resurgence, one must delve into Kashmir’s cinematic history. Until the late 1980s, the Kashmir Valley was home to around a dozen independent movie theaters, where generations of moviegoers relished the magic of the silver screen. However, this vibrant cinematic culture faced an unfortunate decline as the valley grappled with the dark shadows of conflict. Threats from militant groups forced these cherished theaters to close their doors, silencing the laughter, applause, and camaraderie that once echoed within their walls. But with ‘Jawan,’ the valleys resonated once again with the cheers and applause of movie enthusiasts. This cinematic renaissance is more than a mere reawakening; it is a testimony to the resilience and determination of the people of Kashmir, who are embracing the return of entertainment with open arms. The return of cinema to Baramulla in North Kashmir this year after a hiatus of over three decades is also a testament to the renewed vibrancy and vitality of the region’s cultural scene. Therefore, Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Jawan’ is not just a cinematic marvel but also a harbinger of cultural resurgence in the Kashmir Valley. As the silver screen regains its lost glory in this picturesque land, it is a reminder that art transcends all boundaries, bringing joy and unity to hearts that have longed for the magic of the movies.

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