Film Update: Dev Patel goes short, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in China, and India versus Pakistan

HOLLYWOOD — A short film has beefed up Dev Patel’s long resume, which won’t be murder on his career (nor will it have him running in place like a hamster). Meanwhile, tensions on the border of India, where Patel has ethnic roots, and Pakistan escalated on multiple theaters - literally. And all the while a cultural conflict could be brewing in China, where Bohemian Rhapsody could be released even though the Oscar acceptance speech of the film’s actor was partially withheld from audiences in the world’s most populous country.

Roborovski

            Deadline Hollywood reported Patel, who has made a name for himself in films such as Slumdog Millionaire, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Lion and the much-anticipated release of Hotel Mumbai, has attached his name to Roborovski. The 12-minute short film about a murderous hamster received funding from Screen Australia and is dubbed as a "virtual reality" project, according to Deadline.

            Also starring in the short film is Tilda Cobham-Hervey, who is also featured in Hotel Mumbai. John Collee, who wrote Happy Feet, is also attached to the project, Deadline reported.

India versus Pakistan

            Tensions between India and Pakistan are quickly escalating, as the two countries are sparring after a suicide attack resulted in the loss of 42 Indian lives in the northern state of Kashmir. The brewing military conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbors certainly comes with significant life-threatening implications – both within and beyond South Asia. One minor, if overwhelmingly insignificant casualty: the screening of Bollywood films in Pakistan.

            Al Jazeera and Deadline were among the outlets reporting on a boycott of Indian films in Pakistan, shortly after India conducted air raids in response to a suicide attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir. The state of Jammu & Kashmir is wholly claimed by India and Pakistan - although both countries administer separate portions of the state. A “Line of Control” demarcating where one country’s jurisdiction end and the other’s begins runs through the middle of the state.

            The country’s Film Exhibitors Association, according to news reports, initiated the boycott on Indian films in Pakistan.

            Indian advertisements were also instructed to be held from airing on Pakistani television, according to Al Jazeera.

            India and Pakistan have been at odds over the Kashmir state since both countries gained independence from the British in 1947. Three wars between the two countries have been attributed to the Kashmiri conflict.

Bohemian Rhapsody

            Looks like Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic on Freddie Mercury and Queen, will be screened in China, according to Deadline. A formal release date has not yet announced and Deadline stated it’s unclear whether any portion of the film would be edited for content, but the news of Bohemian Rhapsody heading to theaters in China comes on the heels of the Rami Malek, who starred in the film as Freddie Mercury, won an Oscar for Best Actor.

            The Deadline report stated Malek’s acceptance speech at the Feb. 24 Academy Awards was edited – meaning Chinese audiences would not have heard the entirety of the actor’s comments.

            A China release, however, could help Bohemian Rhapsody hit $1 billion in earnings. The biopic has earned $860 million, according to Deadline, including $100 million-plus in Japan and more than $75 million in South Korea. The box office earning in Japan made Bohemian Rhapsody the first foreign film to earn $100 million or more in the island country since Beauty and the Beast.