Marvel fans were eagerly anticipating the release of “Eternals” in 2021, but unfortunately for them, the film received dismal reviews from critics. The movie, which features a star-studded cast and is directed and co-written by Chloé Zhao, failed to meet expectations and received mostly negative feedback from reviewers. However, the impact of these bad reviews went far beyond just the film, as actor Kumail Nanjiani has revealed that they affected his mental health so much that he sought counseling.
Nanjiani, who plays a celestial being disguised as a Bollywood superstar in the film, opened up about the toll that the bad reviews took on him in a recent podcast appearance. He admitted to checking every review and feeling the weight of the negative criticism so heavily that he sought therapy to deal with his trauma. Even his wife, Emily, confirmed that the actor still carries trauma from the experience, showing just how damaging the reviews were.
Most of the criticism ETERNALS received was beyond undeserved and we know why it happened. And to be clear I’m not talking about those reviews that genuinely didn’t like the movie but the ones that went way out of their way to be mean and racists. We know who you are. https://t.co/2adkwrdJVI
— Tom Soares (@tommyverse) February 7, 2024
But the criticism of “Eternals” did not stop at just the film itself. Nanjiani, who shocked the world with his impressive transformation for the role, was also subjected to online trolling when he posted pictures of his muscular physique. Some accused him of using steroids and even went as far as body-shaming the actor. This unfounded and baseless hate has been called out by fans and supporters of the star, who have rightly questioned why similar accusations were not thrown at other actors, such as Chris Pratt or Chris Evans when they underwent physical transformations for their roles in the Marvel universe.
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This kind of reaction to Nanjiani’s transformation is just another example of the double standards and hypocrisy that exists in Hollywood. While white actors like Pratt and Evans are praised for their dedication and hard work in achieving their desired physique for their roles, Nanjiani, an actor of Pakistani descent, faced accusations and negativity. This just goes to show that there is still a long way to go when it comes to diversity and inclusivity in the entertainment industry.
Chris Pratt can bulk up for a marvel movie and everyone is cool with is.
Kumail Nanjiani does it and people call him “grotesque” and assume he’s using steroids.
I hate it here. pic.twitter.com/9LSfvreUtc
— Michelle (@meesh_llegos) January 3, 2021
Body shaming Kumail Nanjiani for…being jacked? Is way weird. Especially since all the Chris’ have done the same super-soldier program and never got any flack for it. I wonder what the difference is? pic.twitter.com/NIeUf3DwAb
— JAKE LOW (@JacobYLow) January 3, 2021
But it’s not just the unfair treatment of Nanjiani that is concerning. The fact that Marvel, a powerhouse studio, hyped up the film and lifted the embargo early, only to be met with negative reviews, raises questions about the studio’s decision-making process. It is clear that their plan backfired, leading to the actors promoting a film that was receiving harsh criticism. This not only affected the mental health of the cast, but it also affected the film’s overall success.
The root of the problem here seems to be the quality of the film itself. While some may argue that the negative reviews were unwarranted, it is hard to deny that “Eternals” failed to live up to the high expectations set by previous Marvel films. With a 47% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film fell short in terms of storytelling, character development, and overall execution. And while it did manage to gross $402 million globally, this pales in comparison to the success of other Marvel films.