It looks like Bollywood biggies who have been recently boycotted have found out a way to stay in the business. And the best way to be in the business is to be behind the camera.
After the backlash that some of the direct to OTT releases faced, it looks like Bollywood is changing its money-making strategy for digital. The cast of an upcoming Zee5 film immediately made me want to watch the film. So I checked the release date and updated my content calendar. Then while watching the trailer, one name surprised me: Salman Khan Films. The film was Kaagaz and the actor in the main lead was none other than, the exceptional Pankaj Tripathi. What will you do with Kaagaz? Boycott it because it is Salman Khan Films Production or watch it for Pankaj Tripathi? 90% audience will watch it for Pankaj Tripathi, 50% of it will not even know that it’s a Salman Khan Production.
This made me wonder if this is the beginning of change. But then it also made me wonder if this is just a temporary survival tactic.
What if the outsiders are being put in the forefront so that the ones who are behind the camera do not bear the burnt as well as be in the business and slowly yet steadily rebuild a new image.
It’s not just Kaagaz, the Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives and AK vs AK also seemed to be a part of this new image makeover strategy. While Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives subtly tried to sell the babies that Dharma Productions will launch in the near future, AK vs AK made us watch Sonam Kapoor and Harshvardhan Kapoor by packaging it with Anurag Kashyap and Anil Kapoor’s face. Though Sonam and Harshvardhan were in the guest appearances in AK vs AK and so were the Bollywood babies in the Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives, but it’s because they cannot be in the forefront right now. They will be subtly sold to us by making us believe their “struggle” or by just making us “get used to them” once again.
If you have read my post, Save the Industry: Accept the Best. Discard the Rest, you would know that I am not against people from the film fraternity joining the industry. But I am definitely against only a few people managing the entire business and manipulating the industry. It is not only harmful for other industry folks who do not already belong in the business but also harmful for the audience as we are forced to consume what’s being thrusted upon us. For example, where will you go when 10 movies have been released in the theatres and all 10 have different nepo kids who cannot act? Here the audience is left with just one option: Choose one or sit at home. Crap entertainment or no entertainment.
I assume that if these people choose to be behind the camera just to stay in the business, this will slowly put things in place. The people who will face the camera will be actors, the ones who the audience chooses and also loves. But then again, will the dictatorship end? Will the groupism end? At what cost will these talented actors or even the crew be hired for the film? Will the keys to their career always remain in the hands of the biggies? Will the outsiders always be at their mercy?
Only time will tell…