Will Bollywood look beyond star sons and daughters?

This is not a critique of the kinds of movies that the Hindi film industry churns out. It isn’t a review of the style of acting or lack thereof either.
What this is, however, is commentary from an outsider. A well-wisher perhaps, an admirer even, of the reach and fight that Bollywood puts up in a global film market that’s dominated by the all-consuming juggernaut that is Hollywood.

And this commentary follows an opinion formed from hours of waiting at a barber’s and flipping through the pages of many a glossy Bollywood-centric magazine. The covers of which are usually adorned by men who seem to have the same workout regimen and acting coach, and women who have nicer poses than their male counterparts.

If the description below fits perfectly, the loudest of three cheers to an ability to memorize that I’m pretty sure I lack. It’s embarrassing to admit this, but I find it difficult to remember the names of people I went to college with. But it’s simply my attempt to draw a vivid picture and nothing more.

Actor X, the son of former star Actor M and Actress Y who had been a promising star in the making till she gave up her career to marry Actor M and raise Actor X and his siblings, is excited because his debut film is a starring role alongside another debutante actress.

Let’s call her Actress B, and lo and behold, she also happens to be the daughter of a Bollywood couple, a father who was a known for his ‘negative roles’ and a mother who gave up her dancing career to be a good wife and mother.

But wait, that’s not the best part of this new generation starring twosome. The icing on the cake is that they are being ‘launched’ by a director whose father was a producer and at one point or the other worked with one or all of the starring twosome’s parents.

This and similar permutations repeat themselves in the mundane writing and interviews cliched to the brim that fight for space with even more inane and repetitive poses of the crème de la crème of Bollywood.

As an observer, I notice a theme. That most of Bollywood’s talent seem to be the sons, daughters, nephews, and nieces of anyone with any degree of recognition or pull in the film industry. And that they all state that a)Bollywood motion pictures is a constituent of their blood, and b)they have to work extra hard to prove that they belong on their own merit. (Footnote- I suck as a thespian of any worth, but I will keep appearing in movies because why the hell not, till something works)

My argument is this. If Bollywood is this premier Indian institution, this great machine of the representation of India and its numerous cultures, shouldn’t the stake holders look for talent and ideas from all over the country?

I’m a believer in the free market, and Bollywood studios are private entities are free to do whatever they like. But if you must for a moment, consider this suggestion.
There are amazing actors and actresses all over this country, in Ghaziabad, in Kerala, in Jammu and Kashmir, in Bhopal, even in Arunachal Pradesh or Mizoram, who will never get their shots because someone else happens to be the son of a mediocre actor whose uncle set up a film studio years ago.
What has Bollywood got to lose, really? There are so many stories that it can tell, so many different representations of culture and religion that it can portray.

Suriya, director Vignesh Shivan to team up for next

Tamil actor Suriya, who is currently busy with Tamil actioner S3, also known as Singam 3, will team up with Naanum Rowdydhaan director Vignesh Shivan for a yet-untitled film.


“Happy to associate with Suriya and Vignesh Shivan for our next project. Anirudh Ravichander has been roped in to compose the tunes,” read a statement from Studio Green, who will be bankrolling the project.

The Tamil film, which happens to be Suriya’s 35th film, is expected to go on the floors next month.
According to a source close to the film’s unit, the makers are most likely to rope in Keerthy Suresh or Nayanthara as the leading lady.
Suriya’s home banner 2D Entertainment will co-produce the film.

‘Singam 3’ to get new title

Suriya-starrer Tamil actioner ‘Singam 3’, which goes on the floors this week, is all set to be rechristened. The makers are planning to announce the new title on Wednesday. “The new title will be announced on Wednesday midnight. We’re changing the title for a special reason, which we plan to reveal shortly,” said a source from the film’s production unit. To be directed by Hari, the film will be produced by Suriya’s home banner 2D Entertainment. Anushka Shetty and Shruti Haasan have been roped in to play the female leads.

Sanjay Dutt Arms and Ammunitions case

Sanjay Dutt has been serving his jail term after the Supreme Court sentenced him to five years in jail due to his involvement in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

After being arrested from the airport in 1994, the actor had confessed that mafia don, Abu Salem, had visited his home in January 1993 with Samir Hingora and Hanif Kadawala, proprietors of Magnum Video and alleged close associates of underworld don, Dawood Ibrahim. Sanjay Dutt had said that they had brought three AK-56 rifles with ammunition, and he had kept one. He claimed that the gun was to protect his family as they had received threats during the Mumbai riots that followed the demolition of Babri mosque in December 1992. Sanjay Dutt also said that after he heard of the Mumbai serial blasts and Samir Hingora and Hanif Kadawala’s arrest, he asked his friend, Yusuf Nulwalla, to destroy the rifle. However, he later retracted his statement. Soon after he was arrested and charged under the stringent Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act or TADA for conspiracy in the blasts and receiving weapons from Abu Salem.