ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘bollywood

Shahrukh Khan: The end of a superstar

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fan_srk.jpgI grew up in an era when only Shahrukh Movies excelled at box office; others were relegated to a distant second, apart from occasional few. Now it’s the other way round. Chennai Express aside, there has been a string of duds from the ‘former’ megastar. It started from Don Line of movies, when SRK went from a mass hero to a multiplex one.

Still his movies kept getting initials (first weekend collection), which is driven mostly by star appeal and not by the content. But a string of movies backed by ‘loss absorbing’ corporate studios, has taken audience’s faith away from him. When Ra One bombed, there were murmurs but no one was deeply concerned. Even Aditya Chopra (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi) and Yash Chopra (Jab Tak Hai Jaan) could muster mere hits with Shahrukh and not Salman/Aamir type of blockbusters.

More than Fan, I think what stamped the end of an era was Dilwale. Even with dream SRK-Kajol lead, it was beaten hands down by a period drama Bajirao Mastani, both released on the same day. There was a time when others planned their movies around SRK releases. It was saddening to see how SRK was forced to delay the release of Raees by a year and still struggled to find a solo Friday.

Some fans cited backlash against him for his intolerance remark, as a reason for failure; this until, mega success of Dangal. Aamir’s success showed that intolerance issue did not have public support and was just limited to political sound bytes. Road ahead for SRK seems tough mostly due to his failure to reinvent himself and the cult successes of Salman and Aamir.

Let’s see what Raees has in store for him and the audience. Don’t bet on a Sultan/Dangal type blockbuster.

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Written by arpitgarg

January 15, 2017 at 11:32 am

The wrong role models

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role_model.jpgBollywood actresses, top women sportsmen are often considered as ideal women roll models. They are celebrated in media and is projected that young girls want to be like them. This media thrusted roll models are all wrong. Even for men, how can a Shahrukh/Salman be a role model? They can be a model in some AD shoot but role?

This has distorted the priorities of entire generations. Guys putting on fake raybans in ‘tashan’ and girls pouting and putting on ‘laali’. A poor woman who works hard, educates her children and who then pulls their family out of poverty is my role model. A man born in poverty and toiled hard, now sipping tea from the balcony of his own home is my role model. Such people made difference due to their hard work. A role model should be one whose example millions can follow. Not like Cricketers. Hardly 1000 cricketers (that too after IPL) prosper, rest all have nothing. Hence I don’t consider Sachin or Sania as role model. I like role model whose example, millions can follow and succeed.

I consider participants of Special Olympics as role models. Millions who are handicap can take courage from them. Not for sports but getting back up in life. How can a Kareena, Sonam, Sonakshi, Kajol be role models? In fact they distort the definition of feminism. Feminism is not about wearing skimpy clothes or putting on makeup, or living single. Feminism is when girls make difference to society. A Kiran Bedi success is feminism for me. Millions of women went to school taking spirit from her.

I have no issues with what these fashionistas do in their life. But when they are celebrates as role models for women, I have an issue.

Also I take issue when dynastic breeds are regarded role models. A Mayawati is a role model for me. A Sonia Gandhi is not. Mayawati inspired millions of Dalit women to fight for their rights. She gave millions of Dalit’s self respect.

Maybe this distorted world deserves such distorted role models. Who the hell knows!

Written by arpitgarg

July 16, 2016 at 12:21 pm

Salman Issue: Bollywood gets creative

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bollywood.jpgBollywood has been caught in a dilemma. Their track record of taking high moral ground has come back to haunt them. They can’t speak against Salman. It would hurt their financial interests. They didn’t say anything against Salman on hit and run and invisible man. However they have spoken when similar things were done by politicians. They spoke when similar things were done outside their Bollywood and social circle. They were chatty on social media and in press conferences. They are chatty no more.

They have decided to get creative on this issue. They have to interact with media on daily basis and when the question is posed, they have to say something. So below is the compilation of the creativity of Bollywood on this issue.

1. shahrukh.jpgShahrukh Khan: “I myself speak such a lot (inappropriately), Who am I to judge him on this? Personally speaking, I don’t think I am anyone to comment on this. I am so inappropriate myself. I have said some really wrong things also”

2.varun.jpg Varun Dhawan: “I do not want to join anyone’s agenda to further the controversy; I am close enough to Salman to tell him my view point in person. When one knows someone personally, why would they say anything publicly about them?”

3. nagmaNagma: “There was No way he meant it the way it sounded. He should not have made this comment in public”

4. subhashSubhash Ghai: “It is very disgusting translation by someone. He just said one thing that it is a human agony he went through. He was talking about a metaphor. He is just a child and I know he respects women like anything.”

5. priyankaPriyanka Chopra: “First of all, you should be asking the person who made this comment. A lot has been said about the Salman issue. I don’t want to add to the noise. I would rather bring notice on real women issues.”

6. rakhi.jpgRakhi Sawant: “I promise you that Salman Khan hasn’t said anything like this. Salman has only done the lip movements while somebody else has dubbed on it.”

7. vikram.jpgVikram Bhatt: Silence. Was disgusted with KRK for anti-women remarks. Now he says this, “Salman Khan makes one comment and the whole world chases him, What about KRK? He will perpetuate lies and continue to do so”

8. pulkit.jpgPulkit Samrat: “Actors usually remain unaffected with controversies. As an individual, it also teaches you how to be strong and bounce back. Salman Khan is the biggest example of being strong and truthful. He has always bounced back.”

9. nawazuddin.jpgNawazuddin Siddiqui:He used the comment metaphorically. The discussions on it are over and there is no point in repeating it and asking questions about it.”

10. aamir.jpgAamir Khan: Silence. He was earlier hurt by intolerance. But when he himself used ‘balatkar’ for comedy in 3 Idiots. What else can we expect from him?

11. anushka.jpgAnushka Sharma: Silence. To her twitter trollers were misogynists, but sees no wrong in her Sultan co-star.

12. deepika.jpgDeepika Padukone: Silence. Times of India, cleavage controversy was bad. But now nothing.

13. kalki.jpgKalki Koechlin: Silence. Nothing from women abuse crusader.

14. farhan.jpgFarhan Akhtar: Silence. Mard Farhan shared stage with him during IIFA.

15. karanKaran Johar: Silence. Was deeply hurt when Udta Punjab was censored. Attends IIFA with Salman.

16. mouniMouni Roy: ‘Naagin’ of small screen said this, “Every girl wishes to debut with Salman Khan”

Written by arpitgarg

July 1, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Posted in Cinema/Tele

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Nihalani Bad, Salman Good: Moral and Ideological Bankruptcy of Bollywood

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salman_iifa_2.jpgBollywood was united in berating Pahlaj Nihalani, maybe rightly so. The whole Bollywood cartel from dynasts to first gen, were ashamed and aghast with a guy like Nihalani heading CBFC. The same cartel likes Sanjay Dutt. Same cartel is silent on Salman Khan. Not just silent, the cartel is standing shoulder to shoulder with Salman at IIFA.

How can Nihalani be bad when Salman is not, I fail to understand. For me Nihalani is bad and Salman is much worse. Censor cuts just the movie reel, but people like Salman, with his huge fan following, ended up making Rape a Joke. It would not be far, when rape victim would be quizzed whether she was really raped or just went to gym. Such repercussions of insensitive and filth that the superstar spoke. Still he is good and Nihalani is bad.

I attribute this to moral and ideological bankruptcy of Bollywood. They have been and are all about their own dreams, regardless of what they say. When Udta Punjab controversy was fanned by thugs after free publicity, they played victim card. Whole Bollywood was up in arms. But now nothing. In fact there is a feeling that Salman is unfairly being targeted. Such is the apathy.

With such moral and ideologically bankrupt people running Bollywood, I would rather unleash 1000 Nihalani’s on them. Make them suffer. Maybe I am over reacting but I hate when these people come out and preach how the society should work and how intolerant we are. Maybe these guys are epitome of tolerance. They tolerated even Salman.

The least they could have done is to reject sharing stage with Salman at IIFA. Would have given a strong message. Please remember the name of people who are silent now, or are just mildly protesting. Next time when they come crying, kick them out. When you call Nihalani, a Taliban, have the guts to call Salman similar names. Have the guys to call Sanjay Dutt terrorist. But no, you just are after money and free publicity. You have the guts to preach us and call yourself torch bearers of creative freedom.

I remember your silence today. I will call you out when you find your vocal chords later, when your money is at stake.

Written by arpitgarg

June 27, 2016 at 4:01 pm

Posted in Cinema/Tele

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Udta Punjab: No sympathy for either side

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bollywood

What do I think of the whole Udta Punjab Censor controversy? The Freedom of expression debate. I saw bunch of people from Bollywood holding press conference, trying to garner public support against a dictator Censor Board Chief. Where have I seen such an impassioned support from Bollywood, I thought? Oh! Yes, the whole Bollywood was behind then terrorism accused and later jailed for 5 years, Sanjay Dutt. I saw the same collective support with the “invisible driver” Salman Khan. Ah! Yes, the support was missing in the case of a certain Ms. Kangana Ranaut.

So if you ask me what do I think of the “harassment” of Bollywood by Censor Board. I say, I don’t care. When this closed group of Bollywood millionaires decided to side with Dutt and Khan, they lost any and all credibility. And now they cry wolf. I couldn’t care less. In fact I scorn with utmost disgust seeing them play victim.

Coming to Censor Board chief, the lesser said the better. Govt should get rid of him soon, as his open sycophancy is bringing Modi into disrepute. But censor board has been such a b***h always. I remember Congress appointed Censor Board blocked MSG, which was later cleared by the tribunal, while the same board cleared PK. Later the board resigned en-masse as they saw tribunal decision to clear MSG to be political but they themselves were holier than thou.

In this case also, it’s all being done for cheap publicity from both sides. Censor Board is as usual playing a pain in the back. The film people are also doing the same for free publicity. There was no buzz around this movie and it would have perished but for this hype. When makers of MSG (scorned by Bollywood family) went through the process to the tribunal and got their film cleared, what was the issue here? Also why didn’t I see the same solidarity of Bollywood cartel with the makers of MSG? Easy, MSG people were outsiders whom the elites didn’t like. So please Bollywood cartel, don’t play this victim card now.

And when these millionaires cry victim just coz they have to go through the process to earn their next millions, I just cringe. We have better issues to sympathize with, farmer suicide for one. Bunch of Sanjay Dutt/Salman Khan supporters and hypocrites are not one of them.

Written by arpitgarg

June 11, 2016 at 4:07 pm

Of Batman and Bollywood

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With anxiety about the latest Batman flick running Everest high, Christian Bale is the name on everyone’s lips. This masked and caped vigilante has brought a sense of respect to comic books, missing till now. There have been many a actors who have donned the cowl over the years ranging from the heroic Val Kilmer to the forgettable George Clooney.

This led me to wonder how would the character have panned out had our own Bollywood stars played The Batman. Let see one by one.

1. Salman Khan
The accented Khan would have suited best as when he speaks in accent he is hardly intelligible, much like Batman whisper. How awesome would it have sound.
Catwoman: “Tumne Gotham ke liye bahut kuch kiya. Ab bas karo”.

Batman: “Nahin, ek baar jo maine commitment kar di, toh main apne aap k bhi nahin sunta”.

2. Shahrukh Khan
He is no alien to wearing tight body suits and saving the town. Unlike Batman, his sign would be posing sideways with arms stretched out.

Whenever he would do that, Inspector Gordon would run into his arms with music in the background.His melodrama and his enemies would die weeping. Casting Robin for him would be a no brainer!

3. Akshay Kumar
A flirt Batman. A Kishen Kanhiyya. More like Bruce Wayne, partying with models on his yacht. His endless gags one after the another and his enemies would go insane laughing.

Dialogue: “Mein apne desh ka pehla launda hoon jo chimkadad ban ke ud riya hoon.”

4. Ajay Devgn
The Singham Batman would break the fingers when pointed at.

Aata majhi satakli, aali le aali Joker, teri baari aali. The superhero with tilted head would be famous for car chases, blowing and flying cars as he chases his enemies in Bat Car.

5. Saif Ali Khan
The cool urbane Batman with a sheepish smile.
“Ek baar mein samajh gaye ki main Batman hoon ya mein waapas ghoom ke aaoon”.

He has his readymade Batgirl in Kareena. He would roam around flirting with umpteen girls while his enemies would get eliminated. “Bade aaraam se”.

6. Aamir Khan
The perfectionist Batman. He would sleep hanging upside down at the ceiling, lest the character gets diluted. He would surgically get bat wings and paint his face black.

Instead of fighting crimes, would fly away and live with bats in their caves. His logic, Bat’s don’t fight crimes, they just hang upside down and terrorize people.

7. Abhishek Bachchan
This would be the first Batman of its kind. Liberation! Instead of the Cape, he would be donning a gown. Instead of all black, it would be all red and pink.

He would charm his enemies and live with him happily ever after.

Written by arpitgarg

July 25, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Slumdog: An air of million criticism

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A lot has been written and discussed about Slumdog Millionaire. Much like the Obama wave it seems engulfing us all.

From the day it was nominated for the Golden Globe there have been extreme views. So much so that a war seems waged between the for and the against. The criticism more or less seems to follow two schools of thought discussed below.

First one rues the exploitation of poor India for money by the west. More like the East India Company reloaded. Westerners have been accused to revel at the mockery of Indian poverty. As Arindam Chaudhary writes, “Slumdog is a phony poseur that has been made only to mock India for the viewing pleasure of the First World”. The naked poverty of India might be self pleasing to the people of the West, given the time of depression. According to Amitabh Bacchan such underbellies do exist even in the developed nations. This is just a Western production and hence the recognition. These people have launched an offense against the team of the movie, western media and finally the whole of the western world.

The other school of thought is pretty much the same as far as the murky portrayal of Mumbai is concerned. The difference lies in how they are affected. People are worried about the answers they would need to give and ridicule they would be subjected to when they travel abroad the next time. As Preity Zinta says, “Now for the next 10 years of my life every time I travel abroad, I will be told, Oh, you live in Mumbai…where they gouge out eyes in the slums.”

One point missing here is, Does anybody care about the poverty and feel for the slum dwellers? Or it’s just the poverty in limelight which is itching the eyes. At first the movie was applauded. Then the criticism followed. Then there was criticism of the people criticizing the movie. “Isn’t that (poverty and slums) a reality”, says Shahrukh Khan. It would not be long when there would be people who would criticize the people criticizing who criticized the movie. Now, how much of criticism would that be!

Written by arpitgarg

January 28, 2009 at 12:44 pm

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