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If we were to believe the media, one stroke of brilliance from a light-eyed father's even lighter-eyed son might have set star value to spiralling heights But not many are complaining. At least not the better sex. Right ladies?
We are now into the ninth month of the millenium. And the only reason why industrywallahs seem to have managed to keep their 'modesty' under wraps is because Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai has hit the jackpot.
WHAT is worth a concern, however, is that while the media has gone berserk over Hrithik Roshan, nothing much seems to have been said about Raakesh Roshan. Thus conveniently forgetting that Hrithik, after all, is -- no biological pun intended - entirely Raakesh Roshan's creation!
Okay, agreed that KNPH is not one of the greatest works of art.
But isn't the purpose of launching a newcomer with style evident in every frame of it? Doesn't that make it a success of the director?
Star appeal, of course, drives the BO charts worldwide. But nowhere else would one find such lopsided attention given to stars as we see in India.
CINEMA has eternally been acknowledged as a director's medium. Take DW Griffith, Sergei Eisenstein, Akira Kurosowa, Frederico Fellini or Satyajit Ray... the fathers of cinema have consistently been the directors and NOT the leading stars. The path of the industry has invariably been decided by the man behind the camera.
My question is, can we say the same about our industry? An industry where, for two decades, scripts were written solely to provide a larger-than-life image for a tall and immensely versatile actor-star -- Amitabh Bachchan? Where a reclusive Aamir Khan has always been credited with ghost-directing his roles? Where the number 1 is allowed to write his own scripts -- after the camera has started rolling!
And where a living legend like Shyam Benegal struggles to find theatres for his film, Samar -- after being in the industry for 40 years!
Curiously enough, there is enough evidence that people do expect a certain style from each of the established directors viz the Showman Ghais, the Romantic Chopras, the Immaculate Bhansalis and the Wacky Dhawans.
And hence acknowledge the directors' individuality.
BUT have these directors ever managed to rope in the audience on the basis of their individuality? Will they, ever?
For Yash Chopra couldn't do it with Kabhi Kabhie nor Ramgopal Varma with Rangeela or Satya. The list is long, the names endless.
Taking a lesson, perhaps, other directors have long avoided the sticky wicket of a film sans a handful of stars.
But then comes along a film like Satya. It was a film that showed that if a subject is consummate, stars don't matter. Unfortunately, not many directors in recent times have shown the willingness to learn from it.
THE gamble becomes extremely worthwhile in today's scenario where, although every top star earns over a crore as his fees, few films get back that money for the distributors. This only makes the star fetish more ridiculous.
I do believe that, whether we like the theme or not, theme-based films do ensure we get to see something different every time we visit a cinema hall.
And that's certainly a welcome change from watching the same face over and again. Any takers?
Anshuman Rawat is a diehard film enthusiast
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