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Stardom, promotion, hegemony

An interesting article (Future tense for Bollywood wannabes) about star kids and the almost impossibility of newcomers (without the star lineage) to break through. As pointed out, despite the hype-ridden talent hunt shows, which provide television companies with the spectacle of a pseudo event, the lucky few do “not even have a fighting chance given the poor script and nearly no publicity”.

‘Khanna & Iyer’ had Mukta Arts – a production house known for qualitative promotion – as one of its producers. Yet the two actors were launched without the customary hype and hoopla. Though Zee partnered with Mukta Arts on this film, its promotion was extremely low-key and the quality of promos was not up-to-the-mark either.

‘Say Salaam India’, which also released last week, features a number of new faces but its distributors – Adlabs – did not invest much in publicity of the film.

Even the influx of corporate money has not made the path less arduous for new comers, especially males, with no connections in Bollywood. In the 1980s, the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) used to be a good source of acting talent. The acting course was resumed at the FTII two years ago, but the graduates are not making any news.

Star wannabes with Bollywood family connections are assured of at least a good launch. Where they go after that will depend on which camp they are able to align with. The star kids waiting in the wings are Neil Mukesh, son of Nitin Mukesh and grandson of legendary singer Mukesh, who will make his debut in ‘Johnny Gaddar’.

The article points out wrly that it requires manufacturing of a spectacle for an outsider to make it anywhere — even if it means being in the margins of stardom.

Some Bollywood wannabes without connections to the film fraternity have come up with the shock therapy way to grab attention. Talented Mallika Sherawat, who has now landed a prestigious Hollywood film, has perfected the art. Others are hoping to shine too.

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