If someone keenly observes patterns in Bollywood, it wouldn’t be hard for them to understand that Bollywood is all about kinship bonds. It is a heavenly world for star kids more than anyone. Every year people go to Mumbai in multitudes in the hope of creating their name in the world of films and make a career out of acting, but in reality how many of those, perhaps extremely talented people, manage to even see the face of the camera! Rhetorically speaking, this is the harsh world of Cinema where mamas and chachas matter more than talent.
Many starlets would defend themselves by saying that one needs talent to survive in Bollywood and the audiences are not fools to appreciate anyone who isn’t worth a penny. Keeping all those defense statements in mind, it won’t be unfair to say that kinship bonds and cashing Khan-daan’s name is the quintessential passport to instant fame, an opportunity denied to those who are underprivileged enough to not have a Bollywood Godfather.
Karan Johar’s upcoming venture, Student Of The Year has created a great deal of hype because of the fresh faces it launches in Bollywood. Alia Bhatt, the female lead who debuts in the film is the daughter of Soni Razdan and Mahesh Bhatt. The male lead of the film is David Dhawan’s son, Varun Dhawan. The introduction of new faces in Bollywood is almost a welcome break for most, but the question arises that whether Karan Johar would have still signed these actors if they did not have their star kid tag attached as a tail? The film’s promotions are however interesting and the work of these new actors look promising and vivaciously fresh.
The reasons why Shah Rukh Khan has that crazy a fan following in mostly because he was a young guy, aimless and yet determined, who landed in the City of Dreams, Bombay and from scratch built an Empire and bagged the position of Numero Uno. His journey is that of struggle, adventure and discovery. Life hasn’t surely been this easy on him and today the position and stature he has is all earned, with sweat and blood literally. Bollywood of 90s is very different from that today. There are not many interesting, adventurous and romantic tales of stars who built themselves on their own – by sleeping on pavements and surviving on bare minimum. Rather Bollywood today is governed by the value of brands and recommendations of family members who enjoy a certain might in the world of films and cinema.
If while reading this article, you mentally calculate the actors of recent times, who have a strong family name, you would realize this encapsulates almost all of them. Be it Ranbir Kapoor whose, Barfi! is all set to be treated to all at the Oscars or India’s very own Superhero Hrithik Roshan, they all have had a Bollywood family to fall back on in their tough times. After the magnanimous success of Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, Hrithik went through a very low phase, where he delivered too many flops, till his Home production Koi… Mil Gaya shot him back to fame again.
Yet, as mentioned before, having a passport could only do so little for actors. Bollywood has revived into an entirely new mode of film style where thematic films are loved and realistic cinema is appreciated. The audiences can not buy tickets to watch lousy performances anymore. The little one of the YRF’s Chopra family, Uday Chopra, had every family backing. But after he delivered flop after flop, it was established that he wasn’t meant to be an actor. Belonging to an elite Bollywood family does ensure an easy access to camera and all that entails with it. But it comes with a huge deal of responsibility to live up to the family name. Also there is a great deal of pressure where comparisons to parents are very common. Ranbir in his low phase was often bantered, when people thought he was a blemish to the Kapoor Khandan’s name. Ranbir however took it very humbly and made it an inspiration to work harder and better and well, he succeeded at it.
Bombay and its film world is indeed a very tough place to be. Those who aspire to be actors and are shunned due to a lack of Godfather figure crib about how life is easier for star kids. Star kids on the other hand complain of the pressure that is created by the virtue of the legacy they are going to follow. As the proverb says, Grass is always greener on the other side!