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Time Has The Power To Take Them Up And Also To Bring Them Down…

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ALI PETER JOHN

It has been a problem which filmmakers have to deal with for years. They have to wait for the precious dates of the stars who are popular and in demand. The same men and women who once went around in circles to look for work and who have succeeded in a big way suddenly change their attitude and their ways of working. They have one or more managers, secretaries and even companies and agencies to manage their time, which in film industry parlance is known as ‘dates’. It is a problem that can be a major hurdle in the ways of filmmakers and therefore of everyone associated with the making of films, from the producer and financiers and even the high profile corporates. They are all at the mercy of the stars and other popular actors who get so busy that their managers and others who look after their business matters are busy sending out messages to those who are interested in working with the stars and other busy actors dating that their clients have no dates for the next two years. What will those who are planning films do if they don’t get the ‘dates’ of the stars without whom no financiers seem to be interested in backing films, because films for them is only a matter of money and they can make money only if they have the stars and their dates without which they can do nothing and have to keep dreaming, hoping and endlessly waiting for what is most precious to them, more precious than all the wealth and other resources they have. Today, dates is a problem that is growing into a malady which is driving so many people who are literally dying to make films and even have all the resources, can do nothing unless they have the dates of the stars who they believe are the only ones who can bring them success and all the money they believe will come only if the stars agree to work with them and it doesn’t matter to them if some of the stars have even given some very big flops in recent times…

Amitabh Bachchan or the Big-B or Star of the Millennium as he is now known was an extremely busy star when he was in early forties and playing the ‘the angry young man’ in every second film must now certainly go in the Guinness Book of Records for being the busiest star in his seventies (he will be seventy-seven on October 11). He has just completed the shooting of films like “Gulabo Sitabo” with another very busy star of the new generation, Ayushmann Khurana, “Chehre” for Rumi Jaffrey,“Jhund” for Nagraj Manjule, the maker of the cult film “Sairat” and with the same young actors from “Sairat”,“AB&CD” which he has done with a new director, Milind Rege and with the veteran actor of Marathi theatre, TV and Hindi films, Vikram Gokhale. He is now working twelve hours a day and completing two episodes of the eleventh season of “KBC” and is still to complete work on Karan Johar and Ayan Mukerji’s “Brahmastra” with Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. All these films are to be released in 2020 and the writing department that the Big-B has is busy going through scripts for the films he plans to do in 2020 and even after.

Ayushmann Khurrana who had to go through a grim struggle to make a beginning is now an unusual star in his own right. He has already completed a record number of films in which he has played the unhero-like hero for which he has won appreciation, recognition by even the masses, awards galore, including the National Award for the best actor in “Andhadun” in which he played another unusual role of a blind pianist and will on his birthday (September 14) have another release in “Dream Girl” in which he plays a man at a call centre who speaks in the voice of female and creates a sensation in the film. Ayushmann is going to be busy for the next two years as he will have to complete three more films, in one of which called “Bala”, he will play a young man who grows completely bald at a very young age. It is this courage to do challenging roles that no star would dare to touch that has led filmmakers to go for him in a bigger way than all the Khans today.

The Khans are no longer the kings they were till two years ago. Aamir’s last film with Amitabh Bachchan, “Thugs of Hindustan” was a dud and a disaster at the box-office and he has just one film on the floor or about to start and he is more busy as a social activist with his involvement in the Paani Foundation through which it is said he has been doing more than what the government has done in the last twenty years or more. He is also doing his very hard-hitting TV-show, “Satyaymev Jayate” in which he is gaining the kind of popularity that no other star has been able to, because he is now the star of the real masses, the common people of India. He is so busy and besides his fetish for doing only roles that are away from the rut will keep him busy for more than two years which makes him a difficult star to get because he has no dates for ordinarily films and is willing to wait till the right films come his way.

Salman Khan was all set to start work on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Inshallah” with Alia Bhatt as his leading lady, but he and Bhansali had last minute problems with the script and Bhansali decided to put the film on hold. Salman now only has the franchise of “Dabangg”, but he is still difficult to get and is not available for at least the next one year. This is also the first time when he will have no big release for Eid. There are however writers and directors who are working on ideas that can be of interest to him, but that is going to take a long time, which means that Salman’s calendar is also full and he has no dates for films.

The biggest shock has been the known-availability of Shah Rukh Khan. He has been working through a bad patch after some of his big films like “When Harry Met Sejal”, “Fan” and “Zero”, which was a zero marked against his stardom as the Badshah of Bollywood. The whole nation of his fans are waiting and even praying for him to have one big hit, but how can there be a hit when he is not signing any new film. The last that was heard about his career was that he was doing a remake of the Amitabh Bachchan remake of “Satte Pe Satta”, but nothing is confirmed as yet. And what is intriguing is that SRK can still smile in the face of odds and is more busy as an anchor and what he gives most of his time is to his children, Suhana who can set the screens on fire anytime now, Aryan who looks more handsome than his father at only sixteen and is not only being considered for big breaks, but amusingly is also receiving marriage proposals and there is Abram who is already a star on social media because of his being seen so very often with his famous father. SRK may be out of circulation for some time, but he is still not available, at least for another one year and anything can happen in that time.

Besides these big stars, there is a whole brigade of the unstar-like stars like Nawazuddin Siddique who has no dates at least for the next two years. And his contemporary and the younger actor of the two, Vicky Kaushal will be doing “Udham Singh”, “Bhoot” and may start shooting for Meghna Gulzar’s most ambitious film based on the life of Field Marshall Sam Bahadur Maneckshaw. The other non-stars, who had made it big on their talent alone, like Karthik Aryan, Rajkummar Rao and even an extraordinary actor like Pankaj Tripathi are also all busy for the next two years.

Among the female stars, it is Kangana Ranaut who is leading the race, especially after her grand performances in films like “Queen”, the “Tanu Weds Manu” sequel and “Manikarnika–The Queen of Jhansi”, which she even wrote and directed even though she had writers and a director like Krish from the South who had to leave the film and leave the field open to Kangana to shoot the film the way she wanted. She has taken a break after “Manikarnika–The Queen of Jhansi”, but will soon be striking back with films like “Panga” and “Dhadak” which are said to be action films. And then there is the most ambitious film of her career, which is the biopic based on the life and times of the late politician of Tamil Nadu, J. Jayalalithaa for which she is taking time to master the Bharatnatyam form of South Indian dance and is even trying to learn whatever basics she can learn about the Tamil language. This is all that she is doing all on her own in her attempt to show the makers who looked down on her and called her names and refused to offer her work after she lashed out at the politics and the dynasty rule in the industry and above all because of her blasting Hrithik Roshan and all his supporters openly. How far this war that she has decided to fight on her own and where it will take her will be decided in the next two years and that is why she is not having the dates which she can give to other filmmakers till she has fulfilled the ambitions she had challenged herself with.

The other girls who are going to be busy in the next two years are Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, Jhanvi Kapoor and above all Alia Bhatt. All the other actresses are fighting for their place and will have to fight in the year to come if they have to make any impact. There are many other girls who are waiting for their time to shine, but that time seems to be far away from where they are.

That then is the position of the main game players and game changers when it comes to the date problem and it is difficult to see any way of finding some solution to this problem which has been eating into the vitals of the industry.

This is also the time for the industry to change, to take a decision to innovate with ideas and with new talent, because they must realise that it was while all the stars who are as busy as busy can be were when they were newcomers and rearing their heads and faces to be noticed and were, only to be stars, megastars and omnipotent stars who have no time, no dates, for even those who led them up the difficult stairs up and then have forgotten that there will also come a time when they will have to climb down the same stairs and may be and even God forbid have to start their struggle all over again…..

In the meanwhile, the aspiring actors and stars are walking all around in places like Aram Nagar, all the cafes and restaurants on Yari Road, Lokhandwala and Oshiwara and wherever they see some acting school or see a chance like meeting casting directors like Mukesh Chhabra and others like him who have made the passion of young people their profession. Let the time of these aspirants or strugglers as they are known be recognised and respected now, so that they respect time when there time come (Apna time aayega) and they have respect for time, for their own time and for those who need their time (dates).

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Tags: Bollywood, Bollywood News, Bollywood Updates, Television, Telly News, Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Nawazuddin Siddique , Vicky Kaushal ,Kangana Ranaut ,Pankaj Tripathi , Karthik Aryan, Rajkummar Rao , Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, Jhanvi Kapoor , Alia Bhatt

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