For years after the Shahenshah, it took three to triango! However, if we were to believe the media, one stroke of brilliance from a light eyed father’s even lighter eyed son might set the triangle to square one. Square of one-man domination i.e.. But not many are complaining. Atleast not the better sex. Right ladies? Kaho na!

We are now into the fourth month of the new (sic) millenium and the only reason why the industrywallahs have managed to keep their ‘modesty’ under wraps is because Kaho Na Pyar Hai has hit a jackpot. What’s worth a concern, however, for the lovers of the art of cinema is that while the media has gone berserk over Hrithik, nothing much has been said about Rakesh Roshan. Thus conveniently forgetting that Hrithik afterall is – with no biological pun intended – entirely Rakesh Roshan’s creation! Okay we agree that KNPH is not one of the greatest pieces 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 box office carts the worldwide. But nowhere else would one find such lopsided attention given to stars as one sees in India.

Cinema has eternally been acknowledged as the directors’ medium. Take Griffith or Eisenstein, Kurusowa or Renoir, Fellini or 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.

But 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 to a tall and immensely versatile actor-star. Where a recluse Khan is eternally credited with ghost-directing his roles. Where the spontaneous no 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 forty 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. Hence acknowledging the directors’ individuality.

But have these directors ever managed to rope in the audience on the basis of their individuality? Well, Yash Chopra couldn’t do that with Faasle and Varma with Raat and Kaun. Taking a lesson perhaps, other directors have long avoided the sticky wicket of a film sans a handful of stars. Easy lesson.

Unfortunately, not many directors in recent times have shown the willingness to take a lesson from the classic example of Satya. A film that showed that if a subject is consummate, stars don’t matter. Evidently, the gamble becomes extremely worthwhile in today’s scenario where although every top star consumes more than a crore as his fees, few films get back even that money for the distributors. Making the star fetish even more ridiculous.

Think of it that, whether we like the theme or not, the theme based films ensure that everytime we visit a cinema hall, we get to see something different. A welcome change from watching the same face over and again in ‘face based’ films. Any takers?


Author. Entrepreneur. Filmmaker. Journalist.

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