Bollywood News

Bollywood Remains A  House Divided

A recent tweet by Twinkle Khanna rejoicing in her husband Akshay Kumar’s  new hit film Toilet: Ek Prem Kathaand taking potshots at the recent failures from other A-listers, without mentioning them, like Shah RukhKhan(Jab Harry Met Sejal) and Salman Khan(Tubelight) drives home the point of how divided the  film industry remains as an  entertainment  fraternity.

Koi kissi ka bhala nahin chahta(no one wants others to flourish). I’ve been through  the darkest phase of my life when Saawariya tanked,” recalls filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali with a shudder. “I was  at home all alone on the day of the release pacing the floor. No one came forward to offer me support. In fact the anti-Saawariyacampaign started two days earlier at the premiere when filmmaker colleagues who were telling me on my face what a brilliant film I’ve made ,were busy texting to everyone about what a bad film I had made.”

This writer was  a personal witness to one  of the most high-profile and glamorous filmmakers bitching about Saawariya at its premiere. In fact this high-profile  filmmaker and his friends  sit together laughing at every film that flops.

It’s their recreation and  therapy.

Producer Boney Kapoor who has seen more ups and downs as a film producer than almost anyone else says malice and counter-productive campaigns are part  and parcel of the film industry. “You have to live with it. No point in moaning and complaining about it. My family has  lived with this kind negativity for decades. When  our father(producer Surinder Kapoor) was an active producer  other producers were known to throw parties when his films flopped. Things haven’t changed much.”

Coming to  Twinkle Khanna’s tweet, in her defence she meant no harm and  probably just wanted to celebrate her husband’s success with a tongue-in-cheek declaration. Akshay himself  is never known to gloat over others’ failures.

“I want everybody’s films to do well. Some  of us don’t realize that every success means good news for the entire film industry,” Akshay once told me.

​However Akshay proclaimed largesse doesn’t take away from the sting of insiders in Bollywood bitching a big flop  out of existence.

It can’t worse than Ranbir Kapoor’s father the ever-brash Rishi Kapoor hitting out at Jagga Jasoos after it tanked , calling its director incompetent and  arrogant for not showing the film to anyone before release.

But then there are so  many other filmmakers who don’t show  a frame  of their film to anyone  before release.

Rishi Kapoor spoke the way   he did  about Anurag Basu because Jagga Jasoos flopped.

​Similarly when  Vishal Bhardwaj’s Rangoon collapsed  with a thud, Karan Johar and Gang(never known to be kind to the  unsuccessful) lashed  out at  the film’s leading lady Kanagna Ranaut.

It is ironical that Kangana  had to take  the backlash when in fact it was director Bharadwaj whose arrogance and smug self-opinion  destroyed Rangoon.

“No one was  happy when Tubelight flopped. There is much goodwill for director Kabir Khan and Salman in the  film industry. But when Rangoon and recently Jab Harry Met Sejal tanked no tears were shed as Bharadwaj and Imtiaz Ali  had begun to behave  like God,” says  a young filmmaker.

The  writing is  clear on  the wall. If you are successful you can get away  with arrogance and brashness.  But once you fail no one tolerates your tantrums.

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Bollywood Remains A  House Divided