The massive ugly fallout between director Abhishek Kapoor and his producers is not the first of its kind. There have been many similar fall-outs in the past. But none so ugly and self-serving. When director Rahul Rawail had a fall-out with his producer Rajendra Kumar, Rawail made sure that Rajendra Kumar son Kumar Gaurav’s launch Love Story was not affected.Rahul merely withdrew his name from the credits of the film and allowed Rajendra Kumar to release Love Story as he wished.
Times have changed, now self-interest comes first. And Abhishek Kapoor a.k.a Gattu doesn’t care a damn about who gets hurt as he takes on the producers KriArj Entertainment and T Series of Kedarnath, the film that was all set to launch Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh’s daughter Sara. Now her future hangs in balance.
But does Mr Kapoor care? Cinema earlier was a labour of love. Differences, if any, were swept under the carpet for the larger picture. Dilip Kumar and Madhubala had broken up and had stopped speaking with one another while shooting Mughal-e-Azam. But the estranged couple used their mutual tensions not to burn down the project but to ignite a fire of passion on screen.All through the making of Pakeezah director Kamal Amrohi and his leading lady Meena Kumari weathered the storms of their crumbling marriage without letting their dream project be affected. By the time the film neared completion—it took nearly 15 years to make—Meena Kumari was dying. Kamal wrapped her in silken splendor and made her look every inch the tragic tawaif who-who dances to her death.
Though they were no longer Man and Wife Pakeezah was was Kamal Amrohi’s Taj Mahal for Meena Kumari.
No one is suggesting Kedarnath is a Mughl-e-Azam, Paakeezah or a Taj Mahal. But it is the launch-film for a young hopeful actress with dreams in her eyes and a yearning in her soul. Sara has waited long enough. She was to be launched by Karan Johar. But that project seemed to take longer than expected.
I remember seeing her as child at an awards function where she came forward with extraordinary poise to meet my friend Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
I still remember Sara’s elegant adaab.
“She is going to be a star,” I had whispered to my friend.
“She’s already one,” whispered SLB back.
And now to see her career so jeopardized by a selfish director who seems to think movie-making is all about juicing optimum profits from the entire endeavor, and the actors’ careers are damned. There are shocking allegations of financial misappropriation by the producers of Kedarnath and I see a long messy legal battle ahead.
So what happens to the film and who cares about the career of a young hopeful starry-eyed aspirant who has been waiting for two years to get her career started? Sara doesn’t deserve this.I hear her parents are grievously wounded by the deadlock between the director and the producers. But there is little that they can do.
Sara can take heart in the thought that she isn’t the first debutant whose career launch has been unnecessarily delayed. Years ago a very pretty girl from Bengaluru was signed to be launched by Priyadarshan in a film about a rock band that never got made. The girl had to wait patiently for two years before she was finally launched opposite Shah Rukh Khan in a film that took the boxoffice by storm.
The delayed debutante was Deepika Padukone. Sara Ali Khan has the genes. All he now needs is the perfect fit.