On Monday, Disney+ Hotstar announced a bouquet of new films starring some of the established names like Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn. Actor Varun Dhawan was anchoring the event even though there was another person for the compering.
This virtual press conference was to formally release the names of the seven big ticket films that are directly releasing on the streaming app. These films were Laxmmi Bomb, Bhuj, The Big Bull, Sadak 2, Dil Bechara, Khuda Haafiz and Loot Case.
While the first four films are headlined by Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan and Alia Bhatt, the fifth features the late actor Sushant Singh Rajput in the lead role. The last two have Vidyut Jammwal and Kunal Kemmu in the prominent roles.
While the first four actors were invited for the virtual press conference, the last three didn’t have any representation. Out of the later three films, Dil Bechara’s direct release on OTT was announced a few days back, but no such official news was released about Khuda Haafiz and Loot Case. And on top of that, these three films were not represented by anyone on the virtual press conference panel.
Probably that was the trigger point for Jammwal to tweet this: “A BIG announcement for sure!!
7 films scheduled for release but only 5 are deemed worthy of representation. 2 films, receive no invitation or intimation. It’s a long road ahead. THE CYCLE CONTINUES.”
He did that while quoting film trade analyst Taran Adarsh’s tweet consisting the invitation poster of the ‘big’ event.
It’s indeed a big event for the Indian OTT scenario, which has never seen such barrage of big budget films available at the tip of their fingers, but was it not big enough to include the two relatively younger and newer actors.
In fact, Kemmu sounded dejected in his tweet, probably put out in protest. He said: “Izzat aur pyaar maanga nahi kamaya jaata hai. Koi na de toh usse hum chhote nahi hote. Bas maidaan khelne ke liye barabar de do chhalaang hum bhi oonchi laga sakte hai.”
Kemmu’s tweet screams of the pain of the actors who are weighed down under the Bollywood hierarchy, and how only some of the faces can call shots. Even if they’re headlining projects, it’s not a guarantee of the ‘level playing field’, leave aside an equal place on the discussion table.
Both, Jammwal and Kemmu, have earned their place in the Hindi film industry after years of struggle, and even that didn’t secure them a place at the panel, leave aside the newcomer outsiders. We have seen how star-kids are given more space during a film promotion than the ‘outsiders’ featuring with them. It’s a great strategy in favour of the star-kids. Even if the film fails, there would an endorsement market ready for the star-kids, thanks to their ‘cultivated’ face value before the film’s release.
There might be limited space or other constraints, but they should have told to the actors—Jammwal and Kemmu- at least. When Jammwal writes—the cycle continues—it’s a clear indication of what outsiders or rather less connected go through in the showbiz.
One can only hope for this cycle to break.
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