Why Films Fail

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I ONCE ASKED Ram Gopal Varma why he hadn’t ever offered a role to Aamir Khan after Rangeela’s megasuccess. Without blinking, the director declared, “I have no patience for his style of working.”

Many production houses and directors say they keep away from Aamir because they claim he interferes. What they’re saying is they don’t want to be questioned on the script, the casting, the direction, the editing. They prefer actors who land up on set and act. Is it any surprise, then, that Aamir has the highest rate of success in Bollywood?

It would seem fellow stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar have learnt zilch from their ‘difficult’ colleague. So we have very expensive eggs like Chandni Chowk to China, Yuvvraj and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi — all with scripts that have more holes than our intelligence department’s plans. And why? Because these guys ask no questions. They work for friends or money or both, and hope their charisma will see them through.

Chandni Chowk pushed the envelope on senselessness, and even Kumar’s most diehard fans couldn’t handle the mental assault. Yes, Akshay delivers the ‘Akshayrama’ — dance wild, goof-off, fight, sing, romance, avenge — but the narrative is so fractured and the characterisation so wonky, you walk out of the multiplex smashed into pieces. This hit-and-run approach has got to spot.

For how long will these stars land up at the sets with zero homework and planning? How long will they live in denial of the public’s higher expectations? Not anymore, I believe. Their recent flops should tell them audiences won’t accept their nonsense anymore, even if their star value remains intact. The days of luck by chance are over. Aamir should take the remark about being difficult to work with as a compliment. That’s exactly what the Akshays, Salmans and SRKs should be craving. For their own sake, and for that of the film industry.

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