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09-13-2009, 02:17 PM #1
Who’s the better actor?(Priyanka? Aishwarya? or Kareena ?)
Who’s the better actor?
With a burst of new Bollywood talent, the gap between actors and stars seems to be closing fast, Anuradha Varma asks the Best Directors of Bollywood..
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
WE live in exciting t i m e s … and films mirror the change. While we have Quick Gun Murugan, the desi cowboy and ‘protector of cows’, we also have a Wanted, where superstar Salman Khan strides across the screen, dripping attitude or Kaminey, where chocolate boy Shahid Kapur pushes the envelope with his acting. So, who’s the better actor? With newer actors being cast with every new movie and the line between parallel and commercial cinema having blurred, suddenly, it’s raining actors! Showman Subhash Ghai, who runs an acting academy, says, “There’s talent in abundance in the younger generation today. We have many casting directors today who give you better options for actors, whether it’s art or commercial cinema.” And as actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha pointed out in his tongue-in-cheek Filmfare column, art-house greats Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri were perhaps toasted because there were fewer options. However, writer and actor Amole Gupte jumps to the actors’ defence, “I was an assistant on the sets when Mirch Masala was being made and still remember Naseeruddin and Om Puri’s confrontation scene… it has stayed with me since and how!” On today’s actors, Gupte says, “I admire Aamir (Khan), who rewrote the formula by choosing to do one film at a time. Look at Saif (Ali Khan), he brought in his understanding of London’s theatre and Shakespeare to cinema. Shah Rukh too fabulously combined theatre with his own charming personality.” Among the girls, he says, “Priyanka electrified her character in Kaminey. Kangana is full of surprises. Smita Patil will be admired forever… and who can forget Sridevi?”
However, with size zero figures and the need to be bikini fit, is the pressure for actresses based more on looks rather than acting talent? Ghai agrees, “We have great actresses like Shabana, Kajol, Aishwarya and Konkana… but when do they get their dues? Rarely.”
Vipul Shah, who made Namastey London with Katrina Kaif, believes the trend is on its way out. He says, “We’ve always had films where heroines get opportunity to excel. Kareena has done a Dev D, Katrina is going de-glam for Rajniti.” Among his favourites, he counts Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena, Katrina (“who’s still proving herself ”), Rani Mukerji and Konkona Sen Sharma.”
Filmmaker Pritish Nandy, however, holds that the role of the heroine is shrinking. “Roles like Meena Kumari's in Saheb Biwi Aur Ghulam and Pakeezah or Waheeda Rehman’s in Guide and Kaagaz ke Phool are no longer available to our current crop of heroines.” “They are getting increasingly stereotyped. This is sad because some of them have enormous talent and ability. We have worked with Kareena Kapoor and I know what incredible effort she put into her role in Chameli.” He adds, “My personal favourites among heroines are Aishwarya Rai, Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif. It’s a tossup between Deepika and Sonam for the fifth slot.
then Rani Mukherjee can still surprise us, given the right role. Heroes? My top six would be A m i t ab h Bachchan, H r i t h i k Roshan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan.” He explains, “In this industry, you don’t ever choose talent separately from popularity. They go hand in hand.” Ashutosh Gowariker, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Mani Ratnam all counts Aishwarya Rai as their current favourite among actresses.
So, does a star persona actually take away from an actor? Producer Boney Kapoor says, “Amitabh Bachchan is a great actor, who carved a niche for himself due to his intensity and sincerity. When Anil (Kapoor) started, people said an actor with a moustache wouldn't make it, but he did.”
Nandy confesses, “Stars are larger than life. Actors fill up the roles but fail to grab the audience.”A star is someone, as Ghai explains, who can endear himself to the audience and charm his viewers, even though, “Ninety per cent of them may be overrated.”
While the audience too learns to tell the trick from the real, films may have to show the way. Nandy suggests, “The answer lies in discovering new talent and keep promoting it, as Hollywood does. My guess is The Hangover (with no major stars) will emerge as the single most successful Hollywood film of all time in India. Actors, given the right breaks and roles, can take a film where no star ever can!” Time for the fine line between actors and stars to blur even further!
09-13-2009, 02:18 PM #2
Katrina and Priyanka anytime...
09-13-2009, 09:20 PM #3