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Even a Salman Khan has no say in front of Bollywood

Vinayak Chakravorty
Vinayak ChakravortyOct 01, 2016 | 13:10

Even a Salman Khan has no say in front of Bollywood

Superstardom is allergic to reinvention, reigning Khan on the Bollywood block would evidently stand testimony to that awful truth.

Salman Khan’s recent announcements reveal pattern redux. Going by his current lineup, the superstar is merely endorsing rehash as a foolproof formula to stay on top of the tinsel heap.

Tiger Zinda Hai, sequel to 2012’s Ek Tha Tiger, brings Salman back opposite Katrina Kaif. The film will be directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, among Salman’s favourite filmmakers after Sultan. The actor will also soon announce Kick 2 with buddy and frequent collaborator Sajid Nadiadwala.

Repeat is also the buzzword when Salman returns as Chulbul Pandey in Arbaaz Khan’s Dabangg 3 after that.

Beyond the sequel stock, Salman is blindly repeating directors, too. Nadiadwala, Zafar and brother Arbaaz Khan apart, the only other director he has given a nod to is Kabir Khan. Kabir is currently shooting Tubelight with Salman, after Ek Tha Tiger and Bajrangi Bhaijaan.

Soon as the film is wrapped, the two will start a fourth film together.

B-town’s superstar of the hour looked like he was ready to play with image when he did Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sultan. His sequel fetish now suggests otherwise.

It leaves you with a worn-out Bollywood axiom: an actor who has Rs 500-700 crore riding on every film cannot afford risks. Even Salman Khan is not powerful enough to challenge the industry’s brutally commercial diktats.

In Bollywood, some things clearly never change.

Of course, Salman’s falling back on sequels and directors who he feels will guarantee him blockbusters would hardly seem surprising. He will be 51 by the time his next, Tubelight, releases. Although there is no one who seems to be even a remote challenger to his tinsel throne right now, in fickle showbiz one can never tell.

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Repeat is the buzzword when Salman returns as Chulbul Pandey in Arbaaz Khan’s Dabangg 3. (In picA still from Dabangg).

Anyway, Salman and his camp would point at an obvious counterpoint. Each of his rivals is churning out sequels.

Shah Rukh Khan is waiting for the right moment to announce Don 3. Akshay Kumar has his Housefull films (anyway, he habitually keeps labelling just about any film that runs low on plot and high on his mass hero appeal as a "Khiladi" flick). Hrithik has Krrish and Ajay Devgn has Son Of Sardaar.

Sundry others in the industry keep returning with assorted fresh gimmicks in old packages - from ABCD to Force to Hera Pheri to Masti.

There is a difference between these instances and Salman’s decision to wholly bank on sequels at this stage of his career. None of those actors looked like they could reorganise mainstream entertainment in Bollywood (SRK did for a long time perhaps, but then he gradually lost the plot).

The recent years have belonged to Salman. Ever since Dabangg in 2010, each of his films has delivered blockbuster business. The next level, most fans expected, would be taking his game to the global stage.

However, that never happened. While Salman continues ruling the domestic market, Aamir Khan has constantly beaten him with international records.

Sequels of Bollywood potboilers are hardly the right way to scale a global high. Perhaps Salman Khan has realised this rude fact: his super-stardom is fated to reign supreme only within India.

(Courtesy of Mail Today.)

Last updated: October 01, 2016 | 13:10
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