This is a post about Bollywood and a few of its male stars.
Though I am more of an English movie fan, I cannot escape Bollywood and its multiple movie offerings every year. After all, Hindi is the
national official language of the country though not the language of business!
My take on some of our current male stars:
He is considered the ‘badshah’ of Bollywood. Everything he touches turns to gold, from acting, to making movies, endorsements and Kolkata Knight Riders . He was one of the first, if not the first, to make the transition from the small screen to the silver screen. He is idolised by his fans and he has a certain style and more importantly , a huge amount of energy which he brings to his acting. Though he started his career taking a lot of risks by acting the anti-hero, of late, he is more conservative and sticks to the lover boy image. A dazzling wife and 2 sweet kids round up this good guy of Bollywood cinema. Though of late with his new six-pack look, the similarities between him and Mick Jagger are striking!
The eldest son of filmstar Dharmendra made his debut with Betaab and has never looked back since. Though like his dad, he has 2 left feet, he has firmly ensconced himself as an action hero and his appeal in the rustic North Indian belt has not dimmed. He is the modern Manoj Kumar, since quite a few of his films have patriotic overtones. He is also remembered for his long-time liaison with Dimple Kapadia on her return to the Hindi film industry.
Son of an stunt director, he is also known as superstar Kajol’s husband. But make no mistake Devgan or Devgn is a star in his own right. Though he started out as an action hero, he has made the transition to both comedy and softer roles. His performance in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam was top-class. The intensity in his eyes makes him a stand out performer in any film. He keeps a very low profile and steers clear of controversies.
Now , Salman Khan is one of my favourite actors. Not because he’s a brilliant actor, but because he’s not. He seems to have this perennial expression that says ‘What the heck am I doing in this film? I know I can’t act for nuts but my fans just like me to dance and strip my upper torso! I can’t do melodrama but I can act in comedy because I find it comic that half a billion idiots will pay good money to see me not act! But then if they don’t care, neither do I!” But seriously, the only time Salman Khan was able to carry off melodrama was in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. For all these reasons, he is among my favourites!
Akshay Kumar is the martial arts hero. Another outsider to the industry , like Shah Rukh, he started out as an action hero leveraging his martial arts skills. With time, he has graduated to comedy and drama. Though his voice is still a liability, he more than makes up for it with his screen presence. He is considered Bollywood’s answer to Tom Cruise!
Born of excellent pedigree, the scion of Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and Sharmila Tagore, Saif Ali Khan was a slow starter in the Bollywood film industry. He initially made a hit pair with Akshay Kumar, and then was mostly part of multi-starrers. Of late, his performance in films like Omkara have brought him critical acclaim. He is also in the spotlight because of his on-going dalliance with Kareena Kapoor (she’s made the term size zero her own!).
Aamir Khan is the director’s actor. He’s a thinking actor and he cultivates that image. He is very choosy about the films he makes and rations his time out to film-makers like the Almighty doles out rains in the desert! He is immensely successful and for his fans, he is the numero uno of the Bollywood industry. From QSQT to his latest flick Ghajini, his acting has won him acclaim and accolades. His Lagaan was nominated to the Oscars in the best foreign film category. This pint-sized actor is a giant when he strides the silver screen. The only complaint I have about Lagaan is about his treatment of the untouchable character in his film. Though it makes a statement about inclusivity by including Kachra (the character’s name) in the village cricket team , how could a seasoned actor like Aamir be insensitive about the derogatory connotations of the name itself, which means dirt! It struck a very jarring note! What kind of a statement did it make? “Hey, we need you in the team but we’ll keep referring to you by that ridiculous name. You should just be grateful that we include you! Was that it?”
Son to Rakesh Roshan, the evergreen side-hero of the 70s and early 80’s , Hrithik made an exciting debut with Kaho Na Pyaar Hai. He has quite a few good movies to his credit like Lashkar, Mission Kashmir etc. His androgynous appeal and his fundoo dance moves make him a favorite with the younger audience. In my opinion, he is still to prove his acting talent!
Just goes to prove that you don’t have to be a chocolate hero any more! Brawn will do too!
My first impression – A muscle-bound SRK! Much improved since!
A classy ‘sleaze act’
A case for why models should never become actors together with Milind Soman! Is it a coincidence that Rahul Dev is a top villain? Top model to top villain!
Son of the late Feroz Khan, he has screen presence and style and is not muscle-bound. A throwback to the heroes of the eighties. But sometimes we just wonder, what is he doing in the movie business?
Abhishek made a great debut in Refugee. He is regarded as perhaps the only actor who can be a serious threat to Hrithik Roshan. But besides being saddled with the tag of being the great Amitabh Bacchan’s son, he has compounded it by marrying Aishwarya Rai and can also be tagged as ‘Aishwarya Rai’s husband’!
Keeps improving. Best model turned star, I guess!
PS: As you will have gleaned from this post, I am not a connoisseur of Hindi films and do not have any pretensions to being one!