Sequel of a biopic! Seriously? What is wrong with Bollywood filmmakers?

Time and again Bollywood has followed trends that are already popular in other film industries. Earlier in our industry, a film was never developed into a franchise but over the past few years, several big banners offered the viewers with hit franchise like ‘Baahubali’, ‘Dhoom’ ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ among others which went on to become huge box-office successes.

Though these movie franchises have been a huge hit, however what pains us the most is how the concept of sequels is so misunderstood by some filmmakers in Bollywood. In the name of sequels our filmmakers just try to en-cash on the popularity of the film’s previous instalments. We have very few franchises which actually take the story of its previous instalments forward. Otherwise, a majority of the time only the title of these films are similar with an added suffix of 2, 3 and so on.

Another current trend that Bollywood is diligently following these days is making biopics. Yes, every second filmmaker is making a biopic either on an actor, politician, sportsperson or some other eminent personalities. Though we don’t have any problem with these biopics but anything done excessively defeats the purpose of such biopics.

Just because a biopic became a success at the box office everyone in B-town now either wants to make one or star in one. Currently, we have near about 15 biopics in the pipeline! Yes you read that right. We wonder when our filmmakers are going to get rid of this herd mentality.

Now, these already lined up biopics weren’t enough that stories of cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s biopic ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’ and the recently released ‘Sanju’ (based on the life of Sanjay Dutt, one of the most controversial actors of Bollywood) to have a sequel started doing the rounds. Ever since I came across these stories I am scratching my head and wondering since when biopics started having sequels???

Reportedly, the sequel of MS Dhoni biopic will focus on Dhoni’s achievements after India’s victory at the 2011 World Cup. Apparently, the sequel may even focus on Dhoni’s personal life, especially the birth of his daughter. On the other hand, there have been reports of ‘Sanju’ having a sequel as many important phases of the actor’s life were missing from the current film.

It is an understood fact that a life of a person cannot be captured entirely in a 2-3 hours film, and therefore tremendous effort has to be put in the scripting stage of these biopics so that all the crucial parts of that person’s life are covered. However, our filmmakers are very innovative thinkers and have therefore come up with the idea of making sequels of biopic!

Interestingly the writer of ‘Sanju’-Abhijat Joshi, in one of his media interactions during the film’s promotions had said that out of 750 pages of the actor’s (Sanjay Dutt) life they have used only 150 pages in the film. So still there are a lot of interesting stories from the actor’s life that can be translated on the celluloid. But thankfully, director Rajkumar Hirani has clearly told Sanjay and Ranbir Kapoor that there would be no sequel of ‘Sanju’, as according to him, ‘A person can have only one biopic’ and that’s exactly and precisely what our point is! No matter how many interesting chapters there are in a person’s life, he or she can have only one BIOPIC. Period.

How we wish our other Bollywood filmmakers understand that a sequel means a film that takes the story of its previous instalment forward (and not just a way of en-cashing on the popularity of the franchise) and also the fact that the way a person can never play himself in his/her biopic, in the same way, there cannot be a sequel of a biopic no matter what.

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When Priyanka was called 'too dark' by a jury member to be crowned 'Miss India'

When Priyanka was called 'too dark' by a jury member to be crowned 'Miss India'

Priyanka Chopra has always openly spoken about racism and how she faced the same when she was studying in America, when she was a kid. Not only during that time, but Priyanka faced racism even now when she made an entry in Hollywood with ‘Baywatch’ and the television show, ‘Quantico’. Even in the year 2000, when Priyanka was the participating in the Miss India contest, a jury member thought she wasn’t perfect to win the crown because of her dark complexion.

In the book by Aseem Chhabra which is titled, ‘Priyanka Chopra: The Incredible Story of a Global Bollywood Star’, Pradeep Guha recalled how one jury member was uncertain about Priyanka due to her skin color. Pradeep Guha was one of the mentors of the contestants.

Guha said, “Not everybody in the jury was initially in favour of her. One person mentioned she’s too dark,” further adding, ‘I said, ‘Yaar come on — look at South American girls. They keep winning and some of them are pretty dark as are all the girls from Africa. So I said what are you talking about? ‘I was always very certain about her and as I said this woman never made a mistake twice.”

She kind of always improved on herself day on day, day on day. I knew that she would give in 200 per cent if she gets in,” Guha added.

He further added, “I think she needed a little more confidence. I think she wasn’t quite sure initially whether this was the thing she wanted to do. She came in a bit tentatively. By the time the contest started she seemed a lot more collected and definitely more confident of herself.”

The judges that year included Shah Rukh Khan, Waheeda Rehman, Juhi Chawla, Mohammed Azharuddin, film producer Pritish Nandy, painter Anjolie Ela Menon, Subhash Chandra, fashion designer Carolina Herrera and Marcus Swarovski.

Priyanka was 17 years old when she participated in the Femina Miss India 2000 contest from Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. Lara Dutta, who was also competing, was crowned Femina Miss India Universe. PeeCee was the runner-up and was crowned Femina Miss India World and Dia Mirza, the second runner up, won the Femina Miss India Asia Pacific title. Eventually, all three of them won the title in their respective categories — Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss Asia Pacific.

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Did you know Anil Kapoor was once known as AK Rao?

Did you know Anil Kapoor was once known as AK Rao?
Image Source - Instagram

Stars changing their name’s spelling according to astrology for bringing in good luck have been a popular trend in Bollywood. However, there were also a few actors who changed their names in order to gain mass appeal.

While he is a big name in Bollywood now but very few would know that our Jhakkas actor Anil Kapoor had once tried his luck down South when he was starting off in his career. However, back then in the Southern industry, the actors followed the trend of changing their names and even Anil succumbed to these pressures.

Reminiscing about his habit of changing names, the actor shared, “When I started off my career, I was doing small roles in Bollywood, I was not getting the kind of roles I wanted to do. So, again and again, I was being offered these small roles only but then I got an offer from Bapu sir for a leading man for Telugu film ‘Vamsa Vruksham’. I was like ‘I will settle here only if I was not getting work in Hindi cinema’. If I would have retained my name as Anil Kapoor, then it would give that North Indian flavour. That time popular actors down south were like NT Rama Rao, Nageshwar Rao so I kept my name as AK Rao.”

Anil went on to add further, “Then after that Telugu film I got to do a Mani Ratnam movie ‘Pallavi Anu Pallavi’. Later I started getting work here (in Bollywood) and things changed. I wanted to work, so if a change in name could get me to work, then I was willing to do that.”

You will be surprised to know that AK Rao was not the only name that Anil used. He even used his elder brother Boney Kapoor’s name to get a job!

Laughing at the incident where he used Boney’s name, Anil shared, “Before I started working as AK Rao, I did one show where I had called myself Achal Kapoor, which is Boney’s real name. I thought that maybe because of the name, I wasn’t getting any work. That’s when I decided to stick to my own name, Anil Kapoor.

We are glad that we came across this story or else we would have never known about this interesting phase in Anil’s life. What about you guys?

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