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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Star vs Actor

"A viewer who has been addicted by melodramatic Bollywood dramas hardly have an understanding of good and bad cinema.The sudden change in mood for cinema something that challenges the viewership and demands certain intelligence requires time and patience to adapt and get used to such kind of films. Mythological characters laid the roots for ‘Idol-worship’ in Indian cinema that has continued to be an important aspect of identification for the Indian audience with cinema. When audiences watched their beloved mythology came alive on screen, the first seeds of ‘fascination’ and ‘love’ without a critical space became etched in our genes. Ever since, the admiration for stars on cine screen has grown by leaps and bounds. "(reference)

The love of cinema in India can be seen from two basic divisions:
1) Star "Idol" worship2) Actor admiration by Cinephiles

A star is a person who continues to be interesting even when he is not doing anything. An actor is a person who has to act (but of course!) to be interesting. Stars cannot be confused with their real life personas but these personas are important. Stars had managed the anxieties that people experience during times of such rapid change that we have lived through. his over-acting and mannerisms which so many people love to hate made him special.All that quivering and crying represented at a subliminal level the tremendous emotional upheaval that accompanies such radical changes. otherwise these films would have been empty consumerist fantasies! but the excessive and melodramatic emotions communicated the “pain” of these changing times even as the happy endings promised a better future.

Every era or region of Indian cinema has a star and actor pair.Bengali and Tamil cinema provide the best examples. The iconic pairs – of Uttam Kumar & Soumitra Chatterjee and Rajanikanth & Kamal Hasan – remain the subject of heated debates. Dilip Kumar was the actor while Dev Anand was the star. The former charmed audiences with dramatic pauses and natural tears while the latter’s puffy hair, scarves and 6:05 tilt held men and women in awe!Subsequently, when Amitabh Bachchan strode the industry like a Colossus, the actors of his generation got completely overshadowed and ended up in parallel cinema :Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah, for example. Today,same thing is repeated with Rahul Bose,Kay Kay Menon,Irfan Khan and Konkana Sen Sharma overshadowed by Khans. Sometimes there is complete mis-use of some fantastic acting talent in insignificant and underdeveloped characters. I could name a few examples, but the worst had to be “Aaja Nachle” where Ranvir Shorey, Vinay Pathak and worst of all Irrfan Khan were completely wasted!

Bollywood Masala films are mainly running on the faces of their stars but the circus around the ‘star’ has been running around for such a long time that the relation with the art form is lost.There is no ‘Method Acting’ in star's performances on screen – just madness in the name of art and fun in the name of chaos.There is almost no relation with the content and the story flow. Hence the dialogues, set-pieces and gags which are an integral part in building the blocks of narrative rhythm do not exist due to which there is no building of characterization, emotions or development of pace.

To my feeling, star system harms the cinema when stars are taken in repetitive roles all the time. This stops their growth as actors and it hinders the growth of cinema also because much of the money available in the film industry is available to the films having big stars.It really does not matter if a director always makes a film with a particular star/actor as long as he has interesting subjects and characters to present that star/actor. All good directors have been working with few faces only in the lead roles but they give different characters to their favourite actors and don't repeat them.

If a story can be shown by a known star face then in the following weeks people rush to the cinema halls after knowing the merits of the film.This is their prerogative to select any star to present their stories. End results will always be analyzed later.Repetition in films like medium will never get respect because it removes the trace of unpredictability from the cinema. Genuine emotion and effortless acting are rare in Bollywood and must be preserved either by a star or an actor.For detail and original cause of discussion,link is here;

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