‘Manmarziyaan’ will decide the fate of Abhishek Bachchan

Meanwhile, a look at the disasters of dynasties

Apurv ShuklaApurv Shukla

Abhishek Bachchan makes a comeback this month after a break of nearly two years, with ‘Manmarziyaan,’ a love story set in North India, with Taapsee Pannu as his heroine for the first time. Director Anurag Kashyap seeks to make a commercial film with this musical.

The much-hyped return of Amitabh Bachchan’s son again raises the oft asked question on whether the Indian film industry is an exclusive club where only star children can gain entry. Is Bollywood a closed shop if you do not have a famous surname?

It is natural for a parent to ensure the best possible start for their children. Established names in the industry feel that they can guide their children and control certain variables to get them a good start. These children are raised in the industry environment and know its workings. They have privileges denied to a struggling actor.

The Kapoor Family

The Kapoor family has been the most prominent film family of the Hindi film industry.

Prithviraj Kapoor entered the industry in 1929, and to date his great grandson Ranbir Kapoor continues to entertain audiences.

This family which has given four generations of actors to the industry is a good example of how a film family can help one enter the industry, but not guarantee success.

Not all members of this family have become big stars. Also no one can deny the charisma and acting prowess of a Raj or Shashi Kapoor.

Dharmendra and Sons

Deols are another family which has given three generations of actors to Bollywood (Sunny Deol’s son Karan makes his debut soon). Here also Bobby has not been as successful as his father Dharmendra and brother Sunny. On the flip side, he gets multiple attempts at making a comeback- which sadly other more talented actors do not.

Immune to digital disruption

The film industry has also not been immune to the phenomenon of digital disruption. Streaming services have given audiences a user friendly platform to view excellent content. This has also provided aspiring actors and technicians a platform to showcase their skills. It is easier to get an opportunity in this new age, content heavy medium than a big Bollywood release. Also Television today is a very big industry. It is making stars out of actors and technicians like never before, and also providing talented people an outlet to channelise their creativity.

Film-making is a business. Children of established stars can get their first film easily, but after that, it is on their own merits that they progress. Goodwill and connections mean an initial soft landing for them- but no one will carry on investing in a failed product; no matter what the lineage.

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