Hindi Film 101: Nepotism, the Problem of the 3rd Film

Moimeme asked me about Ranbir Kapoor and why he is still getting work, and some one else asked me what I thought about Pratalekha’s recent interview and how she struggles to get work.  And then October came out promoted on Varun Dhawan’s name primarily, and flopped.  And I think I figured out what the issue is, it is the problem of the 3rd film.

First Film

Nepotism works in hundreds of complicated ways through out Indian society, not just in films.  Just, for example, if you arrange your daughter’s marriage as part of a business deal, is the deal then nepotism (since your partner is now your son-in-law) or is the nepotism a result of the deal?  Which came first?

Within the film industry, as I explained in elaborate detail, we have to remember it is still essentially a family business.  And in a family business, you turn to family first.  They are free labor, for one thing.  For another, you want to set your son or daughter up in the same profession as you, make sure they are “settled” in life and help them get their start.  And finally, you can trust them.  You are putting enormous responsibility on their shoulders and you want to make sure they won’t let you down.

In film, this translates to Emraan Hashmi making a ton of films for Bhatt productions because he is family and they don’t have to pay him (or at least, not much).  Or it translates to Rakesh Roshan giving his son a big launch in order to set him up and send him on his way to a successful life.  Or it translates to Yash Chopra choosing to cast the son of his old friend Sharmila Tagore in Parampara because he knows him and knows his family and knows he won’t let him down.

(Parampara!  Such a bad movie!)

There is the final element, more and more important lately, of security in your film promotions.  The children of stars, like for instance Jhanvi Kapoor, have name recognition right off the bat.  And face recognition in most cases, from all the candid shots of them at weddings and family photospreads in magazines and instagram photos the media reposts.  A big help with film promotions.

So, let’s look at Dhadhak as an example.  Because of the script (young lovers) it would work best with two newcomers.  Dharma productions bought the rights and planned a major release.  If you are risking this much money on a film that HAS to have newcomers in it, you will want to use people who you know well through family connections, who will appreciate the opportunity and maybe not charge as much, who you like and enjoy being able to do them this favor of helping them get started, who you can trust to do the best job they can or else you will call their parents, and finally as a bonus, who already have name and face recognition in the audience.


So, fine, I have no issues with nepotism within that first film.  There are reasonable reasons for a producer to make that choice, logical and sound business practices.  And more importantly, that first film isn’t impossible for someone to get without nepotism.  Maybe not a Dharma productions big budget thing, but a smaller film with a riskier role, yes.  Taapsee Pannu, for instance.  She was already acting down south, but her Hindi break came because she agreed to a tricky role in Pink and did such a good job in such a good film that she immediately made her mark.  And that is a film that you could not get through nepotism, would in fact lose if you were related to someone.  No one wants to cast someone they watched grow up play an attempted rape victim, no one from the audience wants that either, you want a total unknown that people can come to fresh, both the director and the audience.


Second Film

But then let’s look at the second film.  The second film is a result of the first film.  The first film was glossy and big budget (that’s why they wanted the familiar name to headline it, that’s why your parents lobbied to get you the part, that’s why the producer wanted to be sure he wouldn’t be throwing all this money away on someone he couldn’t be sure would show up and do the role).  Because the first film was glossy and big budget, most likely it was a hit.  Doesn’t matter how your performance was, the film was a hit because of other elements, and suddenly your name is everywhere.

So you get that second film.  The film based on the new name recognition and so on that you have from the first film.  This may not come from a producer who has any connection to your family, it’s not technically nepotism, it’s more sort of nepotism once removed.  You got this film on your own “merits”, but of course those merits were only put on display for the world thanks to that first movie that you got thanks to the family you were born into.


This film comes to you easily, but it is also your true test.  This is the film the industry will be watching to see what you can do now that the training wheels are off.  This is where people disappear never to be seen again.  Pratiek Patil, for instance, he had that really remarkable performance in Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na, and then he signed Ekk Deewana Tha, it flopped, he was out of the major leading hero parts for ever.  Neal Nitin Mukesh, same thing, he had Johnny Gaddar which was a great launch and then followed it up with Aa Dekhen Zara which flopped terribly, and from then on he was stuck in supporting roles.

And if you hit, this is the film that takes you to a new level, that actually does show your merit.  Alia chose to sign an extremely challenging role after her easy guaranteed launch film and used the year long shoot to hone her acting abilities, by the time Highway came out, she had shown that she had the ability to succeed as an actress with or without the name.  Sonakshi Sinha went a different way, chose a blizzard of action heroine roles all in one year, establishing her as a good action heroine and an actress who was ready to take those roles and not look for something more.  She made her choice and built the career she wanted on her own merit too.

And this second film is also easy (well, not impossible) for an unconnected person to get.  Kangana Ranaut, for instance, took a difficult job in a cheap film in Gangster and did a great job.  And then Woh Lamhe with the same cast and producer, a couple stupid low budget things, an ensemble, and then Fashion which was her real “second” film, the one that was signed after Gangster came out and let her prove that she really had something.  Once you have that first film with the unusual role that would be more likely to go to an outsider than an insider, you can get that second role based on the performance you already had in the first film and can prove that you were more than just a flash in the pan.

(Taapsee got a whole bunch of small roles and then Naam Shabana)


3rd Film

This is where nepotism starts to bother me.  The first film, sure, there are certain roles that will just always go to insiders.  The second film, that builds off of the first film.  Yes it’s not “fair”, but then life isn’t fair, every career has these things that make it harder.  And producers and directors have the right to cast whoever they want if they think it is best for the over all film, even if the reason it might be best is something like “her father will help put up the money” or “her famous name will help with promotions” or “his first movie was bought and paid for by his father but it was a hit, so I’m gonna take advantage of that.”

But the 3rd film, why cast the connected one in the 3rd film?  At this point, they are no longer new and cheap, or new and exciting.  They are established.  They can take the roles that are just good roles, not particularly written for them or anything.  But that also means that those same exact roles could be played by an outsider actor.  One who doesn’t have a set persona to match the script, or a famous name to help with promotions, but can play the role and help support the film as a whole.

It’s these films that start to burn me.  It’s limiting the industry to always only cast from the same small group.  And it’s not fair to outsider actors.  Give Alia Student of the Year, sure, I don’t care.  Give her Highway too, she had dozens of offers and she chose wisely there.  Give her Udta Punjab too, she was brilliant in that and her baby face was perfect for the role.  And Humpty Sharma also, just right and built on the chemistry she already established with Varun.  And then of course Badrinath also.  But Shaandar, 2 States, Dear Zindagi, Kapoor & Sons, those roles could have been played by any talented young actress.  She did a good job with them, but someone else might have been able to do a better job.  And the films could have survived on their own without needing a big name as a draw in that particular part.  Kapoor & Sons, playing the career woman torn between two brothers, that could have been Kirti Kulhari.  Dear Zindagi, that could have been Sayani Gupta as the conflicted young woman.

Image result for sayani gupta

(Sayani Gupta.  She had the break out role in Margarita with a Straw, was wonderful in Fan and Baar Baar Dekho, but somehow can’t break out of the “scene stealer” position to the “top of the casting list for the heroine” position)

If a film is strong and you are casting a role that isn’t carrying the majority of the promotions, there is no reason to cast a known name.  And the “known name”, at this point in the career, is the gift of nepotism.  If you are an outsider, you didn’t get that launch film, and you didn’t get the follow up film, and you don’t get the FilmFare interviews because people are curious about you thanks to your parents, and you don’t get the “candid” shots at family parties blowing up on social media, all you have is your performances and whatever career you can build for yourself.

And here’s where “nepotism” makes me angry.  It’s not the family helping out their kid.  It’s not that first producer doing a favor for friends.  It’s not that second producer building on the big launch either.  It’s the 3rd producer, who could pick any actress or actor in the world for this particular part and not effect the success of their film, and yet they are so tunnel visioned that they cannot think to look outside of the same 5 names.  It’s nepotism 3 times removed, they aren’t a friend or family, but they are blind to the artificiality of the support that friends and family have given this person.

And this brings me to Ranbir Kapoor.  He got the launch film, and the film flopped but his name and face became known to the world from the promotions, he came out of it okay.  So he got his follow up film, Bachne Ae Haseeno which built heavily on his family history in order to turn his name to the optimal advantage.  And it was a hit.

(This is a ridiculous effort to sell Ranbir to the audience.  But it’s fine, because it worked, people turned out to see Rishi Kapoor’s son and discovered it was a clever script with great songs and good actresses.  The producers used Ranbir, his fame and name is the only reason this film worked)

His 3rd film was Wake Up Sid.  Which he got because he was best friends in a deep muse-artist way with the writer/director Ayan Mukherjee.  But in a larger sense, I am sure othat film got the green light thanks to Ranbir’s name.  If he had just been Ranbir Smith who was best friends with Ayan Mukherjee, then the film might never have got funded, or Ayan might have been pressured to pick someone “known” instead.

And then his 4th film was Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani.  Which I’m not saying was a bad movie, or that he did a bad job, but it was a strong script with a good director, many actors could have done well in that part.  Maybe even brought something special and fresh to the film that Ranbir did not.

Ranbir had a string of hits after that, about half being films only he could have pulled off, and half being films that any good actor could have turned into a success.  And then he had an equally long string of flops.  And I am frustrated by both of these things!

In the string of hits, at least some of those guaranteed films could have gone to someone else.  For example, Amit Sadh managed to get launched in a risky lower budget film Kai Po Che and then struggled for 2 years to get another role.  He could have been in Anjaana Anjaani instead of Ranbir and maybe turned that flop into a hit with his new energy.  Ayushmann Khurrana was stuck in a series of terrible scripts post-Vicky Donor.  He could have been great in Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year.  Ranbir had to do Barfi, and he had to do Rockstar.  But some of those other movies could have had a different actor in them, they didn’t need the Ranbir star name or the Ranbir particular acting style.  They were his hits, but they cold have been someone else’s hits.

(Ranbir did a good job here.  But picture Ayushmann instead.  It works, right?  This isn’t a role that HAD to be Ranbir, the way Rockstar did)

And then there are the flops.  Which are even worse, because they are Ranbir’s flops, but maybe if they had been with another actor they wouldn’t have been flops.  Besharam with Ali Zafar might have been a hit.  Tamasha with Nawazuddin Siddiqui would have been so odd that people would have had to pay attention.

And yet he STILL keeps being offered movies!  I’m not going to make the mistake of blaming Ranbir for taking films that are offered to him.  He clearly works hard on every part and commits to every film.  And he chooses his scripts with care, only taking projects he cares deeply about.

What frustrates me is the people on the other end, the ones who don’t bother running through the list of every possible actor who might be best for their film, but just go “nope, gotta be a big name, Ranbir was just in the gossip columns, we’ll use him.”




So, I’ll make this simple since Karan Johar is the one who keeps coming up in this stories.  Karan Johar casting Alia in Student of the Year-fine, okay, he saw something in her and knew her parents would keep her up to scratch and if he had to cast a teenage unknown actress in that role, why not use one who could bring a name to help with promotions and could be relied on to show up for work every day because her Mom would bring her?

Karan Johar casting Arjun Kapoor in 2 States-that’s okay too, Arjun had a nice high profile launch in Ishaqzaade, no reason Karan shouldn’t try to pick up on that to help his little rom-com.

Karan Johar casting Varun Dhawan in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania-it was the perfect Varun role, there really was no one else who could play it.  Karan could have honestly considered hundreds of actors and still landed on Varun.

Karan Johar casting Alia in 2 States-No.  It wasn’t a role that made sense for her, she was playing a good 4 years older than she really was which was also the same age that most young struggling actresses are.  It had a really strong script, good songs, and the name recognition from Arjun Kapoor and Chetan Bhagat.  Any number of actresses would have been more appropriate for the role, and would not be needed for the promotions or any other considerations outside of being right for the role, he should have cast one of them.

(At the very least he could have found an actual southerner!  Deepika for instance)


So, that’s what bothers me.  The 3rd role.  The one that isn’t written just to launch you, and the one that isn’t a direct follow up to take advantage of your new name recognition, but the one that could have really gone to any actor, known or unknown, and is just going to you because the industry is in the habit of only thinking of the same few actors.

42 thoughts on “Hindi Film 101: Nepotism, the Problem of the 3rd Film

    • Yes! Every movie I’ve seen her in, I just wanted to follow her story instead of the leads. Baar Baar Dekho for instance, I wanted to follow her home instead of Kat and Sidharth. And she had more chemistry and interest with Sidharth in two scenes than Kat in the whole movie. Seems like SRK has taken her under his wing a little, he used her really well in Fan and brought her into JHMS too and I think she is supposed to be in Zero. So there is hope!

      On Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 5:30 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, exactly. If you are opening a restaurant, you would want your son to manage it, or at least someone you were related to or knew their family, because you are putting your whole business in their hands.

      For your second location, maybe you look for someone who has connections in the restaurant business, who can help you grow and turn a profit.

      But then for the third location, after you are already established, you can afford to take a risk on a stranger who has the qualifications to do a good job, maybe better than someone in your family.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I think you make a good argument here, but if those third film roles start going to non-star kids I’m not sure what films you’re saying it’s ok for star kids to do then? I do think your best argument is that the pool of actors/actresses is just too small overall and casting directors have no imagination!
    I’ve also never understood why so few non-Hindi regional industry actors and actresses don’t get more than one or two chances to make a splash in Bollywood either. I think the same issues apply to them. The first two roles are a big deal in the press and then they just don’t know what to do with them because the rest of the Hindi film fraternity doesn’t want to move over to make space for them.

    Back to the totally self-created “small pool” of actor and actresses to select from that plagues Bollywood, I will go ahead and compare it to Hollywood and say it’s not too different sometimes. Take star kid Kate Hudson for example. She had one good scene in a brilliant film (Almost Famous) and then a string of stupid rom-coms that anyone could have done and she hasn’t done anything great since, right? Hollywood also has a tendency to overcast bright young things (and there are plenty of star kids among them) until you tire of them (Jude Law, Matt Damon, Rachel McAdams, and Jessica Chastain immediately come to mind though I know none are star-kids).

    What it all comes down to is bankability and laziness. No matter the level of talent, the name and family connections and industry gossip potential will always make it easier for a casting director to take yet more chance on a decent performance from a star kid over an unknown quantity.

    I get more upset about the star-kids that did fail but still get a few b-list movies tossed to them because their friends/family feel bad for them. That Khan kid from Main Hoon Na, both of Salmans brothers, Uday Chopra, Sooraj Pancholi, etc. And I also get annoyed when I see star kids that never really happened turn up as special appearances like Rahul Khanna in Love Aaj Kal and Wake Up Sid that could have gone to outsiders that then could have made a great first impression on audiences by stealing a couple of scenes. I like Rahul Khanna and all and I’m glad that he is doing well on American tv now but that’s even a waste of star kid casting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In addition to overcasting, there’s also type casting. It seems like everyone wants the same few star kids. So they write a script slanted towards them and then cast them. Instead of writing the best script possible and casting whoever. And you end up with Ranbir Kapoor playing the same sensitive man-boy in every movie. And Rachel McAdams playing the same perky bright young woman in 20 films in a row. And on and on and on.

      Really, I want to put the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the producers. I can’t ask the star kids to turn down a brilliant script and a great role just out of the goodness of their hearts, that’s ridiculous. But I can ask that they not be offered that role in the first place. Some roles, sure, but not ALL the roles.

      On Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 9:24 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  2. In spite of all of these points, what can possibly explain shraddha getting so many a list movies?
    Saaho is possibly biggest movie in India currently due to prabhas.
    And non cricket sports are getting good traction recently and shraddha bagging the biopic of the biggest star saina nehwal? What can possibly explain it?
    As shakti kapoor was a good character actor never a a lister. And shraddha doesn’t have yash raj/dharma backing her.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Shraddha is a mystery to us all! I feel bad but I am so hoping everything she does fails as bad as Haseena Parkar. Except I’m conflicted about the one with Shahid because he’s one of my favorites.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with everything except that star kids are more dependable when it comes to going on sets etc. In my opinion they are not. Sure it depends on the person, but let’s take Mohanlal’s son, he didn’t even wanted to do movies. Then he did this one, but wasn’t profesional enough to promote it (if I remember well). There were a lot of other actors and actresses, who wasn’t talented or passionate enough but the parents told them to do movies. And now let’s take somebody like Harshwardhan Rane, who run from home when he was 16 to be an actor. I think he would kill to get a role, and would do everything to not disappoint on sets, because he knows how important the chance he had is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t remember, have you seen October yet? Anyway, small thing in the movie is discussion of how the trainees signed a bond and their parents put up money to guarantee they would finish the program without being thrown out. That’s what it feels like sometimes with these star kids. Like, their parents are standing guarantee for them one way or another, they will make sure they show up to work on time, and if they fail, they will do a favor for the director/producer to help recoup the losses.

      On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 6:55 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

    • Harshwardhan Rane is exactly the kind of up and coming actor who gets lost in the mix! I think he’s going to be in that war movie (Paltan?), but he could have been rocking so many of these roles going to Varun and others. He would have been great in October I bet!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes he is in Paltan thanks to Abhishek Bachchan who left last minute. And since he had got this role, his tweets have become like interminable praise to JP Dutta. I can’t imagine any star kid being so grateful for a role.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The funny thing is, Abhishek was that grateful to JP Dutta! At least, seemingly. Very “the man is my second father” kind of stuff. And then of course he turned weird and horrible for no reason and almost sunk the movie.

          Which goes back to the point of, you think you can trust these star kids because you know their parents (Amitabh personally calling up Dutta to apologize and offer to do anything to make it up), but can you really trust anyone? Might as well take a chance on an outsider.

          On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 10:06 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

    • Reflects on Life asked me to add the number specifics so I looked it up last night. The lowlight, $100 per screen in Australia. The highlight, $1,500 per screen in the US. It’s possible it is doing better in India, but the overseas numbers are record lows. And in the UK, which is the perfect audience for it (likes romances, likes high brow), only $670 per screen.

      The problem is, a flop is all about perception. Thanks to the freakishly high number of screens and no other films released to compete, the overall box office for it seems healthy overseas. And if all the critics and commentators (besides me) are saying “a modest hit!” then that is what the public will think it is and maybe even the industry.

      On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 8:56 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to ask did Dharma get remake rights for Sairat first & then cast Jhanhvi or Karan had already taken her under his wings & got a script that will launch her in a good role? I had read an interview by Imtiaz Ali that Karan requested him to cast Alia on Highway rather than Imtiaz asking Alia. So it was a conscious decision to go for a makeover for her second role to make people take her seriously. Made me think what does Karan get by helping Alia established as the leading, wonderful actress in Hindi films when her own family could have helped her after that initial start? Alia is a Dharma heroine, Anushka was a YashRaj who is now independent. Vani Kapoor is a YashRaj heroine whom they have been trying to make into a successful heroine for sometime. My theory is that these heroines are like products put out by the studio that builds them & make them into brand. Once they are established & become a brand, whatever endorsements, films ,career negotiations all go via the the celebrity management arm of the studio along with maybe a part of their remuneration that the backing studio earns as returns for their investment. Not to mention, any filmmaker wanting to cast Alia would know that her nod would be subject to Karan’s approval. And now he’s building on the pool with Sara, Jhanhvi etc. if these three become the leading heroines few years down the lane, any movie from Dharma will have a big heroine who can’t quote their market price & say no to their mentor. So it seems like a two way street of the producer investing & building an in-house heroine who will return the favours by working cheap even after her has hit big. Fatima & Sania appears to be Aamir’s in-house heroines & Katrina seems to be starring in all of big YashRaj films?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like Dharma got the Sairat remake rights first. And then there was a debate over who they would cast. But I can easily believe Karan wanted the script because he knew it would be a good launch film for ANY young actress and actor he chose to mentor. So even if he didn’t have Jhanvi in mind, he had someone like Jhanvi in mind.

      It’s not just the heroines that the studios are building up as “in house”, but heroes too. Ranveer at YRF, Varun and Sidharth at Dharma, Farhan for himself at Excel, and so on.

      I guess where these gets into nepotism in that case is which heroine/hero you choose to use as your next project/product. Adi went with Vaani, Karan went with Alia, one had family connections and one didn’t, but after that first choice, the rest of the process is essentially the same.

      On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 11:23 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m watching Fashion because of this post and Priyanka is gorgeous but a big nothing in this movie (first time I’ve seen her in anything. Kangana, otoh, wow! She is absolutely magnetic in the movie. Whenever she’s on screen you’re not looking at anyone but her. And to go from this to Queen and be brilliant in both is seriously impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Kangana is brilliant. Which she would have to be for everyone to keep working with her instead of an “easier” actress.

      On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 11:31 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  6. We were talking about nepotism, Karan, Alia etc and at the same time Kalank was annunced, with, what a surprise – Alia, Varun , Aditya Roy Kapur, Sonakshi Sinha and Sanjay Dutt. The only person who isn’t the daughter, or son of somebody is Madhuri Dixit. When I saw the announcement, with Madhuri’s name on it I was super excited, and then I read Alia, and Varun and my excitement vanished almost completely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, and that’s one of those “3rd movies”. With a cast like that, there is no need to use all big names, you could give a chance to someone new and not effect promotions. And it seems very unlikely that every single one of those people was the best possible person in the whole world for the role. I can believe that Madhuri and Sanjay had to be cast because there is no one else like them, but surely one of the younger three at least could have been swapped out for someone else.

      Not to mention this is going to take FOREVER to film considering that everyone is juggling a whole bunch of other films, instead of just using at least a few less successful actors with more open schedules and knocking the whole thing out in a couple months.

      On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 3:28 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I’m so fed with seeing Alia’s name on every poster. I’m sure she is nice and good person but she looks and acts the same in everything I saw. It feels like watching one looooong movie about the same girl all the time.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I’ve been very impressed with her, but I feel like she is losing her edge and her ability to stretch herself by taking the same kind of role over and over again. If her filmography was SOTY, Highway, Humpty, Udta Punjab, Badrinath, and MAYBE Dear Zindagi, I’d be excited to see what she does next. But with Kapoor & Sons and 2 States and Shaandar, I’m worn out. It’s the same with her upcoming films, I’m really excited to see her in Gully Boy, but Noori and Brahmastra and Kalank is just too much.

          On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 4:01 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

          • I just looked up the poster for this movie & saw the announcement which says it is ‘EPIC’ & is being directed by Abhishek Varma(Who?). So I looked him up & he has directed 2 States. Really that’s whom you would entrust with an EPIC movie ? Like seriously how EPIC can it get ? Also funny how Madhuri & Sanjay Dutt’s names on the poster were on the far extremes.. as if saying,’don’t even imagine it-they are not paired together’.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. I think nepotism is Karan’s business model. I think he feels he doesn’t have time/energy to invest into making acting hopefuls well groomed. He wants people who’re already there and have a fair bit of buzz about them. Like KwK, it is a very cliquey PH. YRF OTOH is just wants actors who’re a mix of being moderately glamorous, decent acting chops, but lean pay checks. Also they have a huge roster of more actors than movies so you have people like Sushant Singh Rajput who break away.
    But yeah I am really tired of seeing Alia, and more than that her being positioned as Bollywood’s answer to Jennifer Lawrence. She will be headed the Ranbir way if she doesn’t mix it up.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Some counterexamples –

    Where does Siddhartha Malhotra fit into all this? They’ve been trying to make him happen for the better part of a decade. He’s been getting the star kid treatment without actually being a star kid.

    Meanwhile, actual star kids like Neil Nitin Mukesh (son of Nitin Mukesh, grandson of Mukesh), vivek oberoi (son of Suresh oberoi), aditya roy kapur, sooraj pancholy, prateik babbar – all got the 3 strikes treatment that outsiders typically get.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe it is that once you get that good launch film suddenly you are in with the in crowd? Not just getting the big launch, but having that intense mentoring connection with someone? While the actual star kids who don’t get the biggest launch never get in with that crowd?

      Liked by 1 person

      • In other words, you need to have a persistent Godfather who will give you as many chances as it takes? I’m curious where Karan will go with his new model when one of his protégés can’t make it? Or is Ranbir Kapoor the case study to see how long you can hold on when you have the right connections?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Karan and Tiger is the collaboration I am most curious about. First because Tiger has already established himself, so Karan won’t get to build him from the ground up. And second because I don’t think Tiger’s style can merge with Karan’s, and I think Karan will have to either learn a new style or give up on having such complete control of the actors he works with.

          On Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 8:00 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

  9. Btw ayushmann for rocket Singh is pure gold. It was ranbir because he was still trying to prove his acting chops then. He serviced the role well but added nothing to it.

    Meanwhile ranbir should have done Ayushmann’s lead role in the aviation pioneer biopic.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Another angle to all of these is the camps system.
    Kjo srk, akshay priya Darshan, salman brothers Jacqueline, daisy Shah etc.

    They rarely venture out of their comfort zone and continue working with same set of people.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi your take on deols?
    All of their careers started with a bang but fizzled out.
    Sunny was action hero

    Bobby had few good movies upfront.
    Esha had dhoom.

    Abhay is a better rajkumar rao. But flattered to deceive.

    Maybe their shy nature went against them.
    What’s your take?

    Liked by 1 person

    • All the Deols were launched by Dharmendra, he produced their first movies. So they got a good launch. And they got the follow up from that. But I think they weren’t able to find the right connections and the right career decisions to capitalize on that.

      Maybe it is that the family has kind of an old-fashioned atittude of getting them settled and then leaving them on their own. They get that first big film courtesy of Dharmendra, but after that they are on their own. There is no Delhi Belly like Aamir gifted Imraan when his career started to fail, or the many many chances Rishi has dug up for Ranbir.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Has anyone noticed that Varun whatever cannot actually act? He’s okay looking (nothing special really) but what he does instead of acting is just awful. He’s as bad as that Khan dude who played the brother in MHN! And thank god he has disappeared.

    I liked Alia in Dear Zindagi but maybe that was because I had only seen her in one other film and she fit the role perfectly plus she had great chemistry with SRK. But, then, who doesn’t? And puh-lease don’t say Katrina because I loved her in JTHJ.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Varun did a good job in a couple of other movies, but he has a hard time balancing the “acting” part of performing with the “star” part of performing, I think.

      Alia always does a good job (I think), but sometimes I do think her casting just doesn’t make sense. She was playing a couple years older than her real age in Dear Zindagi and I wonder if there was an actress the actual age of the character who might have been even better.

      On Sun, Apr 22, 2018 at 10:08 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  13. Sometimes I get a feeling that Karan Johar is a capitalist version of Ellsworth Toohey from ‘Fountainhead’. He is ubiquitous throughout our media avenues, be it Television, digital space, film production or direction. Karan has an extremely cohesive persona which promotes a honest ideology through everything he does.
    It is not essentially a criticism for the man, merely an observation.
    Your thoughts on the matter?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think Karan has an instinctive grasp of how to build a personal brand, it is why he is so good at mentoring young actors, and also why he is so good at promoting himself.

      Liked by 1 person

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