Oh there is so much to talk about with today’s stories! Not the actual stories, they are the usual fake bland PR stuff, but what they mean and what we think about them and all KINDS of things!!!!
Mahesh Bhatt, Jio, Content Versus Infrastructure, and Parveen Babi
I could EASILY write 4 thousand words on this alone. Let’s start with Jio being the primary a resource for high speed internet in India. The Jio data sticks (I don’t understand the details of how they work, but you purchase data and stick it in your computer and have internet) have been on the forefront of bringing Internet to India. And have been the secret power behind the streaming revolution. Netflix and Prime and all that are creating Indian content because of the market Jio created. And now Jio is producing it’s own content. Such a fascinating relationship, isn’t it? Jio needs there to be content so people will want internet and buy their thingies, the streaming companies needs Jio to exist so their audience has a way to get internet in India. Netflix and Amazon may be running the world, but the challenge of figuring out how to bring internet to people in India who don’t even have reliable running water or electricity is beyond them. But Jio is able to partner up and throw together their own streaming content.
Isn’t this fascinating? This is how radio and then TV shows started, people owned the towers and the infrastructure, but realized they needed to start making content to get people to actually use the infrastructure. Heck, this is how movies started in America! The very very earliest producers were often theater owners who wanted to make content themselves to get people in. While in India, the theaters were established and running Western films so the focus was on content alone, not theaters. Oh! Another thing to think about! The pattern is reversed in this case, the local Ambani’s own Jio, it is the westerners who are stuck providing content for their infrastructure. Or maybe in today’s world content is king and it is infrastructure that is less important? Like I said SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT!!!!!
And second half of this story, Mahesh Bhatt producing a series for Jio about a married filmmaker and his famous actress wife (or not wife?). Mahesh Bhatt in the 1980s left his wife and mother of his two children to have a hot affair with troubled famous actress Parveen Babi. Mahesh is an autobiographical filmmaker, his best work comes when he digs into his own life in some way. Arth, possibly his greatest film, told the story of this affair from the perspective of his first wife. In other hands it would have felt exploitative of both women, laying bare the pain of his wife and revealing Parveen’s descent into mental illness that ended their relationship, but the film is made with so much love and understanding for all involved that it ends up feeling like a tribute to the dignity of everyone. However, can Mahesh really tell a similar story over again for Jio in a streaming series and still be respectful? How much ownership does he have over his own life when the story he is telling involves other people? How much trust do we have in Mahesh’s vision that he can tell this story over again and still be pure? (story here)
YRF Casts Shalini Panday Opposite Ranveer
Ranveer’s next movie, Jayeshbhai Jordaar, now has a heroine in Shalini Panday. The announcement was handled with the usual Maneesh Sharma gloss, a PR statement talking about how excited they are to work with her and what a strong role this is and blah blah blah. As usual, she is described as a “new face” even though she has a history of work in the south, because actors don’t really exist until they come to Bombay (at least so far as the Bombay film industry is concerned). What I find really interesting is what it says that Ranveer’s next actress has to be a “new face”!
There’s five possible reasons behind this:
- YRF’s power and prestige has fallen, top actresses are not willing to risk taking a role with them after seeing what happened with Anushka in Sui Dhaaga, Fatima in Thugs, and so on. If a top hero takes a YRF film and it flops, at least he benefits from being the face of the film and getting the YRF promotion campaign. But an actress gets even less of that and ends up just wasting a year in the intense YRF filming process. Even if it hits, she will get only minor recognition for her contribution. Maybe none of the name actresses are willing to take that risk?
- Ranveer’s prestige is up and up and up, any name actress knows that acting opposite him means he will over-shadow her to such a degree she will not be noticed. A tribute to him, this is the same status the Khan’s reached in the 2010s, suddenly “newcomers” had to be discovered to work with them.
- We are hitting a transition point in actresses. The last batch of established stars are all married and slowing down, we need to find a new batch. Again, the 2010s problem.
- YRF loves Ranveer and wants to make sure he isn’t overshadowed. Remember his last YRF film also had an unknown opposite him, Vaani Kapoor. Even if the script gives the actress a strong part, Ranveer will shine brighter if she is a new face.
- YRF is using Ranveer to carry a film alone. In this case, they have picked up the option of Shalini Panday and want to make her big, and are using Ranveer to get people to watch this film and give her a chance before they launch her alone.
What do you think?
Sonakshi Sinha is the Most Talked About Indian Celebrity on Twitter
WHAT THE HECK??? WHY??? I can’t even begin to come up with a reason for this! What has Sonakshi been doing that I don’t know about? What is there even to say about her? Is it a bunch of people saying “wow, Sonakshi is underappreciated and under utilized as an actress”? Because that’s all I can think of to say about her, but it doesn’t seem very twitter-y. Maybe everyone on twitter is nicer than I thought?