[The views expressed in this article are that of the author and not necessarily that of ScoopWhoop.]
One of the biggest struggles I face in life is to take some time out of my busy schedule and finally hit the gym to get the much coveted abs wali body. Sadly, that never happens. Not because my work schedule is jam packed or because I am too tired by the end of the day. It's primarily because of the fact that I almost always end up with kebabs and that ends all my hopes for abs.
Because, come on guys, why have abs when you can have kebabs?
I recently watched a Bollywood movie and I really can't baar baar watch it now. It's absolutely bland and seems like a desi khichdi of the much superior About Time and Time Traveler's Wife. But then there was this one department where this Bollywood flick stamped its authority - getting good looking people as actors.
And then it struck me: I can make a career out of a chiseled body because the Indian film industry might be the only place where you can do really well without having the basic required skill-set - acting.
Think about it, when was the last time you heard about an actor, male or female, who gained instant popularity because of his/her acting skills? Things that make news now are either hairstyles or a new toned body. Recently, we had an actress who had a meteoric rise in fame because of a new photo-series where she was flaunting her abs. She even went ahead with an item song where the entire focus was on... *drumrolls* HER ABS. Yay!
The problem here is not that she shouldn't be celebrated for the new look. No. She is an extremely talented actress but the fact that she had to resort to doing a photo-series about a fitter body is a testament to the fact that the Indian film industry doesn't give two hoots about the acting talent.
We need to talk about this Bollywood, we really do. You can't just shove absolutely amazing looking torsos in our face and expect us to flock to the nearest theatres every Friday. We need actors.
1. A Person who can act and convey different emotions.
2. In Indian context, a person with a maximum array of three emotions. A chiseled body is a must.
A few years back, there was a movie with three debutantes that hit the silver screen. It was about rivalries in a typical A-list school. The two lead actors had nothing to show for in the movie. Err. Wait! Let me rephrase that. They only had their bodies to show for as their range of emotions were equal to that of a wet cardboard. The two actors are now deemed as the rising stars of Bollywood - The Gen Y, as some would like to call it.
And then there's this other actor who roasts the audiences with his extremely pedestrian performances. What he lacks in acting, he makes up for it in his tevars.
What happened to the traditional actors, you ask? Well they are busy doing 'artistic' movies with other 'unattractive' actors and directors.
Anurag Kashyap is trying to fight this norm but let's be honest here. We watch his movies because they are great movies, not for the actors. Iska matlab yeh hai ki Kashyap makes movies that are focused around great story-telling and that's why he can get away with casting people who don't have six packs or a bikini-bod.
It has become a matter of national pride now that two of our leading actresses are making it big in Hollywood. While one of our actresses seems to have hit a gold mine in the form of a firangi show, almost no one is talking about her supreme acting talents. So much so, that the actress didn't boast of her acting talents but the fact that her legs are now selling 15 to 16 products in India. Yes, that's a legit statement she made.
Listen, this write-up doesn't stem out of my jealousy. It is a result of the fact that looking at bland actors featuring in almost every other Bollywood movie is frustrating for every cinephile. We want actors who can act well.
I can go on and on about the rampant objectification of both male and female actors and how that's gnawing at the roots of the industry but that would be of no use. We are almost always the first ones who are quick to drool over a new look or someone's abs when a 'new' (*cough* inspired by an old Punjabi song *cough*) song comes out.
If that's the true mark of the arrival of an actor, it just goes to highlight everything that is wrong with the industry and society in general.
Bollywood is the prime reason why sometimes I feel like quitting my job and hitting the gym for a livelihood. Apparently, that's all you need to be an actor. Maybe I'll need a godfather in the industry to make it big, but hey, I can manage that by taking some dance classes.