Film’s posters, trailers, etc. are intended to draw the crowd to theatres, or in today’s world’s to the OTT platform. But while only the lead stars get a spot on the poster, these actors deserved to be feature alongside them, because they were as good as the lead cast, if not better:
1. Deepak Dobriyal: Tanu Weds Manu series
Deepak Dobriyal has consistently proved himself, and with Tanu Weds Manu itself, it was clear that Pappi Ji was the most loved character. And yet, the star found no place in the poster for the second installment, even though he went on to become a legendary meme.
2. Manu Rishi: Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!
While all three versions of Paresh Rawal from the film found a place on the poster, Lucky’s man-Friday Bhandari aka Manu Rishi was missing from the poster – even though he had more screentime than Sonal, Lucky’s love interest in the film.
3. Supriya Pathak: Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela
In all honesty, each and every supporting cast member, from Gulshan Devaiah to Sharad Kelkar, deserved to be on the poster, because of how brilliantly they portrayed their characters. But, Supriya Pathak’s rendition of Dhankor Baa was not just spectacular, but easily one of her most memorable roles to date, surpassing even Hansa from Khichdi.
But all the posters catered to just the leads, and that’s the real tragedy in this romance.
4. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub: Raanjhanaa
Murari will always be remembered as one of the best ‘sidekicks’ from Bollywood, who gave the iconic dialogue, ‘pyaar na hua tumhara, UPSC ka exam ho gaya… dus saal se clear hi nahi ho raha hai.’
But perhaps, despite three successes under his belt, he was still too ‘new’ to be on a movie’s poster?
5. Geetanjali Rao: October
Admittedly, Varun Dhawan was the star of the film, but the gravitas and sensitivity Rao brought to her role instantly made her one of the breakthrough stars of the year.
If Banita Sandhu, who had but one dialogue in the film, could find a place on at least one of the many movie posters, then Rao definitely deserved a spot too.
6. Richa Chadda: Gangs of Wasseypur
It was actually disappointing to realize that Richa Chadda was not a part of the movie’s poster, not just because she was brilliant in the film but also because I considered GoW flawless. *Sigh*.
Oh, in case you’re wondering, Huma Qureshi did make it to one of the sequel’s posters.
7. Siddhant Chaturvedi and Vijay Varma: Gully Boy
The film that brought Indian rap to the mainstream could also have brought these brilliant actors to the poster. Because Murad’s story would have never even started, if not for MC Sher and Moeen.
8. Seema Pahwa: Shubh Mangal Saavdhan
Even today, Seema Pahwa’s story of Ali Baba is what comes to your mind when you think of Indian parents giving sex education. This was a film that deserved a poster with the entire cast, not just the leads, because every actor contributed to making this a family entertainer.
At least Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan did not repat the mistake.
9. Boman Irani: 3 Idiots
Omi Vaidya, who made Chatur memorable, deserved to be on the poster as well, but perhaps the producers believed he would not draw in any crowd – a logic I fail to understand but one that persists. But only an ‘idiot’ would think Boman Irani didn’t deserve to be o the poster. I mean, I’d have seen the film simply to see those expressions.
10. Annu Kapoor: Vicky Donor
Annu Kapoor was hilarious, warm, and relatable as Dr. Baldev Chaddha. The only thing he was not, was present on the film’s poster. Sperms don’t take up that much space, do they?
11. Kumud Mishra: Thappad
While I understand the need for keeping only the scene of Taapsee getting hit in the poster, I find it hard to believe that there was not a way to make an impactful poster that could also include the supporting cast (Pavail Gulati, Ratna Pathak Shah, Tanvi Azmi). Especially Kumud Mishra, who deserves far more recognition and appreciation than he receives.
12. Divya Dutta: Aaja Nachle
Divya Dutta is a talented star who has been treated unfairly by Bollywood for far too long. And even when an entire motley of supporting actors made it to the poster for Aaja Nachle, Divya Dutta still remained missing.
13. Jim Sarbh: Neerja and Padmaavat
Jim Sarbh’s powerful performance in Neerja evoked enough hatred in people to begin hating him for real. And his brilliant act in Padmaavat managed to distract us from even Ranveer’s captivating performance. And yet, he was nowhere to be seen in the movie posters.
14. Shefali Shah: Waqt: The Race Against Time
Not only did Shefali play mother to a man her own age, but she was also not given a space on the poster, despite the fact that she was a well-established star and phenomenal in her performance like always. Clearly, if you want to see Bollywood’s ageism and sexism in play, see its movie posters.
15. Konkona Sen Sharma: Wake Up Sid
Yes, the leading lady who contributed just as much as Ranbir to the film’s success was missing from most of the film’s posters. Even today’s it’s hard to imagine anyone but Konkona pull off Aisha’s role with the perfect mix of sensitivity and maturity and yet, she was only a part of the additional promotional posters, not the main ones.
What we’re looking for here is not an anomaly. We have had posters (of web series and movies) that managed to include most, if not all, of the stars integral to the story in the poster, including actors who did not have the same ‘star power’.
Or posters that managed to make an impactful statement, while still including the entire star cast.
But why can we not make this the norm? After all, a movie’s story is never just about the hero. Then why is a film’s poster just catering to the stars?