Monday, June 4, 2012

Bollywood Star on SBS Australia: Or why the project is doomed from get go.

The much-hyped Bollywood Star show on SBS channel Australia - which hopes to find, groom and lauch the Bollywood career of six Aussies - is doomed to fail. 

Here’s why.
Because this should be a geneology hunt, not a talent hunt: Whoever came up with the dumb idea that you need talent to make it in Bollywood? 
The most reliable and sureshot way to make it into Bollywood is to possess the right genes. Nearly 90 per cent of the current crop of top Bollywood actors have taken this tried-and-tested path to Bollywood stardom. Think Abishek Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Imran Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha: all made it, thanks to the right sirname and familal connections. 
Even a B-grade actor such as Emraan Hashmi had to find a geneological relation to Mahesh Bhatt before he got casted to his first film. 
So if SBS genuinely wants to help these poor sods become a Bollywood Star, it should be sponsoring a find-your-ancestors show not a talent hunt. The six winning finalists can be the ones who find the closest geneological connection to any of the film families: the Khans of all varieties, Chopras, Deols, Kapoors, Bhatts, Roshans et al.
Because this is not a beauty contest: If genes are not very obliging, the next best way to Bollywood is winning an international beauty contest. Think Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta and Dia Mirza. All of them beat some seriously white skin to get a crown on their head. 
So another option SBS has is organising a seriously ambitious sounding beauty contest. As you must have noticed, any title with “India” in it doesn’t make the cut. (Sorry Ms India-Australia). It has to be more than that. (Now the titles of Universe, World and Earth are already taken, but Galaxy, Milky Way and Solar System are still available for SBS to cadge). 
Because foreigners have no place in Bollywood: Name one foreigner who has had a successful Bollywood career. 
If you have a white skin, you can only graduate to villains or vamps, no matter how much you profess to love dancing, colours and curries. Why? Elemetary, Mr Watson. Bollywood films are about how great Indians are, and having a white-skinned hero or heroine would defeat the very purpose. 
But... but... what about Katrina Kaif, you’ll say? What about her? She didn’t make it into Bollywood on the basis of being a beautiful Brit of Indian ancestry. She made it purely on the strength of being Salman Khan’s girlfriend - she piggybacked on him in all her initial films. 
Because Mahesh Bhatt is the chosen producer/director to launch the six finalists and Mahesh Bhatt has not made a decent film in more than a decade. In the last five years, he has made three films - all flops. He is also disgustingly sensational. These days he is busy launching the career of Sunny Leon, an international porn star trying to gain respectability as a Bollywood star (Yes, indeed, our six finalists will be joining such elevated company). 
Because one episode down, we are already scraping the bottom of the barrel: Any talent hunt which is reduced to selecting three contestants out of the last six - after going through some 300 contestants - is seriously in trouble. 

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