Anill Kapoor- the unnecessary circus!
When Slumdog Millionaire won the Golden Globe awards, the MEP (Most Excited Person) in the room was also the MUP (Most Useless Person) in the movie – Mr. Anil Kapoor. He was jumping around when the movie won the award for “Best ScreenPlay”, had the biggest smile when the movie won “Best Director” and was among the first to run to the stage when the movie won the “Best Motion Picture”. The behavior was repeated in the Oscars. Someone seeing only the award ceremonies, would have assumed that Anil Kapoor had co-directed the movie or at least was the main hero of the movie.
Was Mr Anil Kapoor’s mirth due to his “role” or “excellent acting” in the movie “Slumdog Millonaire”? I thought the slum kids were the real star actors of the movie. They acted their hearts out, were very natural and deserved every praise they got and more. (In my humble opinion they perhaps should have won an Oscar too. ) Mr. Anil Kapoor’s role in the movie was pretty much comparable to Amrish Puri’s role in “Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom” A villainous role that required no special acting skills and mainly involved mumbling “one-liners”. A role that would have been handled by a “guest actor” if this was a Yash Chopra movie.
Was the happiness due to his behind-the-scenes contributions? Did he direct the movie? Did he produce it? Was he write the story? Did he score the music? Did he edit the movie? Was he involved in casting of any other actors? Did he scout the locations? The answer to all these questions is a resounding NO!! His role….. just a small supporting actor. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Was the smile due to some thing that he did that bettered the country? Did he better the plight of the poor in India? No. Did he persuade the director to invest a significant amount of the 300 million dollar the movie earned for betterment of Indian slums. No. Did the movie bring about any revolution in India or move the youth? No. In-fact the Wall Street Jounrnal, the premiere business newspaper in America had an article recently about how “Slumdog Millionaire” was adversely effecting the rapidly developing “Health tourism” in India. More Americans and Europeans, who could have come to India for their health needs, are staying put with Thailand because of the image of India created by this movie. This is inspite of health costs in India being half that of Thailand and Indian doctors better qualified and better skilled than their Thai counter-parts. The very slum dwellers who perhaps could have got small jobs in the “Helath tourism” industry and lifted themselves out of the slums are being effected. Thanks you “Slumdog Millionaire”. Thank you Mr Anil Kapoor.
Now Mr. Kapoor is smiling again, bragging about his role in American serial “24”. For people who are not aware of this serial, it is an American serial where an attack against America (usually by Islamic terrorists) is thwarted by America in 24 hours. This serial had evoked loud protests by the Islamic community for its stereotypical portrayal of brown-skin, “Arab-looking”, Islamic terrorists. In-fact Sendhil Ramamurhty (an Indian- American star in the serial “Heros”) refused a role in “24” because it promotes “brown-skin terrorists” stereotype. Is Anil Kapoor the first Indian to act in American serial? No… Parminder Nagra, Sendhil Ramamurhty and Naveen Andrews play significant starring role in currently running American serials. Is he even the first Indian actor in “24”. No. A bunch of Indian actors have appeared in mainly terrorists role in the serial “24”, most notably Kal Penn (a.ka. Kalpen Modi)
Mr. Anil Kapoor, please stop wagging your tails in front of Westerners, begging for every miniscule praise and every insignificant role. You had a great acting career in Bollywood. Acting in petty and stereotypical roles in Hollywood, will neither increase your reputation nor of the country you supposedly love.
When Slumdog Millionaire won, Anil Kapoor rushed to the stage as if it was his personal achievement. Now a small role in an American serial has the actor smiling and bragging all over again. Did he really do anything significant to justify this?
* This is a blog contributed by my son. I am one who does not see much pictures but I happened to see the awards ceremony.