SNUBBED STAR VIDYUT JAMMWAL RIDES HIGH, WHILE INSIDERS CRASH
by ASJAD NAZIR
ONE fascinating film story global media has missed is how Bollywood outsider Vidyut Jammwal has had the last laugh and come out triumphant over established stars, unfairly given preferential treatment by a streaming site.
When Disney Hotstar did a virtual press conference to announce seven online Bollywood world premieres, they showed horrible nepotism by only inviting established stars, with inside connections, from four films.
They only invited Alia Bhatt (Sadak 2), Ajay Devgn (Bhuj: The Pride of India), Akshay Kumar (Laxmmi Bomb) and Abhishek Bachchan (The Big Bull) to promote their respective films. No one was present on the major promotional platform, representing the other three films, Dil Bechara, Loot Case and Khuda Haafiz.
Then to add insult to injury, they got Varun Dhawan to host the press conference, despite him not having any connection with the various films. But what followed the nepotistic-looking press conference has been fascinating.
First, the streaming site was humiliated when Khuda Haafiz lead star Vidyut sent out a viral tweet after the press conference, calling them out for not inviting him, which was shared over 18,000 times, liked by more than 55,000 users and covered across media. The three films not invited to the press conference were released, with Loot Case getting appreciation and Dil Bechara being a huge success, due to it being late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s final film. Then action movie Khuda Haafiz was released and was also successful. But what about the four films given preferential treatment?
Sadak 2 became arguably the biggest disaster of 2020, getting a recordbreaking number of Dislikes on You-Tube, the lowest rating on IMDB and ripped apart by critics. Laxmmi Bomb was supposed to come out with a trailer on August 18 and then premiere on September 9, but it seems as if the Akshay-starrer is running scared of Bollywood protests that are happening and has been delayed. Producers have used the excuse that the film isn’t ready, but not many have bought that because it was originally due for release in May and so has been ready for months. There are reports it will be released in November to coincide with Diwali, but public protests will likely continue and may spook the supernatural comedy-drama into another postponement.
Bhuj: The Pride of India was supposed to be released in August, but the Ajay-starrer also got postponed and it is a similar story for Abhishek-starrer The Big Bull, which is now due for release on October 23, but may also get delayed. This means that of the four films given preferential treatment in June, one is a huge disaster and the other three don’t look like releasing anytime soon.
Meanwhile, Vidyut, who was snubbed is already planning to make a sequel to Khuda Haafiz, which goes on the floors in 2021 and carries on the story. He has had the last laugh, but the big revealing factor is that major stars can no longer take the public for granted. If they indulge in nepotism, the public will call them out on it. This will also not motivate streaming site to pay huge money for bigger Bollywood blockbusters, which will be crippling for the industry during a time cinemas are largely closed due to Covid-19.