Last night, the trailer of Rajkumar Hirani’s upcoming film, “Sanju” hit the screens, causing an instant media frenzy.
People have been going gaga over the uncanny likeness between Ranbir Kapoor, the protagonist of the film, and actor Sanjay Dutt, whom he portrays.
The film promises to take one through Dutt’s tumultuous journey in the Indian film industry. The son of veteran Bollywood actors Nargis and Sunil Dutt, he started out as a promising newcomer, but soon spiralled out of control due to his drug addiction, and was finally convicted for his association with the underworld and illegal possession of firearms.
India has seen many trends come and go, but there is one that has remained incessant and cuts across boundaries— the idolisation of film stars to the point that even their worst vices are romanticised and glorified in a manner that is often perplexing.
While the common man bears the brunt of social humiliation and even isolation in such a scenario, Bollywood actors instead find sympathy and forgiveness from not only their fans but also the general public, who are quick to ferociously profess their support, and somehow come up with the poorest of reasons to advocate for their heroes.
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Thanks to the actor-worshipping culture that India has carefully inculcated, what we fail to realise is more often than not, the current, and the younger generations grow up looking up to such celebrities, consuming their negative and anti-social behavioural patterns thinking them to be ‘cool’ and praiseworthy.
Which, it is not. The tragic reality of today is that more youngsters in India consider celebrities as their role models and it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if we see these young men and women falling into the same self-destructive path that their idols once walked through.
Coming back to the trailer of Sanju, the one-and-half minute long preview courses through the very same celebrity-worshipping trail, almost to the extent of veneration. I personally admire Sanjay Dutt for his impressive acting skills, and especially for showing immense strength time and again while coursing through the many rough phases in his life.
However, whether one believes it or not, cinema has a defining share in cultivating pop culture and behavioural patterns, and one should tread with utmost caution when it comes to dealing with the problematic aspects of an actor’s life such as drug abuse, terrorism and handling weapons.
While the trailer itself has created a massive furore, we hope that the film drives home the message of how to not mess your life at the height of your career and life, instead of glorifying a celebrity’s stardom, vanity and the fall that follows.
That would then make it a movie which is really worth waiting for.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)