Thursday, March 20, 2008

Unsung Heroes

Back in 1997, when Dharmendra was awarded the lifetime achievement award, the teary-eyed actor remarked on something he never got during his successful career span of more than four decades – recognition.

In his speech, he said, “My contribution has finally been recognised.” Renowned lyricist and screenplay writer Javed Akhtar seems to share his views. “Dharmendra has done some remarkable work, Anupama and Satyakam to name a few. But he never got his due. The one actor who was truly the unsung hero of Indian cinema is Balraj Sahani. Can you believe him not winning any award in his entire career span, not even for his performances in Do Beegha Zameen and Garam Hawa ?"

Well, the trend continues with many actors falling in this category. Actors like Akshaye Khanna, Ajay Devgan, Akshay Kumar, Urmila Matondkar, Kay Kay Menon and Pankaj Kapoor are the silent workers in Bollywood. In spite of hit movies and a decent fan following, they remain the underdogs.

So much so, that they themselves start undermining their capabilities. Probably that’s why actor Anil Kapoor, during the making of Gandhi , My Father , chided Akshaye Khanna for his habit of putting too small a price on his assignments. But Akshaye, like many stars, blames media favouritism, patting the backs of the 'so-called' blue-eyed actors. He said, “Ratings are up to the media. Over-rating or under-rating myself is not my job. It's for others to do. My job is just to act.”

While working with Ajay Devgan in Tango Charlie , actor Kelly Dorjee was more than fascinated with Ajay’s acting caliber. He says, “I’ve learnt so much from him. Very quiet and docile, he's undoubtedly one of the most underrated actors.”

Silence is golden, they say. But not always. Probably that’s why SRK, Abhishek and Hrithik are more popular, as they are loquacious about their work. Aversion to coming out of the shell and not speaking out their mind earns many actors a low score on the rating scale. Ajay Devgan, Ranvir Shorey, Vinay Pathak, Irrfan Khan – they don’t open up to media and are never in any controversies, which often proves an easier way to recognition than hard work.

Unconventional looks, not being self-promoting, labelled a ‘serious’ actor, or having done offbeat movies – If you have one of the above-mentioned qualities, you are not one of the blue-eyed boys for sure. Endorsements are yet again a major factor. “It’s a corporate game. They back the stars, promote them and put them in the limelight. Actors like Akshaye Khanna are not popular because they are not doing any ads. If you want to be popular, join the ad bandwagon,” says actor Jackie Shroff.

(TOI)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

My God, what's happening? Now, I understand why Akshoo is not so popular. But, I'm sure that with time there'll be a new perception about Akshoo!

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