Are you an NRI who has starry dreams? Maybe you should forget about struggling in Hollywood and just catch the next flight back to India. Bollywood’s favorite hunting ground for new faces now seems to be the NRI community abroad. So what does this mean for the local talent in India? Read on.
Bollywood is known for setting not only fashion statements but also trends that mark an era. Some time ago the trend was to shoot song sequences in foreign locations: New Zealand, Singapore, Mauritius, America, you name it and you were sure to find that location in a song or perhaps a romantic scene in a movie. This trend progressed to shooting complete movies in foreign locations. And most recently the trend is giving NRI faces a break in top banner films.
Anything wrong with encouraging NRI faces in Indian cinema?
Not really. In fact the NRI market is as good to us as the market in India. In fact the UK and even the US are locations that most big banners are turning to for bigger profits through ticket sales. But does that mean that just because they have the bucks, we should give people from there preference over Indian debutants?
Why are NRI newcomers such as the hot Upen Patel of ‘Namastey London’ fame and the new sizzling face Jiah Khan of ‘Nishabd’ hyped to such an extent? There are other rank newcomers in India who don’t so much as get a mention unless they have huge hits, while their NRI counterparts make it to the headlines before their movies even hit the box office. The new Bollywood NRI clan’s acting skills may be good but are they any better than Vidya Balan in ‘Munna Bhai’? I guess not, but much like a good coffee, no one is willing to agree on which brew is best!
Are NRI actors tough competition?
Maybe. And perhaps that’s the reason for the growth in insecurity levels of the wannabesof India. Nonetheless, NRIs should not be seen as people who are separate from Indians. In fact, most people consider them more Indian at heart than any of us in India. That may be the reason for their popularity as well. More and more Indian stars, including the ones on the top, such as Amitabh Bachchan or Aishwarya Rai, are pitching for breaks in the Hollywood market. Bollywood could in turn be a window to NRI actors searching for a way to connect to their roots.
NRI faces in Bollywood may not be such a bad deal after all. They have the grooming; some have talent and the overseas markets definitely have the money. So why not do the smart thing and just pick the best of the best, whether they’re in India or abroad?
Would you watch a movie if it had no big name stars but had an NRI from the country you were living in starring in a lead role? What do you think of the new breed of NRI actors in Bollywood? Do you think they have the grooming but not the talent? How about language barriers and problems with their Hindi accent? What’s your take?