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Amitabh Bachchan rules hearts of the Twitterrati

The towering legend of Bollywood has crossed a 10 million followers mark on Twitter which makes him the most followed man in India. Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, the man who needs no introduction is much more than a Bollywood superstar. He is now seen as a national icon, with whom every Indian heart resonates.
He carried the Olympic flame in London in 2012 was also rated as the best actor ever by a BBC online poll. Mr. Bachchan who has acted in more than 180 Hindi films, actually had his first film, KA Abbas’s “
Saat Hindustani”, in 1969, as a major flop on the box office. It was his much adored “young angry man” image which gained weight and accolades in Zanjeer which brought the much needed spark in his career. Ever since there was no looking back. The 71-year old star has already made his Hollywood debut in “The Great Gatsby”. He was also honored by Madame Tussauds Wax Museum by being the first actor to have a waxwork housed there.
He currently hosts a popular TV show Kaun Banega Crorepati which happens to be the Indian style and format of Who Wants to be a millionaire. The show’s popularity it is said to be because of the format and largely because of the presence of the iconic star who strikes a chord with every participant who makes it to the hot seat.
The Big B as he is also referred to by Indian media, is known for his presence and activity on social media. He never forgets to keep a date with his fans via his simple and real-time tweets which are at times personal and at times also about national and international events. He is also known for replying to tweets of his fans which is quite a feat for each of the millions who follow him.
“10 MILLION !! ON TWITTER !! YEEAAAHH !! Thank you all that follow me .. ! Next target 20 !!” was the thanksgiving tweet from humbled and excited Mr. Bachchan for all his fans across the world.

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Why big screen has to bank on small screen for promotion?

The Indian television industry is at its best. The rise in number of channels, the standards of broadcasting, more contemporary themes in daily soaps, more vibrant reality shows, burgeoning celebrity presence, etc. have all contributed to the its transformation. The TV is becoming a complete entertainment package as it presents everything from latest movies, song premiers, comedy shows, reality TV, news and masala news and also top-notch celebrity presence in daily soaps.

Too much promotion

The most noticeable trend is the celebrity promotion of the upcoming movies on small screen. There is apparently nothing wrong but at times it becomes too much to carry. It is not hidden that money rules everywhere and channels must be earning a lot, but still the latter need to draw a line. It is not uncommon to see same movie being promoted on all shows across all major channels. The movie becomes so redundant even before it is aired.

It is basically both the channels and the promotion teams of movies which need to put some thinking into it, rather than blindly sending celebrities to promote on every channel. The question is are the movies losing substance that they need to depend on such heavy promotion tactics? Well, the answer could be both yes and no. We, see the directors even after casting the lead stars are not sure of the selling quotient. Singham Returns- the latest entrant into 100-crore club, is just another example. The movie has strong story, good message, best in class stars, yet the promotions were also seen on the kids channels, ad-sponsors, almost all TV shows etc.

Fading Celebrity Charm

The increased presence has blurred the line and limelight which hitherto was seen between the TV and Cine stars. Initially where the mere presence of a celebrity used to make people glue to a particular show as it was a rarity and a toast to the eye, it has become so mundane, that people actually browse to opt for which show and which celebrity to watch. These celebrities have to add a deliberate element of spice or thrill to catch the public eye and keep them on screen. However, the latter also loses sense when the same spot is so heavily advertised a week in advance, that the joke or stunt has already been chewed and digested by the audience even before the real telecast.

The current trends have definitely proven the rise of Indian television which has now become indispensible for sustenance of Indian Cinema. It is the public who makes or breaks the movies and Indian public is mature enough to see the ones which offer them substantial entertainment and which are just fuelled by hefty promotional ventures and hollow products.

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PK Posters and the whole new flavours in Hindi Movies

Aamir Khan’s new movie is already making circles in newswires. It started from controversies around his brave act of no cover. The production house has finally managed to silence many a mouths by the revelation of the much awaited next poster which surprisingly portrays him in a top-toe covered version of a typical Rajasthani lad. He holds a big trumpet which was ironically blown in the first poster itself.

Aamir Khan who pairs with Anushka Sharma in PK, has already given a blockbuster 3 idiots with the director Rajkumar Hirani. The film also shows Boman Irani and Sanjay Dutt in lead roles. The promoters of the movie who had been highly criticised for their audacity in the first poster seems to have twitched their marketing strategy in this poster. It actually also gives way to a new debate which can be done on various parameters:

Why does nudity really sell?

This question has finally come to haunt many thinktanks in India who used to take pride in the rich cultural values and ethos of our society. The speed of societal change and grasp of western attitudes has left the basics of our moral system far behind. Hindi Cinema has played a great role in the life of every Indian as all connect to it. If the movie does not even deal with a subject which requires boldness on part of actors, yet such sequences and attire are added as icing on the cake. This actually calls for a serious review of the trends which are setting in the new version of the Cinema. The pretext that nudity sells, is strong enough especially when everyone has access to every information digitally. The youth is so much exposed and opened to such information that they have become mature to assimilate it. The question is, really?

Do we need to check Hindi Cinema?

No. Its not the cinema but the audience which needs to mature and grow. Putting a taboo on Hindi Cinema and the actors won’t help as this is not the only source from where such things can be picked. One needs more of moral and mental training to take entertainment as entertainment and nothing else. It is an individual choice to watch something and not to watch it. One should not draw conclusions based on movies/visuals which are purely designed for entertainment purposes especially if the red line is not crossed. In this age of globalization where everything has become global, so have the vices. If we now share lifestyles of west, we also have to share their cultures. Hindi Cinema is playing the right role of standing-by and enumerating contemporary cultural ways. If the stories, scripts, dialogues, backgrounds have become more woven with real-life, so have the attitudes and fundamental realities.

Is it advisable and possible to roll-back?

The answer to both the parts may vary with perceptions and other demographic factors. The only thread which is common is the change which we all need to adapt and be open to. If we don’t leave our decency and civil-codes by watching intense scenes of terror or war and are mature enough to accept such gross videos which are becoming a daily part of our news, why can’ t we accept these changes in entertainment industry with grace and without playing the blame-game. If we only get entertained and not instigated by this new “show”-biz world, we are okay. We need to draw mental boundaries and simply accept the fact- that with everything around us even the forms, style and limits of entertainment need to be revised.

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