Here’s one of the biggest conundrums for all ye schmucks.
Why is it in Hindu majority India it’s the Muslim heroes in Bollywood who walk away with all the glory, a lot of the moolah and most of the box office successes while Hindu heroes increasingly turn into zeroes.
Movie after movie featuring Hindu heroes sink without a trace while films starring Muslims often tend to do spectacularly well.
As all but the dimwitted know, the three biggest Hindi film stars in India today are Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan.
All of them Muslims.
Two of them (Salman and Aamir) came from within the industry while Shahrukh was an outsider.
The three Khans are responsible for three of the biggest hits in the last couple of years – My Name is Khan, Dabbang and 3 Idiots respectively.
Now take the Hindu stars of Bollywood – Akshay Kumar, Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, Ajay Devgan and Ranbhir Kapoor (we exclude Sanjay Dutt and Shahid Kapoor because of their mixed parentage).
With the exception of Akshay, the others have deep roots in the film industry like Salman and Aamir.
Of the five Hindu stars, Abhishek Bachchan is a cartoon and Ajay Devgan appeals only to a small section of loyalists.
Ranbhir Kapoor has potential and could yet break the current Hindu jinx but he’s not in the big league yet.
That leaves only Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan as the current contenders and challengers to the Khan hegemony over Bollywood.
In our analysis, Akshay Kumar’s raison d’etre is to inflict the maximum pain on moviegoers with stolen shit like Tees Maar Khan or unwatchable trash like Action Replayy, Patiala House, De Dana Dan, Blue, Kambakkht Ishq et al.
Housefull, Akshay’s sole saving grace in recent years, was directed by Sajid Khan, a Muslim.
Hrithik Roshan’s Kites with its Mexican heroine was not in sync with the Indian moviegoers’ ethos while his Guzaarish didn’t find favor with the audience either.
Of course, you dumkopfs would be right in saying that the Khans’ movies are no great works of art either.
To be sure, we didn’t like My Name is Khan, 3 Idiots or for that matter Dabanng even one bit.
So if the movies of the Muslim heroes are also no great shakes, what then accounts for success and superstar status of Muslim stars in Bollywood while Hindu heroes increasingly draw a blank?
Since there are no definitive research studies on the subject, here are a few hypotheses why Hindu heroes are increasingly finding themselves emasculated in Bollywood:
* Muslims turn up to watch the films of Muslim actors in large numbers but give the cold shoulder to movies featuring Hindu stars. This is a highly plausible explanation considering Muslims have a higher identification with their religion than Hindus have to their religion.
* Muslim stars do a better job of marketing themselves to their fans through various gimmickry, be it through accidents that kill sleeping footpath dwellers, throwing a tantrum at the airport entry-points or shaving their head.
* Muslim stars have an edge in the Bollywood loving Middle East, Pakistan and Bangladesh where the Muslim population vastly outnumbers those of other faiths.
* Muslim heroes are better at manipulating mass media (including new media like blogs) than their Hindu counterparts. When we did a critical box office report on Salman Khan’s Wanted, there was quick response by way of comments on SI. Au contraire, Akshay Kumar or Abhishek Bachchan would probably be scratching their cojones wondering what went wrong.
* Muslim underworld in Mumbai, Pakistan and Middle East could be throwing their weight behind films featuring Muslim heroes.
* Muslim stars are more popular with Hindus than Hindu heroes.
* Muslim heroes are overall smarter in script selection, choice of directors and heroines.
* Muslim men like to watch their Muslim heroes romance and paw and generally man-handle the skimpily-clad fair Hindu girls. By the way, there are no Muslim heroines in the top or even bottom rungs.
* Muslim stars are deprepuced (take that neologism, schmucks) while their Hindu peers still strut around in their prepuced state. Do you think that could play a role in success of Muslim heroes?