Monday, April 23, 2007

Bollywood Stars - Sliced and Served Hot !!

Are Shah Rukh, Aishwarya, Bachhan, Rajkumar and Rajnikanth all symbols of a bygone era? An era where the heroes (and heroines) were worshipped. Where it was a religion and it hurt a lot as much as it pleased?

Going by the number of stars thronging the silver screen and the small screen, it appears to be a case of "the end of mass worship". Well, all public figures do face a natural decline in their popularity. But thats not the point here. The popularity of these personalities is or was too magnetic and unquestionable at some point of time. But with so many people on the screen, there has been what I call a "natural customisation" of these brand personalities.
Some may say Sunny Deol is his favourite actor though he does not remain in the top 3 or 4. The point is this: atleast a few people get the option to choose him as his favourite actor. Thus Sunny Deol has been customised for that market. Same is the case with any other actor or actress. And as we have seen with other markets, customisations tend to create nicher space, each successive piece of which is smaller than the whole of it, atleast to begin with.

If it was Bachan commanding say 90% of the market, then its now probably ( lets assume for the sake of illustration) Bachan 20%, Shahrukh 20%, Hrithik 10%, Abhishek 10%, Amir 15% and others grabbing up the rest. There are still people who are at the top but with lesser market share.

This compounded with the fact that new actors and actresses pour in all the time. With the entry barries being taken out every day, the influx of new actors and actresses is rising. FilmFare Awards was once such a revered one. It still is, but is now sharing the TRPs with Zee Cine Awards, Star Screen Awards, National Awards ( by Govt. of India) with each throwing up its own list of Best Hero, Best Film et al.

Films like Iqbaal did extremely well when the goliaths around it collapsed. The film market is being niched into pieces by the high creativity that is flowing from the non-Mumbai cities and getting enough cash for the partners in the value chain at the same time.

Too many brand personalities vying for the same space makes for a case of a Sliced and Served bollywood industry. There will soon come a situation where we may not have Badshahs and Dream girls of industry. But still there will be Heroes and Heroines. Albeit UNCROWNED !

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