Mr.Anil Kapoor & his Western foray

His performance in the Fox TV series 24 stands out for his confidence on screen. He was demonstrating his experience before the camera. In simpler words he just excelled. He was totally in control of his role and easily overshadowed western co-actors. That flair for acting earned him appreciation righaway in the US that has this habit of appreciating everything that deserves appreciation.

Mission Impossible Mistake? Why would an actor of that much experience make a rookie mistake of accepting a role in a western movie that disrespects him? Let us explain what we are talking about:-” In the latest Tom Cruise movie, Mission Impossible, Anil Kapoor plays a role of rich Indian Industrialist in India, who has control over some satellites. Tom Cruise comes visiting with his team (that includes a lady), to steal the control codes. Anil Kapoor succumbs to the seduction game of the lady who is in a hurry to get the codes. Our hero, in an amorous response to her seduction game, proceeds to grab her butt, which awakens her sense of morality and in a offensive response she twists Anil’s hand and nails him to his knees. Later while the seduction game seems to get time consuming, the seductress threatens Anil Kapoor with a sedative injection to his neck, (on his bed). Our hero spills out the codes and she completes her task by injecting with a sedative” – His role in the entire movie lasted no more than 5 minutes.

Rich Filmi History: In all the films he played he was always the hero, and put hundreds of bad guys to their knees, on the floor and to their graves. He has had the privilege of acting alongside with some of the finest and most beautiful women of India and after a rich history spanning more than 20 years he allows himself to be man-handled by a foreign lady. Is a role in a Hollywood movie more important than his self-respect? Can’t he negotiate himself into a position of dignity while seeking and playing western roles? He has been in the Industry so long. He knows all the politics of the trade including casting coups. And most importantly stereotypes. Does he not know that if he is arm twisted on screen once he will be offered only such and similar roles in the future?

Global filmi politics: We all know films be it in Hollywood or India have a greater political implications. The politics of the nation has been influenced by films and the reverse is true too. That is why China has planned its entry into Hollywood with dignity and self respect. Be it Bruce Lee of the 70’s, or Jackie Chan, they have made sure that they picked roles that portray their nation with a sense of respect. They managed to stand shoulder to shoulder with their western counterparts and most importantly did not go on their knees or get arm twisted on screen for millions to see. That approach opens the door of dignity for future aspiring artists of Hollywood from China.

Implications for NRI’s and Indians: Every day life for an NRI is a battle to beat the stereotypical thinking of westerners. With a deluge of information against Indians and India, they are looked and spoken to in a condescending tone. To the credit of many NRI’s they challenge the stereotypes successfully and gain back their turf of equality and dignity. Mr.Anil Kapoor by allowing himself to be insulted on screen has helped many in the west who are eager to reinforce a negative image about India, Indians both present and future.

Bollywood leaning towards Hollywoods: At no stage are we suggesting that we need to close ourselves to international cinema. In fact Bollywood by being itself has attracted the attention of many western A list actors, who have expressed their desire to be part of the huge Industry. That being the fact, should Indian actors give away their advantage be resorting to knee-jerk reaction with a desperation to grab any role that comes their way? If you notice Hindi movies of late, most of them are shot in western nations, and there seems to be a great desire to rub shoulders with their western counterparts. But we really do not see our heroes or heroines making a real appearance on big movies. Aishwarya for all her beauty did a few movies produced or directed by NRI film makers which did not have a major positive impact for her Hollywood career. She did land a minor role in the movie Pink panther.There are other reasons too why she did not make it.So landing roles in Hollywood is as much a mental game as it is of talent. Mexian actors like Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas and even most recent Chinese actors like Jet Li demonstrated that mental strength. While Mr. Anil kapoor has a natural ability to act and excel before camera, his lack of mental strength and subsequent mauling on screen has not helped either himself or other aspiring Indian actors in any way. We only hope that we are wrong on this.

Why bring in Indian Culture: This takes the cake. Just before getting arm twisted Mr.Anil kapoor while putting his hand on her butt says something about Sudarshan Chakra, (a reference to the awakening of consciousness in the yogic science). If he wants to get arm twisted it is his choice but why bring in Hindu cultural strengths into the line of fire? It has become a trend of late. When it comes to communicating with the west many Indians,(Secularists and non Hindus) use Hindu cultural strengths hoping to ease in their entry, but they end up diluting themselves and the culture of the Hindus. We would suggest that they either use Hindu cultural strengths in a proper way or refrain from using it totally. In a later interview, Mr.Anil kapoor says this, “Mr.Tom Cruise was respectful of Indian culture” That sounds like self flagellation for little reason or purpose.This is an example of lack of mental strength.

Dear Anil Kapoo,r we are writing this because we love you. For a Indian fan watching you getting humiliated this way on the western screen is gut wrenching. Did it cross your mind that by allowing yourself to be disrespected you are also causing disrespect to India and hundreds of thousands of your fans / admirers? Do you really deserve to be arm twisted physically by a foreign lady after successfully romancing many of the most beautiful women of Hindi Cinema? We would love to see you in strong roles on Hollywood.