Bajrangi Bhaijaan - Preview
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A dilemma of sorts. The lead actor, a popular star, has been “found guilty of culpable homicide”. Of course he appealed and is out on bail. The whole matter has smelt fishy since the beginning. But fortunately or unfortunately, the world doesn't go around based on my olfactory system. When an actor/prominent crew member's demeanour comes in the public eye, can I as a reviewer decide to not watch his film? I wondered the same when Shiney Ahuja's Ghost released around a year after the case against him allegedly raping a domestic helper.
The for and against arguments make it a “brain vs. heart” kind of a decision.
Case for watching the film:
- A film is a film is a film. What does it have to do with the public/private life of the people associated with it? I have never in the last 8+ years let any gossip/real news get in the way of me and my films.
- Salman Khan is not the only person associated with the film. There is a lot of hardwork put in by hundreds of other people.
- If I am to believe the court's verdict, shouldn't I also believe the people associated with him who say that he is one of the best human beings they have met? Yes, yes – tells a lot about my trust in our judiciary system, but let's not digress here.
- The million dollar question: Had it been an actor whose work I enjoyed (it's no secret that I am hardly a Salman-fan), would I have “boycotted” the film, so to speak? Say, Amitabh Bachchan or Anurag Kashyap and I am sure many more – aren't their images slightly tainted too? At this rate maybe, I'd be boycotting more films than I saw.
Case against watching the film: - The gut says “no”. The gut says here is your chance to protest in your own little way. Protest against all that's wrong with the system – the star system in the film industry, a system that allows him to be out on bail, a system that has taken so many years to come out with a verdict in the first place.
No, I am not using this as an excuse to get out of watching a Salman Khan film. And yes, if I do watch the film (which most likely I will), I will remain as unbiased as I always am. In my mind, a film is more than the stars' film – like I said earlier, it is a sum product of lots of work put in by hundreds of people over months, if not years.
I say I will most likely watch the film not because of the number of arguments for vs. against. I think I will watch Bajrangi Bhaijaan and review it because it is work and with work – the brain weighs in a little heavier than the heart.
Oh and what I expect from the film after watching the trailer? Nothing more or less than what I expect from A Salman Khan film. It does help that, director, Kabir Khan's Kabul Express still has more positive memories than the negative ones from his Ek Tha Tiger. Also, the India-Pakistan angle is interesting and it makes me look forward to the film a little, despite the extra Salmania it is likely to be surrounded with this time around.