Monday, June 21, 2010
I've gotten a little flack from some Abhishek Bachchan fans the last few days due to my gleeful reporting of all the bad press he has received for his role in Raavan. Am I naturally a spiteful person? Perhaps. But there are a handful of Bollywood actors and actresses that I find intolerable in any role and am baffled when they receive good press. While I certainly enjoy the big stars like Shahrukh and Aamir, most of the Bollywood celebrities I love are the ones who shine as hard as they can without much support. So, when the loud mouth of the media jumps on one of my (many) bandwagons, I get a little over-excited. Sometimes, I get gleeful over the triumph of Katrina Kaif or, in this case, it happens to be my dislike of Abhishek Bachchan.
Let's get one thing straight - I have nothing against star children. Heck, Ranbir Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan are two of the most talented actors working in Bollywood today and they both have impeccable pedigrees. While I do have a theory that the outsiders who make it into Bollywood are more exciting to watch (i.e. Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, and my beloved Arshad Warsi), I am not automatically prejudiced against star children.
So, what is it about Abhishek that gets me all riled up?
I first saw Abhishek in action in Bluffmaster. Then, as now, I enjoy silly comedies. I also enjoy bling and con artists who get conned by their own hearts. But for all of Abhi's posturing, the only person actually acting in Bluffmaster was Riteish Deshmukh.
Did you notice that I didn't say that I liked things that are 'cool'? The whole point of 'cool' is to look like you aren't trying and, boy, does Abhishek have that covered. That's strike one against him. I would rather watch somebody trying really hard - like Hrithik does - than somebody not trying at all. In films like Bluffmaster and Dhoom, Abhishek seems to think that his presence onscreen should be enough for us. It is not.
Talent may be natural to an extent but it takes time and practice to turn raw talent into something like Hrithik dancing ability. I find it insulting that Abhishek has never bothered to learn how to dance. Not having an aptitude is no excuse - if Saif Ali Khan can learn to pose his way through songs, then why is Abhishek too good to do it? Oh, yes, that's right. Abhi is 'cool.' Too cool to learn how to dance or act properly.
The flip side of the 'cool' persona are the films where he tries - and frankly, they are embarrassing. Did anybody see Guru? The forced nature of that performance was uncomfortable for me to watch - it was like "Serious Acting" (with the full force of the dick quotes intended) rather than acting. Has anyone see Sehar? Arshad Warsi gives the most amazing, still, solemn, reserved performance in that film - acting. Abhishek Bachchan in Guru is fresh out of an Acting 101 college seminar. Embarrassing.
But who gets the praise? Abhishek. Why? Because of who his Daddy is.
Yes, Abhi isn't the only lazy star son out there - Saif has turned in more than a few lazy performances but the difference is that Saif can knock it out when it matters. I'm even willing to give Harman Baweja another shot if he signs a film I'm interested in - at least Harman has bothered to learn how to dance.
There are exactly two films that I've enjoyed Abhishek in - Dostana and Bunty aur Babli. The first because he shared more on-screen chemistry with John Abraham than with any female co-star I've ever seen him with and the latter because it's the only popular film that I've seen where he has put some effort into his acting and dancing.
Now, maybe some will disagree with me on my take on Abhi's "Serious Acting" skills and that is fair - we all have different tastes when it comes to acting. I prefer multifaceted actors like Akshay Kumar and Arshad Warsi, whose very presence lends a dignity to the stupidest of roles. Replace Arshad in Munnabhai MBBS and you have a pretentious dramedy. Replace Akshay in Singh is Kinng and you have B-grade comedy. Replace Abhi with almost anybody in almost any of his films and you are taking a step up.
But I would like to quote the man himself on his own acting abilities: (from this interview)
AR: What's been your favorite role to date?
AB: I think being a son, more than being an actor in particular, I think being my father's son has been my favorite role. I enjoy the fact that I'm his son. I enjoy the responsibility he gives me.
If he doesn't care about being an actor, why should I care about his acting? That is what is so infuriating about Abhishek Bachchan. Yes, it's sweet that he loves his Daddy but wanting to prove something to Daddy is not enough to get the job done. (If it was, George W. Bush would have been the best president of the United States of all time.
So, add to all this, his obnoxious spoiled brat persona that has revealed itself fully on Twitter (rape jokes are not funny), and you have an actor whose bad reviews I will enjoy with a huge dollop of schadenfreude.
Note from Filmi Girl:
I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.
If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.
xoxo Filmi Girl