Joker, Kunder And Bollywood’s Obsession With ‘Whiz-KId Frauds’
it all started in the 80, the worst decade in bollywood history when all fraudulent practices started. like ‘the fraud whiz kid director’, (many case studies as we shall see in this article), projecting a flop and totally rejected actor (star son) as successful (ultimate case study sanjay dutt) projecting a flop film as ‘appreciated/critically accliamed (spearheaded by mahesh bhatt with naam and many other films) projecting oneself as the next ‘heir apparent’ or no 1 (as practiced by anil kapoor) and feeding films by buying tickets and dsitributing them for free (again anil kapoor)
but the ‘whiz-kid fraud’ trend was the most damaging of all as cinema is the director’s medium and if the director itself is ‘fraud’ then the film is doomed and at a macro level, the industry itself.
well the 1st two names that come to mind, really the ‘pioneers’ in teh filed of ftaud, were J P Dutta and mukul anand. (many include rahul rawail into the list but i disagree as rahul had credentials in hits like love story, betaab and arjun and went into a gradual decline ‘dacait’ downwards. but j p dutta and mukul anand were the biggest frauds in the history of bollywood.
1. MUKUL ANAND – mukul anand with zero script sense atlleast display a decent sense of music with his aitbaar but soon you wud realize it was all bappi lahiri’s ‘sporadic genius’. his 1st film was kannon kya karega which apparently had slick treatment (read shots copied from hollywood) his second ‘aitbaar was a remake (a hall mark of all talentless frauds) of ‘dial m for murder’. both were flops but somehow the industry, including all top stars were convinced he is the next best thing. this led to such huge multi crore disasters as ‘sultanat and ‘main balwaan’. but producers and top stars kept backing him. at this stage vinod khanna returened from rajnish’s asharm in USA and started working in films again and the smooth talking mukul was the 1st one to sign him. perhaps out of cuiosity some ppl went to watch vinod khanna or watever but insaaf was a half success. that was it. bollywood put all its eggs in the ‘mukul anand basket’ and invested crores in the talentless man with zero scripts sense, zero music sense and zero pereformance sense. flop after huge flop followed in films like khoon ka khhon, maha sangram etc.
at this stage, amitabh bachchan came to his rescue and signed with him not one but 3 films. all were mere proposals with ghisa-pita revenge stories with a jaded bachchan hamming his guts out. agnipath wa s a disaster at boxoffice and laxmi-pyuaare’s jumma chumma made ‘hum’ just abt a clean hit followed by ho-hum khuda gawaah.
did the mukul anand fraud story end there. not at all. no less a man than subhash ghai with the best script sense and music sense aprt from great visual treatment and drama sense signed him to direct his most ambitious ‘trimurti’. which again laid an egg at the box office. you cud be forgiven for thinking the industry wud wake up by now. but hell no! the industry handed him another huge project called ‘dus’ on terrorism in kashmir. finally it was a heart attack that did him in after ruining close ro 100 crores of the industry.
J P DUTTA – at the same time in the early 80s appared j p dutta. smooth talker that he was he convinced then hot property mithun chkaravarti and dharmendra to sign a film gulaami with him. j p was also into intellectual fraud and had arty pretensions. the only manifestation of which were the lanscapic shots of rajasthan in his films and yes – the handicraft/khadi gramodyog costumes. . after ghulaami his yateem, hathyaar, batwaara, kshatriya all were disasters but some how he kept getting crores to burn and biggest stars for his films.
At that stage dutta had a big hit. border (1997) wud ensure that dutta wud get another 50 cr to burn in refugee, LOC and umrao jaan.
SANJAY GUPTA – he started with a poster. yes the poster of ‘aatish’ with sanjay dutt in a wind blown bronzed look became a talking point and that led to sanjay gupta’s ‘dukaan’ of fraud going full throttle. aatish floped, so did raam shastra, hamesha and many more. still sanjay had no dearth of financiers (in an industry where the maker of superhit don did never find another producer) and stars. he did have half a hit in kaantein but gave numerous flops, producing as well as directing. the guy must have burnt another 100 cr of bollywood in his illustrous career.
VIDHU VINOD CHOPRA – as you must have realized there are two kind of whiz kid frauds in bollywood. the ‘commecial’ ones and the ‘arty’ ones. chopra was in teh latter category. with a half hit ‘parinda in his kitty he has given such disasters as 1942 a love story, kareeb, eklavya, and many more but never had any dearth of ppl willing to finance his films and actors willing to act in them. finally raajkumar hirani, an expert on pop philosophical films rescued chopra’s production house with munnabhai and 3 idiots. .
SANJAY LEELA BHANSALI – he was also very good at smooth talking stars into signing his films in the hope of an image change. i have special contempt for him as he has played fraud on salman khan more than once. wen no one was willing to do a role in his heroine oriented khamoshi, salman helped him out. but bhansali’s tale of a deaf-mute couple and their daughter set in a christain family in goa (a setting the wannabe will repeat many times as it helps copy shots from international films) flopped and he was again in the doldrums but this time not only salman came himself but also brought in his freind ajay devgan. bhansali promised to make his next devdas, an ambitious 50 cr venture, with salman in the lead. but since salman had a low phase at the boxoffice wen devdas was ready to roll, he ditched salman. devdas a 50 cr film made 38 cr at boxoofice and its fate is still a mystery thanx to manipulation of the trade. somehow bhansali moved to his next fraud project black. after black no one was willing to touch his saanwariya with newcomers ranbeer-sonam. this time he went to salman with the promise of a 75 cr film baajirao-mastaani and salman did a special appearnce in saanwariya. baajrao never happned and instead he worked in guzarish with hrithik and aishwarya his 1st full fledged disaster (yes bhansali had been managing half successes so far). finally he understood his ‘aukaat’ and has been producing mindless masaaala like rowdy rathore.
apart from these there are various small time ones like nikhil advani, apoorva lakhiya, soham shah, sameer karnik etc who manage to play fraud on producers despite failure after failiure, mostly with the help of their smooth talking skills of convincing stars. shirish kunder was just one more in the sries of such frauds. i dont understand wat is the hullabullo abt him. except for the fact that he bugged a superstar, may be two.