Monday, December 18, 2006

Bollywood can survive beyond the Khans

After decades of domination by the three Khans (Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman), 2006 witnessed the establishment of a second generation of superstars who are set to takeover the baton. Roshan has clearly emerged as the next big bet in Bollywood. With two blockbusters - KRRISH and DHOOM 2 - within one year under his belt, the light-eyed hunk is being compared to Hollywood sensations Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.

Hrithik's superhuman act in KRRISH has been touted as better than Hollywood's super heroes. And in DHOOM 2, he has given a blockbuster not produced by his father.

The film has also put the stamp of successive successes on Abhishek Bachchan, whose fortunes had turned for the better with BUNTY AUR BABLI and has been shinning since then.'s upcoming single-hero project GURU is likely to consolidate his position as a performer-cum-star. One look at the reining films on the marquees and it seems that John Abraham is set to occupy top rankings in the tally of leading Bollywood actors in the New Year. Given that, he has no family ties with the industry, this is no easy feat. is featuring in two films on the marquees at the moment and both are as different as chalk and cheese. While one is BAABUL, a true-blue Bollywood multi-starrer about widow remarriage, the other is a rare travelogue into war-torn Afghanistan titled KABUL EXPRESS.

John is comfortable rubbing shoulders with mega stars like Salman, Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee as well as talented character actors like Arshad Warsi and Nana Patekar.

Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman have also had their share of success this year. But the norm that films featuring the Khans will be the biggest grosser of the year has been broken. wise, Shah Rukh and Salman have not performed exceptionally this year. "DON - The Chase Begins" was Shah Rukh's calling card this year but it did not outshine all others. Salman's JAAN-E-MANN fell short of the competition. Salman's BAABUL may still be a hit as it is a family oriented drama and such flicks usually take time to grow on audiences. The actor has, however, lost some of his box office draw this year. with his policy of one project at a time will continue to be a chief attraction in the year ahead but for film trade investors investing in him is no longer a guarantee to success.

Thankfully for Bollywood, a new set of stars is waiting in the wings.

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