Will the Khans take down Sanjay Leela Bhansali?

With the holidays around the corner, mega movies are about to hit the theaters. We are anxiously awaiting:

  1. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani (BRM) starring Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh in the lead
  2. Rohit Shetty’s Diwale with Shahrukh Khan, Kajol and forgettable people in the lead
  3. Imtiaz Ali’s Tamasha starring Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor in the lead
  4. Sooraj Barjatiya’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo starring Salman Khan as Prem and practically his niece Sonam Kapoor in the lead (already in theaters)

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo

Given the stellar line up of movies, I feel nothing but sorrow for Sanjay Leela Bhansali. I wonder if Shahrukh and Rohit Shetty’s Diwale frenzy and the Imtiaz’s cult followers are going to leave any opportunity for Bhansali’s movie to breathe. I for one am not a fan of the Bhansali’s work at all – it’s grand theatrics, ostentations sets, and non-stop melodrama. But you have to give it to the guy. He believes in his vision for years on end, even if the rest of the world mocks him and tears him down.

For example, Bhansali has been known to have pursued Salman and Aishwarya for years to star in the movie as the lead pair in the BRM. Sadly for fans, Aishwarya and Salman broke up and Bhansali remained loyal to Aishwarya instead of Salman. Salman left no stone unturned to insult Bhansali till he finally shelved the idea of BRM. He instead went to produce crappy movies with A-listers gone bust. There was Guzaarish with Hritik and Aishwarya; Saawariya with Rani, Sonam and Rabir. But things are starting to look up for Bhansali with the golden girl Deepika Padukone in his kitty. Not only was the romeo-joliet remake Ram Leela a brilliant hit, but there’s may be hope for Bajirao Mastani with Deepika starring as Mastani.

For nonpartisan Bollywood lover like myself, I am rallying for Bhansali. With passing years, I have become fundamentally opposed to the Khan brigade for several reasons.

1. Khans want to make the country stupid!

Think about the last good movie that Shahrukh Khan made – probably a decade or two ago – Chak De India, Paheli and Swades. That was the last time the man bothered earning his money as an actor. Both Swades and Paheli flopped and SRK quickly realized that our country of 1.5 billion could care less about acting chops or a script. The audience wants cliched-arm-open scenes with moist-eyed 40+ year old hero romancing a 20+ year old hottie in a sheer sari, dirty dance numbers, brainless romance in obscure foreign locales, and Ram-Laxman love between male leads. So honestly, does Indian audience need movies like Nolan’s Interstellar? Hell no! We have our own galaxy full of sickly bad-ass movies – Happy New Year, Chennai Express and now Diwale. If you don’t believe me check these posters out – it’s like Diwale Dulhania Le Jayege and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham cross-bred yet again.

Less said about Salman’s movies, the better! Bhai wants to ensure pretty women in the movie do little or nothing…I mean, not like actresses can pull audience in a theater with meaty roles?

Aamir Khan of course is above any categorization – he might as well change his last name to Aamir Kappor of the incredibly talented Kapoor lineage. And then there’s Saif Ali Khan, a total lost cause since his wedding – remember Humshakals, Bullet Raja? We lost Langda Tyagi to Kareena a long time ago! Also included in the Khan list is Saajid Khan and his sister Farah Khan, who are sadists – they enjoy unleashing suffering on their audience year after year!

2. Salman Bhai is a hater and it isn’t cool anymore!

I was pretty disappointed with Salman’s idiotic comments about Guzaarish being a worthless melodrama that even doggies wouldn’t watch? Come on now, why insult the dogs like that? Though, Bhansali lifted the entire movie from the Oscar winning The Sea Inside, he tried…he really did.

During the release of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Salman further slipped in my good books after hurling insensitivities at our Dhak-Dhak foreign-returned Madhuri. He stated Sonam was better actress than Madhuri…like what? Does he want to get smacked by Sanjay Dutt? Oh, but then Sanjay is still locked up in Pune somewhere…therefore, the audacity! But the whole being-in-the-news-all-the-time plot is so predictable with Salman. Before the release of a movie, he goes around talking crap about competition and belittling them – that’s unprofessional and uncool!

3. Boo! Khans have rigged the movie hit-making game

Remember the massive spat between Ajay Devgn Films and SRK + Aditya Chopra during the release of Son of Sardaar and Jab Tak Hai Jaan during 2012? Ajay Devgn claimed that SRK, Adi and their posse totally screen-grabbed all the theaters leaving no chance for any other movie to show face! Same drama happened during the release of Chennai Express when SRK and Rohit Shetty booked the entire country’s theaters for a million days to make the 500 crores and kill the fans with delight.

Here’s the trick – if SRK does not let anyone else’s movie play in the theater while his is running, there’s no chance anyone else will be the Badshah of Bollywood…ever! We are stuck with aging SRK with 20 year olds forever!

No matter how unimaginative Bhansali’s movies are, he tries hard to capture the attention of the audience by doing something grander each time. He then crawls back under the rock and cries a lot because Khans are mean to him – you’ve got to have sympathy for the man! As a sensitive human being, I therefore support Bhansali’s new venture – Bajirao Mastani.

Lastly, Imtiaz doesn’t need anyone’s good wishes. His brilliant work and soulful movies speak for themselves. There’s no question I am a big fan of Imtiaz Ali and his lovely locks. My heart still aches when watching Rockstar and Highway…I am planning on spending my Christmas listening to songs from all of Imtiaz’s amazing movies –  Khan’s are no competition for him!

Here are some of my favorite Imtiaz songs to hum along


Read more – Is Sajid Khan the Worst Director in India? 


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