Ever since the sudden passing away of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, the debate on nepotism has taken the film industry by storm. Filmmaker R Balki, notably known for movies like Padman, Paa, Mission Mangal and many others, is of the view that netizens spark such debates solely for the purpose of entertainment, and it’s not something genuine that possibly would lead to any crucial talk points.
“It’s undeniable that this happens everywhere. Think about the Mahindras, Ambanis, Bajajs… Their father passed on the businesses to them. Does anyone say ‘No I don’t think Mukesh Ambani shouldn’t run this business, someone else should?’ In every strata of the society, it happens, even a driver or a vegetable seller passes on businesses to their children. So, it’s a foolish argument. Remember we live in a free society,” he asserts.
Elucidating on his point, Balki feels everyone is not really going inside the crux of the problem and finds it unfair to use words like nepotism when certain actors are concerned.
“The question is do they (star kids) have an unfair or bigger advantage? Yes, there are pros and cons. But I’d ask one simple question: Find me a better actor than Alia (Bhatt) or Ranbir (Kapoor), and we’ll argue. It’s unfair on these few people who’re probably some of the finest actors.”
As per reports in The Hindustan Times, the 56-year-old laments that instead of celebrating Alia’s talent, people talk about her being born with a silver spoon and she having an advantage in Bollywood.
“Understand that audiences don’t like actors without talent. Sometimes, they also want to see star kids on screen. That’s only the first chance that you get, and then one needs to survive on their own. I agree it’s far more difficult for an outsider to make an entry in films, but talent gets the opportunity,” added the director.
When it comes to featuring for a film, clarifies Balki, all he looks for is “who is best suited for the role” and the person’s availability and “nothing else”.
Due to the current crisis and he lockdown, everyone is using this time usefully to whip fresh content. Balki, however, admits it’s really difficult to brainstorm and put it out on paper during this time. “It feels really insignificant compared to what’s out there. The situation is quite bizarre. Neither Gauri (Shinde; wife and filmmaker) nor I’ve been able to visit our parents. More than making films, I’m missing not being able meet people or do what I want to. So, we’re opening our office with just three people to keep things going. There’s not much free time because mentally we’re busy thinking about a lot of things given the circumstances,” he ends.