Stars dropped from Republic Day tableau over price issues?
Not satisfied with commanding hefty fees for films, endorsements and live performances, some of our A-lister stars don't seem to think being part of a tableau in the Republic Day parade representing Indian cinema as the embodiment of the nation's collective imagination, is cause to revise the numbers on their price tags.
While the official reason given for major stars not participating in this prestigious homage to the all-pervasive link between cinema and the Indian consciousness, is the dates and security arrangements required for the topnotch stars' participation, we learn from sources that the actual reason why stars won't be participating in the tableau is their non-negotiable prices.
Says a source, "Actually it is not just the fact that the stars are busy or that their presence at the Republic Day parade would have caused a security hazard. It's more than that. The budget for the tableau couldn't afford stars. So the NFDC which has been put in charge of putting together the tableau has roped in look-alikes of stars to do the needful. In any case the icons are representational. So we'll have someone dress up as Raj Kapoor in Awara or Amitabh Bachchan in Coolie or Nargis in Mother India."
The tableau which would have two sections celebrating Indian cinema's eternal fascination with the themes of "utopian love" and "hope amidst strife" had been in the news for Irrfan Khan's voice-over which the busy actor agreed to do readily and at a very short notice.
Says Irrfan, "It is 100 years of Indian cinema. That's why I agreed to be part of this project."
Wish his colleagues from the film fraternity had displayed the same level of kinship with the project.