Has this actually become a joke no less?
Time and again, Naseeruddin Shah – inarguably one of the best talent that Hindi films has seen during last four decades – gets chatting about how Hindi films aren’t really bothered about the content, the quality is distinctly missing and the actors don’t really care. Fair enough, a viewpoint is a viewpoint after all. However, what surprises is when such chats turn out to be ongoing trend. Something that comes across as rather unprovoked, but nonetheless scathing. Well, even that could just have been allowed to pass by.
However, when that happens from someone who stays on to be an integral part of the industry, juggles between a sensitive Waiting and a hilarious Welcome Back – films belonging to extreme ends of the spectrum – it makes one fathom if such viewpoints and opinions have been stretched a way too far now.
Very recently, it was none other than Late Rajesh Khanna, who became Naseeruddin Shah’s choice of subject. Terming him as a ‘limited’ and a ‘poor actor’, not really ‘alert’ and also somewhat responsible for the ‘mediocrity’ that came in the Hindi film industry during the 1970s, the award winning actor came down heavily on one of the biggest entertainers of the era gone by.
This isn’t the first time something like that has happened.
If one does a simple search on the internet, a series of interviews from him would appear where he comes down heavily on Hindi films. Thankfully, he doesn’t make a distinction between hard core commercial and offbeat cinema there, as he has opinions about everything and anything there. Still, what surprises one is the fact that this has now turned out to be an ongoing tend, something that doesn’t appear to have an end in sight.
In good old times, this was called as ‘ranting’. Today, it could well classify as ‘trolling’!
The trouble is that there is no one in particular with whom Naseeruddin Shah has issues with. It could well be anything and everything, and the actor finds his subject of the season.
Hence, the issue is now just with what he has to say about Late Rajesh Khanna. After all, some time back he termed even Sholay as a ‘con job’. The issue lies with the fact that he is unhappy about something. Now even that is admissible since an individual could well be disillusioned by a person, system or business, regardless of whether he is in or out of it. In case of Naseeruddin Shah, he is inside the system, is unhappy with a lot that happens in there, has definite dislikes for the art or science behind it all, and is still pursuing that very system.
That too 40 years and 200+ films later!
Is it about not able to make up one’s mind? It cannot be about finding attention, because regardless of what he says, his work is more often than not good enough to find him attention for all the right reasons.
So is it some sort of ranting or trolling, about which other than him, most have stopped caring?
No wonder, even Twinkle Khanna – on getting to know about Naseeruddin Shah’s latest comment on Late Rajesh Khanna, tweeted: “Sir if you can’t respect the living, respect the dead. Mediocrity is attacking a man who can’t respond”
Guess it is not just the dead but even the living, who wouldn’t care anymore to respond!