a young woman's world. That truism applies quite firmly
on television today and has resulted in a sense of
disillusionment amongst the older breed of actors.
Serials such as Kyuunki, Kahaani Ghar Ghar
Ki, Lipstick, Kittie Partie and most of
the newer ones have one common thread - they tackle
female issues. Yesteryear's TV superstar's, meanwhile,
are having to wait ever-longer for meaningful roles.
doesn't help that producers are increasingly using
younger faces citing
cost-effectiveness and economies of scale.
Youngsters (read newcomers) charge less and don't
haggle over the scripts. Eager to make their mark
these wannabe stars are mum about script-related anomalies
because they cannot risk antagonising the producers.
a woman's world in soap land
out in the cold, those who can manage it are either
shifting loyalities to films, theatre or TV serials
in foreign lands such as London and the Middle East.
It is a different matter altogether that TV serial
directors are also migrating to feature films.
Varma to appear on silver screen soon.
course, not all are shifting base because of lack
of work. some of those who have tasted success on
the small screen are gearing up for film debuts. Aman
Verma will play Amitabh Bachchan's eldest son in the
forthcoming Bollywood release Baghban. Sandhya
Mridul, of Hubahu fame, claims that her role
in Saathiya has been appreciated and that her
second release Vaisa Bhi Hota Hai with Shashank
Ghosh is slated for an April release. She has two
more films including one with Rajshri Films.
Singh, the good-looking actor who ruled the roost
with serials such as Buniyaad, Saans, Family No.
1 has stopped watching serials! He is going slow
on TV serial offers and adds that he gets relatively
fewer offers today.
are simply not good enough to grab the reduced
audience attention span: Kanwaljit Singh
is critical of the currentdispensation and says: "The
serials today are simply not good enough to grab the
reduced audience attention span. Producers must realise
that the viewers are intelligent people. It is the
artist's responsibility to ensure that they set the
tone for audience tastes, likes and dislikes. A lot
of work needs to be done on the TV scripts front."
is currently working in films produced by Raveena
Tandon and the Nooranis. He was recently shooting
in London for a TV series being directed by a Pakistani
producer Sevi Ali. He is continues to work in DD serials
such as Khushiyaan.
Khote, another actor who has dabbled in theatre, films
and TV, seconds Singh and says: "I feel that
the current breed of saas-bahu serials are leading
the audiences astray. There is a disorientation between
the messages and the target audiences. Whenever, I
get a chance, I prefer to watch Discovery, National
Geographic, Star World or Zee English." Khote
worked in serials such as Zabaan Sambhal ke, Devrani-Jethani
says that he has stopped accepting new serials as he
is tired of repeating himself. He adds that theatre
and film offers are far more appealing. Khote has bagged
ReelLife Entertainment's films (Stumped and Pehchaan);
Bharat Dabholkar's new film God Only Knows; and
Rajkumar Santoshi's new film.
work and no rewards.
fact, several established Marathi actors such as Prashant
Damle, who used to work in Marathi TV serials, have
shifted their loyalties to Marathi stage. They find
it to be more stimulating and the remuneration is
Pandey, who has written and directed several telefilms
for Star TV and Zee TV, laments: "Every actor
must get a fix and believe in the message that is
being eventually delivered to the audiences through
the medium of TV. If the scripts aren't in sync with
the beliefs of the actors, they are bound to be disillusioned.
The older generation of actors who have a theatre
background would prefer to do something meaningful."
Pandey has shifted loyalties to Bollywood despite
clarifying that good content is equally appealing
on the big screen as well as on the small one.
are writers who have made efforts to push male characters
to the centre of attention. Rajesh Joshi scriptwriter
Kyunkii Saas bhi kabhi Bahu thi and Kasautii
Zindagi Kay adds: "In my serials, I have
male characters as important as the female character.
If not so, then why is it that Mihir's character in
Kyunkii.. and Anurag's character in Kasautii...
are so popular with the audiences."
think the male characters are unhappy because in other
serials the writers have chosen not to give the male
characters a fair weightage due to the popularity
the female leads enjoy," Joshi adds.
am not prepared to play second fiddle all the
Thakur, an ace actor who has won accolades for his
performances in hit serials like Sailaab, Thoda
Hai Thode Ki Zaroorat Hai, Tu Tu Main Main to
name a few, is digruntled with the television industry."I
think we are going overboard with the saas-bahu
sagas. Female dominated scripts don't have anything
susbstantial for the male actors. I am not prepared
to play second fiddle all the time" he asserts.
has just one serial called Shararat, the latest
sitcom on Star Plus in hand. " I don't believe
in going about looking out for roles. The roles come
to me.I am keen on acting in movies,"says Thakur
who was part of the multi starrer Bollywood blockbuster
Hum Saath Saath Hain.
elder generation of actors would definitely prefer
theatre. I agree with the legendary Sir Laurence Olivier
when he says that television is a writer's medium,
films are a director's medium and theatre is an actor's
medium. Episode after episode are churned out at a
break-neck speed. In television, there is no time
and space for actors to prepare themselves or get
into the skin of the character," says director
Govind Menon who has directed and worked in feature
films such as Danger, Kaalapani, Halo and Khwahish.
has studied the shifts in actors perceptions about
the TV medium during his media projects. He has completed
a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Film Studies
at the Middlebury College, Vermont, USA; and post-graduated
with a Master of Arts in Film Directing, Department
of Radio Television and Film, University of Texas,
as a medium has dried up. The same tear-jerkers and
family dramas do the rounds," says TV serial
director and ad filmmaker Sridhar Rangavan who has
to his credit serials such as Rishtey and Gubbare,
and is making his first feature film Gulabi Aaina.
question being asked in creative circles is whether
TV channels are trying to squeeze the "saas-bahu"
themes dry or whether they will experiment with male-oriented
also wonders whether the phenomenon is restricted
to the C&S channels because the national broadcaster
DD seems to be doing different things coupled with
the social message element.
TV managing director Ravi Chopra says: " Aap
Beeti, which has broken all records doesn't belong
to the 'saas-bahu' genre. It has beaten Kyuunki..
and Kahaani.. in the ratings race. Our content
combines entertainment with a social message that
is apt for the existing social framework. Our serials
have something different to say irrespective of the
genre they belong to. Even the mythological serials
also attempt to deliver social awareness messages
that are relevant in contemporary times."
started feeling tired of being repetitive: Sandya
is not just the males who are disillusioned. Sandhya
Mridul is currently in the midst of a 6-month break
from television serials and says: "I have had
a long 5-year stint in the TV industry. I had done
whatever could be done in terms of comedy, sitcoms
and other genres. I started feeling tired of being
repetitive. I had lost a lot of good 'film' opportunities
due to my hectic schedule of TV-related shootings,"
younger breed of actresses seen in the serials produced
by top production houses slog day and night but in
private admit that they don't believe in some of the
scripts they are given. They are also afraid to protest
against the system due to fears of losing their source
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