Mumbai: Many films and shows have depicted the reality of showbiz. Some have romanticised the allure of cinema and the glamour world while others have depicted the heartbreak and disillusion that the industry inflicts upon strugglers. Here are a few such narratives that don't gloss over the gritty realities strugglers have to face in the city of dreams.
Heroine: Kareena Kapoor stars in a role that brings back memories of many top actors who shimmered brightly for a while but could not sustain success or find lasting personal happiness. Directed, written, and co-produced by Madhur Bhandarkar, the film also dwells upon gender politics, the role of yellow journalism, publicity gimmicks, and ageism in the industry. It also depicts how veteran actors are mistreated on sets and the way the market value of stars changes on the basis of their last release. It also stars Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, Shahana Goswami, Raqesh Bapat, Divya Dutta, Helen, Mugdha Godse, and Lillete Dubey in supporting roles. Watch it on Apple TV.
Bombay Babes (Season 1 and 2): This iTap winner directed by Ashish Bhatia, revolves around a few young women who hope to make it big in Mumbai but then their dream auditions turn into nightmares. And their plans to carve a niche in the frenzied metro are derailed by predatorial men. How these women then join forces to avenge themselves and protect each other makes for a riveting watch. This Hindi web series stars Ruby Bharaj, Navneet Kaur, Surabhi Tiwari, Kanika Gupta and Shipra Dwivedi as the lead characters of Angel, Jenny, Dolly, Farzeen, and Sandi respectively. The show is an engrossing story of empowerment and self-discovery and is available on iTap.
Fashion: Meghna, a small-town girl loses herself in the race to become the face of a top fashion brand on the city's tallest hoarding. She becomes the most sought-after model, trades love for success and soon loses her footing when she realises that fame is ephemeral and everyone is dispensable in the world of glamour. How she finds her own authentic self after losing everything is both a cautionary tale and a story of hope. This Madhur Bhandarkar directorial starred Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut and Mugdha Godse in lead roles, with Arjan Bajwa, Samir Soni and Arbaaz Khan. You can stream it on Netflix.
Jubilee: This period drama created and directed by Vikramaditya Motwane reimagines the birth of the star system in pre and post-independence India through the events in Roy Talkies, a place where ambitious fame seekers flock to realise their dreams of stardom. The show stars Prosenjit Chatterjee, Aparshakti Khurana, Sidhant Gupta, Aditi Rao Hydari, Wamiqa Gabbi and Ram Kapoor and begins with the search for a new actor who will be named 'Madan Kumar'. In the race to be anointed as the new discovery of Roy Talkies, Binod, a projector boy does the unthinkable and becomes an unlikely star. Watch it on Amazon Prime.
Luck by Chance: 'Luck by Chance', Zoya Akhtar's directorial debut stars Farhan Akhtar as Vikram Jaisingh, a ruthlessly ambitious actor who lives with her disapproving aunt in Mumbai and hopes to make it big one day. A chance meeting with Neena (Dimple Kapadia), a once-famous actress leads to an audition for a solo lead in a big production and he manipulates a rival to bag the role. He then betrays his girlfriend and aspiring actor Sona (Konkona Sen Sharma) and begins a relationship with his co-star. However, when success arrives, he realises that it alone cannot bring happiness. Glittering with guest stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Abhishek Bachchan and Akshaye Khanna, the film also starred Rishi Kapoor, Isha Sharvani, and Juhi Chawla. You can watch it on Netflix.