June 10, 2010

Stars losing sheen by joining Twitter?

First they took over the ad world, then game shows on TV, and now they have captured cyberspace.

Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra and even Amitabh Bachchan aren’t shy of telling fans what they are eating, where they are holidaying or when they are upset about something. But sceptics say ‘burnout’ is just around the corner. Overexposure will prove to be these stars’ undoing. However, filmmakers, advertisers and trade pundits disagree: this is the age of “reality” and voyeuristic behaviour is at an all time high, networking sites just serve people’s demands.

If you think actors lose their charm on the small screen, Vipul Shah argues, “Amitabh, Akshay, Shah Rukh and Salman have hosted shows and these have not affected their careers.” Subhash Ghai agrees, “Television is responsible for actors earning big moolah in a short time. Naturally, they will divert towards it.” The ad world, which also offers big moolah to star models, has a spokesman in Piyush Pandey who says, “Being on networking sites doesn’t affect an actor as long as he doesn’t write things that don’t go down well with the audience.”

Sceptics believe sooner or later, the fate of a film will be affected with the stars being ‘omnipresent’ and freely accessible to fans. Vipul disagrees, “It’s the film that works and not an individual. People’s interest in Bollywood actors hasn’t decreased. Networking sites have only increased this interest.” Ghai adds, “If the story and director are good, then the film is bound to be a success irrespective of the actors’ presence on television or the internet. But, yes, getting to know what an actors eats and when he sleeps does take away from his appeal. It may lead to reduction in the actor’s shelf life.”

Trade analyst Amod Mehra refuses to go with go with common man’s assumption that sooner or later the stars will be “ghar ki murgi, dal barabar”. “It’s a win-win situation for the stars. They are now able to express exactly what they feel. The danger of them landing into a controversy is more than that of over-exposure. Fans look at them as human beings... they aren’t kept on a pedestal and judged harshly,” he says.