By Surendra Bhatia
He’s not Akshay Kumar who dives into a film after a brief break following the completion of a previous film, and notches up more than six-seven projects in a couple of years. Salman Khan could well be termed a lazy star, reasonably satisfied with an annual Eid release but, at times when he feels so inclined, he can dig in and shoot non-stop to present his fans a treat.
He’s just about completing Dabangg 3 for release around Christmas this year and is scheduled to plunge straightaway into the shooting of Radhe, to get it into cinemas on Eid 2020 – in May-end. Such dedication from Salman may not be uncommon but his shooting schedule till Radhe is wrapped up is certainly not the norm for him . Maybe, it helps that he is shooting both the films with Prabhu Deva as director, and probably the same unit too, making him feel, he’s involved in one long film rather than two!
Bollywood would be thrilled with Salman’s dedication. Some small-minded people might feel that a film’s success belongs to its cast and crew but that is not true. Hits belong to the industry and Bollywood craves for the kind of success Hrithik Roshan’s War brought to it, and would be looking forward to the double treat Salman has in store for audiences. Bollywood’s equation with films is very simple. Whenever a film breaks the audience’s lethargy and lures them to cinemas, it’s a victory for Bollywood as a whole.
Also, the role of stars like Salman can never be understated or undermined as the money magnets of Bollywood. They bring in hundreds of crores of rupees, and lots of these get distributed among the industry people and businesses, besides providing the incentive for new finance to flow in. This is the reason why Bollywood feels short-changed when A-listers (including Salman) choose to limit their films to the bare minimum, maybe one a year or two in three years. That’s akin to the restaurant offering its most popular dish — the one its patrons clamour for — only once a week. It doesn’t make great business sense.
Salman Khan should be lauded for the amount of work he would be putting in in the next seven-eight months. Hopefully, audiences will reward him adequately, and compel him to continue such punishing shooting schedules for the next many years.