No English babus please!

FOREIGN FACES

No English babus please!

 Foreign touch: Sylvester Stallone made a special appearance in Kambakth Ishq.But how many times have we seen an overseas actor playing a leading man in a Hindi movie? So is there a bias when it comes to men or is it just that the Indian audience is not ready to accept a foreign face as the hero?

Although our friends from across the seven seas might actually have the chutzpah to pull off a song-and-dance routine, the Indian audience is still caught in the psychological trap that the British left us in. “In India every ‘gori mem’ is idolised and fantasised about, but a white guy, is only meant to get his butt kicked by the Indian superstar,” says Nikhil, a working professional. And though experiments have been done and actors have come and gone, ‘phirangi’ euphoria has lasted only when it comes to women.

A probable reason for this remains the fact that even today, female roles are largely reserved to dance numbers and romancing the lead. “Almost all these beautiful ladies get introduced in movies for merely their sex appeal and are accepted by the audience after playing many unimportant roles,” says Arindam, a professional.

“In people’s minds, a foreign woman can be passed off as an Indian, however stupid it may look because nobody cares about their role but a man doing so is not acceptable,” says Chitra, a student. Also, most of the movies are sold in the name of the main lead and taking a foreign face can destroy the initial box office collection of the movie.
“If a director would even try to base a film with a foreign face as a central character, I’m sure that it would tank,” adds Arindam. “A foreigner playing a lead role is next to impossible because we have so many lead actors who we prefer watching on screen more than anyone else,” says Sachin, a student. 

And as far as the intelligent Indian cinema is concerned, the nationality actually does makes a difference. “Since actors are mostly cast according to the script and most of the stories are based in India, there are hardly any chances of coming across a foreign face,” says Parul, a student. Even though a few foreign faces still dwell into our version of Hinglish parallel cinema, these are not of any sizeable commercial consideration. So, in a way while the fixation for the foreign beauties continues to help actresses from the far-away lands blossom in our country, their male counterparts are best advised to stay away from the ‘desi’ tinsel town.

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