Catch me if you can!
Nargis Fakhri is almost put under 'house arrest' by 'Rockstar' director Imtiaz Ali apparently to retain the mystery surrounding her. Mauli Singh reports on the 'surprise element' strategy and if it really works in favour of films
She has not yet proved herself onscreen, but Nargis Fakhri seems to have already caught the imagination of Bollywood followers thanks to her mentor Imtiaz Ali.
The filmmaker is pulling out all the stops to maintain the mystery surrounding his American find before their Rockstar hits theatres this year. Not surprisingly, she'll be kept out of all the promotional events, too.
Confirms a source, "Nargis will not interact much with the media till the film's release. Ranbir Kapoor (the film's main protagonist) will mostly promote the movie. This is all part of the promotional strategy."
Apparently, this is also the reason why the half-Pak, half-Czech hottie was missing from the music launch event held in Delhi recently. "The makers want people to see her work and then introduce her to the media.
They don't want her to get over exposed before the release of the film, and lose her charm. They want to retain the mysterious air around the supermodel," the source adds.
Avoiding the paparazzi
Even during the making of the movie, Imtiaz did everything possible to keep Nargis under wraps. She wasn't even allowed to go to public places and get photographed by the paparazzi.
The only gossip we did get to hear about her included romantic link ups with co-star Ranbir and later model/actor Shayan Munshi.
Since the film's publicity has started, the actress was expected to finally surface.
But Imtiaz seems to be very protective about her, like he has been with all his girls (Giselli Monteiro was introduced to the media only post Love Aaj Kal release). But it's not just the Rockstar director.
Of late, several producers have been adopting this strategy of introducing (and fiercely guarding) surprise elements, be it a debut actor, a new look, special effects or a special appearance by a well-known superstar in a film
Due to the media boom it has become all the more difficult for filmmakers to keep their reel secrets under wraps.
To ensure that the story or the 'surprise' doesn't leak out, production houses have started signing non-disclosure contracts with their actors and directorial crew.
It doesn't stop there. Besides the lead cast, no other actor is given the full script.
Anushka Sharma, Giselli Monteiro and Nargis Fakhri
A character artiste confirms, "We don't get to read the whole script of the film. We are given a gist of our roles and we get the script scene-wise only a night before our shoot. It's done to ensure that story doesn't leak out."
An assistant director of another hyped upcoming film adds, "We are starting the shoot of our film in a few days and we still haven't been told who the lead actor is as the makers don't want to disclose it."
All the big film studios have become extra cautious about guarding their films that are under production.
In fact, only recently Karan Johar spruced up the security of his forthcoming Agneepath after Mid-day leaked Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra's look.
Hit or miss?
But do such strategies work? Does it really make sense for Nargis Fakhri to be kept away from the media, especially when Ranbir is the main protagonist of the film? Film historian Dinesh Raheja says, "If the heroine is in the titular role (Heena, Julie, Bobby) keeping her under wraps makes sense because there is so much curiosity about her, but not if it's a second fiddle or an arm candy. Actresses take a huge risk by agreeing to remain low profile.
If you keep a heroine under wraps and the film fails, she stands to lose the most. No one will be interested in talking to the actor of a failed film. Between Anushka Sharma (who was also kept under wraps for Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi) and Giselli, the former benefited more since her films were bigger hits."
Giselli says, "Yes, every film has a pre-decided publicity plan, which is in the best interest of the project."
No wonder then Imtiaz seems to be backing off his stance a bit.
The spokesperson of Rockstar informs, "We are going to reveal Nargis at a dandiya night in Ahmedabad on October 2. She is also walking the ramp for Manish Malhotra next month.
She will also have media interactions before the release of the film, but we still have to work out the details." Let's just hope Nargis is worth the wait and not a disappointment like many other 'surprises' sprung on us by filmmakers!
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