Recently, I saw Salman Khan appear on television in a serial called Na Aana Iss Desh Meri Lado. Sallu arrived on a bike on a dark night, on a road slick with rain. He removed his helmet to reveal who he was, with the music rising to a crescendo as he got off in slow motion from the bike, and clenched his hands into fists.
Sallu's flying fists then dispatched the bad men, who were threatening to kill the protagonist. Even bullets paled in front of his biceps as Sallu ground them to dust. It turned out to be a promotion for his just-released movie, Bodyguard, woven into the episode.
The new promote-your-film formula is a win-win situation for people, I guess. The channel makes money and panting television audiences on the edge of their sofas, gripping them tightly in case they fall off in excitement as a star emerges, somehow trying to blend into the episode. After seeing the movie though, most people are saying, Na Jaana Is Movie Dekhne Mere Ladlon.
Controversy sells and what better way to stoke the fire than a few good punches in public, while you chuckle over it in private
In a world loud on hype, movie promos are getting crazier by the day. Television serials are one thing, stars now pretend to have affairs with each other prior to the movie. They act coy, while journalists ask them profound questions like: why were you and she in the lift together? What do you do for hours in your vanity van? After the movie is released, the affair itself is over, the stars fluttered their eyelashes so rapidly they were in danger of falling off (they were false of course) now claim to be angry at having been misrepresented by the press.
Sometimes, stars even get into pretend fights before their movies release. Controversy sells and what better way to stoke the fire than a few good punches in public, while you chuckle over it in private?
Film promos will get increasingly over the top in a few years. In an age of specialisation, there even might be specialist promotion scriptwriters who become millionaires (like so many in Bollywood do) writing only movie promotions. Bollywood stars will purr, I was soooo impressed with the promotion so I decided to take the movie.
Promotions may become an industry in itself, running parallel to movies, with mainstream promos, off beat promos and other such concoctions. Stranger thing may happen today love affairs are being faked, tomorrow deaths may be all in a bid to gain publicity. Even deaths. It may sound way out, but it can happen. After all, in Bollywood, life's a sham and you can say I am, therefore I ham.