PrevNext

When Bollywood stars reacted against misuse of their names

Superstars are finally taking notice and action against people who use and misuse their names to promote films

With Rajinikanth’s film Kochadiyaan releasing round the corner, a film titled Main Hoon Rajinikanth has just been announced by filmmaker Faisal Saif. He is not the only one — nor the first one — to be cashing on or using an actor’s name in a film. There have been instances in the past too. Faisal defends himself saying that his film will only be a tribute to the legendary actor.

Salman Khan
Salman Khan is not particularly happy about a film titled Munna Bhai Sallu Bhai. Pic/Sameer Markande

“It is about Rajnikanth and you will get to see those things which you have only read it as SMS jokes. The comedy is on the lines of The Dictator and Borat,” he says.

A goat in the film Yeh Hai Bakrapur is named after Shah Rukh Khan
A goat in the film Yeh Hai Bakrapur is named after Shah Rukh Khan 

When asked if he sought permission from the superstar, he says, “We are not making a film on Mahatma Gandhi or any historic figure . My film is also not a biopic. It is a tribute and for that we only need his blessings. We want our film to be a pleasant surprise for him.’’

A goat in the film Yeh Hai Bakrapur is named after Shah Rukh Khan
A goat in the film Yeh Hai Bakrapur is named after Shah Rukh Khan 

Trade analyst Komal Nahata rubbishes the claims that it is just a tribute. “The filmmakers are obviously cashing on the actors or at times even characters’ popularity. The idea is to get instant recognition and attention. We easily remember movies titled Basanti ki Shaadi Honeymoon Gabbar Ka, because of the popularity of those iconic characters. It is a ploy to get publicity,” he says.

Rajinikanth
Rajinikanth

Filmmaker Janki Vishwanathan’s film Yeh Hai Bakrapur which is slated to release in May too has a ‘Shahrukh’ in it. The filmmaker has been seeking audience with the Shah Rukh Khan because a goat in her film is named after him. She justified it by saying, “Since the goat is the protagonist of the film, we went hunting for the right goat. We ‘auditioned’ at least 400 goats before we found the right one.

Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon (2003) follows a poor, uneducated woman who is a huge fan of famous Bollywood actress and attempts to join the Bollywood film industry
Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon (2003) follows a poor, uneducated woman who is a huge fan of famous Bollywood actress and attempts to join the Bollywood film industry

Call it a divine coincidence but the goat that was approved was called Shah Rukh. I was told the goat responds to that name since he was one year old. I thought best not to change the name.’’ She adds, if you go to the goat market in Bidar which falls on the border of Karnataka and Maharashtra, most goats there are either called Shah Rukh or Salman. “I wanted that trend to be reflected in my film. Not so long back there was this goat called Saifeena, which was sold for Rs 4 lakh.

The poster of Main Hoon Rajnikanth, directed by Faisal Saif
The poster of Main Hoon Rajnikanth, directed by Faisal Saif

I won’t be surprised if there is a goat named Sachin in the market too. The reason is to show how things in rural India works.” she says. She is keen on showing the film to SRK because she wants the actor to know that “there is no malice intended” and that she utmost respect for him.

We don’t know how Shah Rukh is taking this piece of news, but Salman Khan was evidently not too happy when a filmmaker, Muazzam Beg, launched his film, Munna Bhai Sallu Bhai on Salman Khan’s birthday on December 27 last year. Salman Khan’s office is said to have promptly sent mails to Beg warning him against misusing the star’s name. Beg had to shelve the film. He says, “Our story was about two fans of these actors. We had shot 30 per cent of the film, but decided to shelve it after the warnings came,” he says. In hindsight, he says he should have sought Sallubhai’s permission before even starting the film.

Some time back, Madhuri Dixit, who was then living in the USA, got anxious when Ram Gopal Verma announced a project called Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon, without speaking to her about it. Her then business manager Rikku Rakeshnath explains, “We took an objection to the title and only after we understood what the script is, and gave him a No Objection Certificate did he begin shooting.” Whatever the intention of the filmmaker, do these dramatic naming result in more business? No, says Nahata. “It just becomes a point of discussion for a while and then some front benchers get taken in, but that’s about it.”

All in the name

There have been several instances in Bollywood where a star’s name/character got tagged along for impact...

>>R...Rajkumar (2013) tried its best to cash in on Sly Stallone’s memorable onscreen character — Rambo — before a Hollywood took notice and sent legal notice.

Shahid Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha in R...Rajkumar
Shahid Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha in R...Rajkumar

>> Makrand Deshpande’s Shahrukh Bola “Khoobsurat Hai Tu” was a 2010 comedy.
>> Gabbar Singh, the iconic character from Sholay (1975), is also the name of the Telugu remake of Salman Khan-starrer Dabangg. Pawan Kalyan starred in it.

You May Like

0 Comments

    Leave a Reply