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Original leading ladies not in sequels

By: Praveen Lance Fernandes, IndiaFM 

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

So sequels are the talk of the hour. Krrish and Phir Hera Pheri met with a lot of success and all eyes are on Dhoom 2 and Lage Raho Munnabhai. Apart from the fact that these are all sequels what else do they have in common?

The answer is that all the leading ladies in the original are not there in its successor. Though trivial, it is interesting to know that somehow none of the leading ladies are considered for the second show.

So is it true that Bollywood is a male dominated industry? Don't the producers consider the leading ladies to be a part of the success of the film? Why is it that the leading lady is killed or dropped from the film for a very vague reason?

So Hrithik Roshan dominated the show when the played the title role in Krrish. Hrithik played the role of well... Hrithik's son from its predecessor Koi Mil Gaya. If you caught a glimpse of the movie Preity Zinta who was in KMG was barely there for a scene and it was mentioned that she soon died after she got news about Hrihik (from KMG) getting killed. Maybe Preity Zinta had inhibitions of being portrayed as Hrithik's mother or playing second fiddle to the new lead Priyanka Chopra. However, we may recall that Preity did play the role of an older woman in Veer-Zaara.

The same was the case for Phir Hera Pheri. Though the whole leading male cast (Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty and Paresh Rawal) of the original film Hera Pheri was present, Tabu who played the role of Anuradha Shivshankar Panikar a.k.a. Suniel Shetty's love interest was again killed. Tabu in fact didn't even shoot for a single scene for the sequel and archival footage of Hera Pheri was used on her where a voice over mentioned that she died in a car accident. Tabu had a small but configured role in Hera Pheri and maybe her salability at the box-office might have affected her chances in doing the sequel. Or was it because Priyadarshan who directed her in Virasat and Hera Pheri dissociated himself from the sequel? In that case, each of the male leads were directed by Priyadarshan in some other film post Hera Pheri. Also, Priyadarshan's hot favorite Rimmi Sen was in the film along with the happening Bipasha Basu. But frankly speaking, Tabu's role in Hera Pheri had some meat in it rather than Rimmi and Bipasha doing the rounds of a centre-piece.

Munnabhai M.B.B.S.!! Gracy Singh's only hit after her debut Lagaan could not really salvage her career. Ever since the release of the film, there were plans for a sequel and right now Lagey Raho Munnabhai is all set to release this week. Gracy Singh is not present in this sequel though the other principle cast of Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani will be there and kicking. In fact, Jimmy Shergill who died in the original is also part of the film. Vidya Balan is roped in for this outing.

Dhoom 2 will also not see much of Esha Deol or Rimmi both of whom displayed histrionics by displaying their anatomy for the first time. These two will be replaced by Bipasha Basu and Aishwarya Rai.

So what is common with all these leading ladies who have been dropped? For one most of them are in their down- phase at the moment. Tabu despite winning a national award; Gracy Singh is not a contender anymore; Rimmi though giving hits hasn't had a really great role yet; Esha Deol despite having an author backed role in Ankahee could not rake in the crowds. On the other hand actors like Bipasha Basu, Aishwarya Rai and new-comer Vidya Balan's careers are going great guns.

A complete opposite to what happened in the 1986 film Nagina where the leading lady Sridevi was repeated in its sequel Nigahen which came 4 years later. Here, in fact the male lead of the original (Rishi Kapoor) was replaced by Sunny Deol. Sridevi, the snake seductress found her way in both the films.

If you analyze these films, they were focused around Sridevi but on the other hand the above mentioned movies (KMG, Munnabhai M.B.B.S., Hera Pheri, Dhoom) were all male dominated movies. Koi Mil Gaya was tailor-made for Hrithik Roshan, while Paresh Rawal stole the show in Hera Pheri. If the men in bikes subjugated the frame in Dhoom, it was a Sanjay-Arshad film all the way in Munnabhai.

Injustice in Bollywood? A well-provoked thought! Trivial but a thought!

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