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Bollywood scions ready to strike again
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Producer-director Anil Sharma has launched his brother Kapil as one of the heroes in "Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Sathiyon".
And though the audience response to the newest kid from the filmmaking empire has been greeted with a wintry frostiness, Sharma has cleverly padded his sibling's launch pad with supposedly safe superstars - Bobby Deol, Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar - to buffer the debut.
Bobby's cousin Abhay goes it alone in "Socha Na Tha" next month. Produced by the Deols, the film features Abhay along with Ayesha Takia in the romantic lead.
That's not all. Several Bollywood filmmakers are about to launch their kith and kin soon.
Producers Keshu Ramsay and Vashu Bhagnani are also launching their sons Aryaman and Jackie in the coming year.
In fact, Harry Baweja has shelled out a whopping Rs.25 million to Kareena Kapoor to persuade her to do the unthinkable: pair herself opposite a complete newcomer - son Harman.
Will Harman benefit from his buffered debut?
Another film producer, Romesh Sharma, is also getting audiences ready to launch his son Karan Sharma in "Dil Jo Bhi Kahey".
To make sure his son's launch is well buffered, he has roped in old friend Amitabh Bachchan to play dad to Karan and also two heroines, Bhoomika Chawla and an Anglo-Saxon, Annabella Wallis, to romance in scenic Mauritius.
Foolproof? Or proof of how foolish fathers can be? Where does all this leave talented newcomers from outside the industry?
"In the middle of a career crisis right at the beginning?" replies Sammir Dattani who's just completed his third Kannada film "Jootata", a remake of Priyadarshan's hit Hindi comedy "Hungama".
More talented and deserving newcomers will follow Sammir out of Mumbai to seek stardom in regional cinema if film producers with money continue to thrust their progenies on audiences.
But as one astute filmmaker points out, "All these producers' kids have just one head-start. Then they're on their own.
"Look at what happened to Govinda's nephew Vinay Anand? And Yash Chopra casts his son in 'Dhoom', not in 'Veer-Zaara'."