Watching TERE BIN LADEN: DEAD OR ALIVE, my mind raced back to the semi-finals of the 1996 Cricket World Cup, played at Eden Gardens in Calcutta. There were two performances of the highest quality from either side: One came from Aravinda De Silva, the other from Sachin Tendulkar.
Three wickets down for 35 runs and the team from the emerald island were looking down the proverbial barrel. But in walked 'Mad Max' and changed the course of the match. When it was the turn of India to bat, wickets began falling like nine pins after Sachin Tendulkar, who had held fort for his 65 runs, was stumped by Kaluwitharana. The fans lost it; water bottles were flung on the field as the match was getting out of India's grasp. Clive Lloyd, the match referee, awarded the match to Sri Lanka.
In TBLDOA, there were two performances on either side of the interval that had the De Silva class and the Tendulkar touch. It was David the CIA agent who held interest as the plot (like the Lankan wickets) began to crumble in the first half itself. This was followed by David Chaddha, the Hollywood producer who comes to India in search of Osama.
Both the performances were outstanding. Like De Silva, you first assessed the situation and took the film on, and a la Tendulkar, you took the battle to the enemy camp in the second half. But Alas! Plot and direction failed and the film came tumbling down. But by then you had done enough to give the viewer the feeling that he had not been cheated. At least he had something to take home!
Knock off your performance and there is no movie. This film is dead! You brought it alive. You were, like I mentioned in my review, 'in the zone'. You have talent, but you have not gotten the right breaks. Moreover, you have the connections, so what could have gone wrong? People with talent below zero level have come on screen time and again, to make an ass of themselves!
I have been impressed with your talent ever since I saw you in WOODSTOCK VILLA, your debut film, on May 30, 2008. This is what I had written then: ''Sikander Kher who plays the Casanova is very confident. It does not look like this is his first performance on screen. If he makes the right choices, I'm sure he will go places. A bright future indeed!''
You excelled in AURANGAZEB too with a sinister performance. You are natural when it comes to delivering characters on screen. Here's looking forward to some more meaningful cinema from you.
What I can't understand though, is how you agreed to play along with the producers to say that you went bald and gained 16 kilos for the role. Producers will want to fabricate stories to gain mileage. That's the advantage of 'Paid News'. No one verifies the facts. You could have put your foot down.
Your balding head was the effort of a good make-up team and the fat around your belly was not excess weight. It was prosthetics and that was shown on screen, if you remember! Also, if one gains weight, it shows on the face as well. Yours was a well-chiseled jawline, even with a bulging belly!
Next time, don't get conned by producers just for marketing sake. There are many actors who are tearing their hair out today for doing things they were forced to do because they were blackmailed into believing that they were helping the film. Nothing helps the film more than a good performance.
Muqaddar Ka Sikander: that's what you are. You are going to have the last laugh!
God Bless You.
(This weekly column tries to be as honest as honest can be...)
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