An Open Letter To Neil Nitin Mukesh

Martin D'Souza, Glamsham Editorial
11/12/2015 5:16:41 PM

Dear Neil

At the outset, here’s wishing that this Diwali release of yours tomorrow, PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO, propels you into a league you are meant to be: the very best. This is what you are.

Yours has not been a fairy tale ride in this industry. You did come with a bang, but your choice of films later on ensured that you sealed your fate with your own hands.

I see PRDP as a new lease of life to your acting career. Of course, everyone is talking about Salman Khan and Salman Khan and Salman Khan. Even Sooraj Barjatya is talking about him. That’s because the crores ride on his shoulders. No one is talking about Sonam Kapoor or even you.

A film cannot run solely on the shoulders of just one actor. KICK needed Nawazuddin Siddiqui to inject that moment of madness. Ditto BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN. So don’t worry. Although I do not know the length of your role or the depth of your character [this will be revealed only tomorrow], this much I know, you are a class apart and you are born to shine.

JOHNNY GADDAR and NEW YORK were enough examples of your acting prowess. SHORTCUT ROMEO saw you in a different avatar. This was not a great film, but your performance was good. Even JAIL saw your spark of brilliance. However, 3G is what got you into a mess.

Welcome back Neil, and rock us with your performance. There are many who will be looking out for you tomorrow. But the person who will be looking out the most for you on screen will be YOU. This is your acid test to get back into mainstream Bollywood as the lead.

You are naturally good looking and you have that chutzpah in your performances. You just need to pick up the right roles and the right directors to work with. Moreover, you need to believe in yourself. If you are here, it’s because you deserve to be here. Not because you have a lineage in the industry. I know there are a lot many who think it is their ‘birthright’ to be a part of this industry just because they have parents or uncles or aunts who have grown up here.

You are different. You have proven your ability. You can perform and you will move beyond the bar of expectation you have set for yourself.

I remember meeting you as a teenager when you came to the office of Bombay Times, way back in the year 2000. It was to do with some music that you were associated with. You had charisma even then. Today, it is doubly magnified. Use it to your advantage.

God Bless You.
Martin D’Souza
(This weekly column tries to be as honest as honest can be…)