Even the biggest of superstars fail and when they do, not many of them acknowledge this fact by discussing it. However, the ones who did, turned out to be real heroes. No actor is infallible, especially at the box office. For example, in many of his interactions, Ranbir Kapoor has been told that Tamasha and Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year are two of his best works, however, it is Besharam that had the best box office record for the actor before Rajkummar Hirani’s Sanju happened. And it’s not like Sanju was fool-proof, the film minted crores at the box office but faced flak for being a Sanjay Dutt mouthpiece. And more recently we saw how Mr Perfectionist, Aamir Khan’s Thugs Of Hindostan failed to set the cash registers ringing.
While the movie bombed and Aamir was trolled heavily for being the cheap Indian version of Captain Jack Sparrow online, the actor managed to win us over with his sincere apology. Yes, a few days back Aamir Khan in an interview did not just acknowledge that Thugs was a disaster, but he also apologised to those who had spent their money to get entertained while watching his big budget film. The actor said, “I think we went wrong and I would like to take full responsibility for that. We tried very hard to make a good film and we didn't hold back from putting in our entire effort, but somewhere or the other we went wrong. There are people who have liked the film and we are thankful to them, but they are in a minority. Most people didn't like our film — we are aware of that.”
It was endearing to hear a superstar talk about not just the efforts that go into making a movie, but also understand the audience’s disappointment. He added, “I want to apologise to my audience also as this time I wasn't able to entertain them. I know people came in theatres with a lot of expectations but they didn't enjoy the film. The audience is free to say what they feel about the film. What I can say is that we certainly tried our level best and I am feeling really bad that we didn't succeed in entertaining the audience. So, next time we will try harder.” It was indeed gracious of Khan to do come out with a statement and a genuine apology like that.
Talking of Khans, I remember before Tubelight bombed, I had met Salman Khan and Arbaaz Khan after the release of Dabangg 2. The movie was embroiled in many controversies after Abhinav Kashyap, who worked on the original was ousted. Anurag Kashyap’s drunk rant on social media kept the film in news. However, the film failed to live up to the expectations and the collections did not beat Salman’s highest grosser the same year, Kabir Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger. While Arbaaz was defensive, Salman reasoned with his brother and insisted that their film has not managed to do what was possibly expected. A few years later, however, Kabir Khan’s Tubelight turned out to be a dud and the actor we hear even had a fallout with the filmmaker. However, Salman and father Salim Khan returned back the distributors money to compensate for their losses. A gesture that was truly considered befitting of the Being Human title that this hero is bestowed upon.
Much before Salman and Aamir, Rajinikanth had shown what being a superstar aka Thalaivaa is really about. The actor when in his prime experienced some low phase. Rajinikanth’s films Baba and Valli did not earn the profits that the distributors were expecting. The actor won them over forever by returning the sum. The actor experienced another low recently in his career when his movie Lingaa failed to perform. Theatre owners and distributors had demanded that the superstar return their money. A trend we bet that Rajinikanth must have regretted kickstarting. However, thanks to this gesture he’s still considered a legend and revered by his peers and juniors. Even his 2.0 co-star Akshay Kumar talked about this episode ahead of their film’s release and said, “I remember his one film ‘Baba’ had come and it had not done well. And he had called distributors and returned their money. This is the biggest sign of being a superstar.”
And it’s not just these stars, even Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone we hear returned a part of their fee when Tamasha bombed. The actors were spotted at director Imtiaz Ali’s office after the film’s failure to perform at the box office. Soon news of RK Jr and Deepika returning a sum of Rs 15 crore started doing rounds. Even though there was no confirmation, sources had revealed that both the actors were proud of the movie and hadn’t done any such thing.
Well, when actors turn heroes in real life with their actions or words it’s indeed heart-warming. After all, we all make mistakes, but it is the ones who learn and rectify that truly grow and Bollywood stars too are aware of this.