A recent tweet by Twinkle Khanna rejoicing in her husband Akshay Kumar’s new hit film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha while taking potshots at the recent failures of other A-listers without mentioning them, like SRK (Jab Harry Met Sejal) and Salman Khan (Tubelight) shows how the film industry “gloats when others fail.” “The darkest phase of my life was when Saawariya tanked,” recalls filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali. “I was at home all alone on the day of the release, pacing the floor. No one came forward to offer me support. In fact, the anti-Saawariya campaign started at the premiere when filmmakers who were telling me what a brilliant film I had made, were busy texting everyone about what a bad film I had made!”
Producer Boney Kapoor, who has seen more ups and downs than anyone else, says malice campaigns are part and parcel of the film industry. “No point in moaning and complaining about it. When my father (producer Surinder Kapoor) was an active producer, other producers were known to throw parties when his films flopped. Things haven’t changed much even now.” Coming back to Twinkle’s tweet, in all fairness, she most likely meant no harm and probably just wanted to celebrate her husband’s success. Akshay himself has never gloated over others’ failures. However, Akshay’s largesse doesn’t take away the sting from insiders in Bollywood who can badmouth a flop film out of existence.
It can’t be worse than Rishi Kapoor hitting out at Jagga Jasoos after it tanked, calling director Anurag Basu incompetent and arrogant. When Vishal Bharadwaj’s Rangoon collapsed with a thud, Karan Johar and gang (never known to be kind to the unsuccessful) sniggered at Kangana Ranaut, who ironically had to take the backlash. “When Tubelight flopped, nobody criticised it since there’s much goodwill for director Kabir Khan and Salman in the film industry. But when Rangoon and the recent Jab Harry Met Sejal tanked, no tears were shed as Bharadwaj, Imtiaz Ali and the likes have begun to behave like God,” says a young filmmaker.