Janhvi Kapoor, daughter of veteran actress Sridevi and renowned movie maker Boney Kapoor, is the latest toast of B-town. Her debut movie Dhadak, co-starring newcomer Ishaan Khatter, hit the marquee on 20th July and set the cash registers jingling by pulling in ₹ 8.71 crores, becoming the highest opening newcomer movie ever. While Hindi film enthusiasts are rejoicing the initial success of the movie at the cash counter, there are some people who are unable to resist themselves from throwing a little shade on the debutante by constantly comparing her with her iconic mother, Sridevi, along with calling her a product of nepotism.
Most of us will agree that be it Bollywood or Hollywood, surviving in an industry that primarily has its foundation laid on glamour is not an easy thing. Underneath the golden veneer of glitz and razzmatazz of showbiz lies distressing struggle, cutthroat competition and, at times, exploitation too. But even then, people flock to such industries simply because they promise exceptionally favorable opportunities to earn fame, name and riches. Aspirants who have any member of their family already working into the movies have an advantage: they don’t have to go from pillar to post to nab their maiden venture as they know how and whom to approach.
This ‘advantage’, more often than not, is bracketed as ‘nepotism’ in Bollywood and is highly frowned upon, especially by outsiders. But does bagging your first role because of your family sources set your career? Does it, in any way, guarantee a smooth walk to stardom? I believe, NO.
Even if one bags a movie due to popularity, goodwill or surname of one’s parents, they have a hell lot of things to deal with and the list of these ‘hell lot of things’ is topped by comparison. Bollywood’s latest star-kid Janhvi Kapoor is dealing with the same devil these days. The 21-year-old actress, who dived into Bollywood with Dharma Productions’ Dadak, is being constantly compared to her legendary mother Sridevi. The comparison had started even before she began shooting for her debut vehicle.
Sridevi, who passed away on 24th February, 2018, halfway through the shoot of her daughter’s debut flick, was an iconic star. Her invulnerable popularity cut across all regions, languages, classes and age groups and she remained an undisputed queen on celluloid despite living away from arc light for more than 15 years. But did she become what she was overnight? Was she riding only on luck and no hard work was involved in the success which catapulted her to the apogee of super-stardom? Was her illustrious career, which boasted of over 300 movie credits in various languages, was something of a fluke? Only a fool would say yes.
It takes years of struggle, hard work and perseverance to make a mark in show business. And then there are people who want one film old Janhvi Kapoor to be as good as her celebrated mother.
Does Janhvi have only one film to prove her mettle? Are offers going to dry up for her after Dhadak? Of course, not. Those who have seen her sincere performance in Dhadak would agree she has everything that it takes to become a big thing in Bollywood: looks, screen presence and, most importantly, talent. She has a long way to go. If she can deliver an impassioned performance while coming to grips with a tragedy as personal as losing the source of her strength – her mother – she can possibly do everything under the sun.
Those who cannot afford to miss a single second in passing judgement can wait and watch!