Don’t angry the millionaire!

Last year, while I was brutally murdering three hours of my short little stay on planet earth watching a silly Hindi movie (ok…this is embarrassing but it was Ready… err no TeesMaarKhan… no I’m dead sure it was Toonpur ka Superhero!!), I texted this to a friend – “You know,sometimes I feel stupid that I have to study subjects like Machines,Analog and what not to make sure I get a decent job and make a respectable living and these idiots(there,I said it) dance on cheap songs and earn crores and crores.” Ok,I might have hurt a few fanatical sentiments by calling our Bollywood ‘stars’, idiots, but I really had no option. I was victim of what I call little-sibling-decides-movie syndrome. So keep calm and read on.

Soon-to-be released Ek Tha Tiger has top paid actors-Salman Khan(avg 10-12 crore) and Katrina Kaif(3-4 crore)

Unlike most of my angrezi movie watching friends, I am a Hindi movie-goer. And no, not just the dumb ones (some of which sadly become a major hit) but the regular ones too. Zindagi Na MIlegi Dobara, 3Idiots, Rang De Basanti, My Name Is Khan, Wake Up Sid and so on are movies even hard-core Bollywood haters end up watching and enjoying. And there is no dearth of talent when we have so many amazing artists eager to entertain us.

However,the problem is-why are these people paid crores and crores for no obvious reason? Akshay Kumar averages at 15-20 crore per movie as the highest paid actor and Kareena Kapoor at 8 crore per movie is the highest paid actress. While the male/female income disparities itself are debatable, they are not of prime importance here. And also, people close to me might feel that I’m ‘targeting’ Akshay/Kareena as I have publicly declared my dislike for them time and again. No,I’m speaking in general. Even though I love Aamir Khan’s works and all his responsible ventures, I find it weird that he gets 12-13 crores for each of his movies (I didn’t have the energy to research about Satyameva Jayate,Titan,TataSky,Innova and other endorsements).

The Rowdy Rahore,Akshay Kumar charges anywhere in the 15-20crore range

 

‘Hard work’ is often cited as a major reason for charging such exuberant sums of money. Well,I know they work hard. Success, in any field, is not possible without hard work. But if you look around, you’ll find many people working equally hard, sometimes more. Most of our parents work 10-12 hours a day on an average. And no, it’s not just the hours, even the content of work is what comes under the category of being quite demanding. Agreed, delivering dialogues till you get the right emotion out, dancing till every move is perfect, waking up at crazy hours or staying up till late at night with obnoxious make up on, is not easy. But when I compare it to the kind of gruelling work that my doctor relatives, friend at naval academy, friend’s dad owning his business and many such similar people do, I find the excuse of hard work given by actors a rather sorry one.

Also,talking about ‘talent’. Well, Of course delivering dialogues, performing risky stunts, dancing with amazing moves and looking heavenly gorgeous always, is talent. But so are creating innovative products, designing highly complicated circuits or writing lines and lines of codes that work. Saving a life by performing a 6 hour-long surgery, joining the armed forces to save your country, setting up successful businesses  all come under the definition of talent, in my opinion. Of course many businessmen/doctors/teachers earn more than these ‘stars’. But,I’m talking about the masses who have humbler earnings.

Recently released ‘laugh riot’ Bol Bacchan is another big budget movie.

What is the solution of this problem then? Boycott movies of actors that charge crazy amounts? Hell no! All of us need mindless as well as meaningful movies once in a while. As a hardcore angrezi movie-goer friend of mine said, when asked why is it that the only Hindi movies he happens to watch are the really stupid ones with idiotic dialogues and sleazy songs – “Sometimes I just wanna leave my brain at my home and laugh”. Point taken, sir! It is indeed why,such movies become a hit. But then sometimes I also want to leave my brain in my room and play fetch-the-ball with my dog in the garden. Should I pay him a crore too? Think about it the next time you pay 200 bucks (which eventually makes up the 15-20 crores) at a multiplex. And let me know if you find an answer as I’m still wondering!

About Srishti Singh 4 Articles

Semi-engineer and part-time writer/blogger.Check out more of my writings at A 20something’s life.

  • You should study economics. Actors get what they do, because we pay to watch their stuff. If we stopped watching their movies, they would make less. Same with our athletes, especially our cricketers! They get paid what they do because we go to their games, buy their uniforms, watch the commercials they are in, respect their opinions on inverters, deos, insurance and what not for some odd reason.

    It’s our own doing.

    Doctors, cops, teachers, soldiers, nurses etc.. probably SHOULD get paid more but WE as a
    society don’t value them as much as Akshay Kumar on a movie which was probably a couple months work for him of just pretending to be somebody, i.e. role-playing.

    As a society, we are putting our money towards the actors because we feel they are worth more then a firefighter.

    • @drvishaalbhat:disqus  Sir,i actually have studied economics 🙂 Hence i urged people to think before paying those 200bucks(probably more in some multiplexes).You mentioned that we respect the stars’ opinions for some odd reason.My question in the post was what that odd reason could be.
      Obviously,shunning the movies altogether is not an option as entertainment is important.But giving a God-like status to these people is not quite right.
      Pepsi is nothing but sugar and water,still we pay 25 for a bottle.Why?If people knew its cost could go down to Rs.10,probably they wouldn’t watch MSD/SRK/Kareena ads.But then again,ads are important.
      The sad part is even educated and economically sound Indians like most of my friends,think its ok that actors/cricketers earn millions.When Hollywood actors earn so much,why should our stars be left behind.With that kind of mentality prevalent,I feel stupid at having raised the question 🙂

      • Arman

        The situation you are suggesting is a utopic one. Labourers and maids would probably occupy the top shelf of that social pyramid (I am not suggesting either way if that should be the case or not, just laying it out).

        The thing is, these people bring to the table a skillset that is very specific. A person with an average IQ, if educated well over a period of time can make a good engineer. The same can not be said for a surgeon. You need a steadiness and calmness that few possess, to make a good surgeon. Hence, a good surgeon is more difficult to find than a good engineer. The attributes of a big star, are much tougher to find. Its funny, they are very similar to what you look for in a politician; but politicians (officially) dont get paid similar amounts.

        Regardless, of course, in an ideal world, people would earn what they deserve based on hard work. But various other factors affect this, hence the disparity.

        Also, a coconut can provide you with husk, malai, and coconut water that is so nourishing, it can be used as a blood plasma substitute, but the bouquet of roses will always cost many times what a coconut will cost you. Very random, i guess, but i feel it applies.

  • Arman

    Can’t be argued against that the quality of films that Hindi cinema produces is generally low. Even some of those films that you classed in the sensible genre were not actually that good. My Name Is Khan for example. 

    Also, barely any of the big stars in the industry are actually good actors. They survive mainly on charisma.
    Having said all that, you cant argue against the paycheque most of these stars recieve, simply because of the crowd pulling they can manage. 
    Let me put it into perspective. Scarlett Johansson was recently reported to have been offered 13 million USD for avengers 2. Thats approx. 70 crores. Compare that to the Indian industry’s highest paycheque of about 22 crores, and when you factor in the difference in scale between the two industries, it turns out that it is simply the going rate. 

    • @d2b1342aa9367ac8d38619661f6118b5:disqus about the Scarlett Johansson thing,yes i agree.I read she has become the most ‘bankable’ star in Hollywood,hence the millions.Of course,the situation is crazier in the west.In fact,I got the idea for this article,after a discussion in a forum where people were discussing the paycheques of Hollywood actors.As you rightly put it,it is the going rate and a problem world over.

      • Arman

        No, but why address it as a problem?

        You could make a few arguments about why they shouldnt be paid as much as they are, yes, but then it cant be denied that a surreal amount of work also goes into making these movies. 

        I remember an intervview of Robert Downey Jr.’s where he said that every single day, before a shoot, he says the first letter of every word thats in his dialogue for that day. He doesnt shoot before he has memorised that and repeated it to himself 3 times over. Thats why the dialogue in Sherlock Holmes came out so crisp!

        The only reason ticket prices can be raised so high is that people are ready to pay that premium for movies today. And as you already said, ticket prices being high allows huge profit returns on most good movies, which allows for apparently bankable stars to command huge amounts of money. 

        Even in Bollywood, as bad as some movies are, people pay, and watch. So actors earn corresponding to what they can help the film amass. 

        The only way to force better films out of the industry is to stop paying 200(!) bucks for films like Ready, or Housefull- you get the idea.

        Itll take a while, but filmmakers will ultimately get the idea.

        •  of course,hard work goes into all movies,good or bad.thats not the point here.point is actors are not the only ones working hard on the planet.a lot of others(who earn far less),slog like crazy.i’m not just addressing the senseless movies and actors involved,but the entertainment industry in general.also,there is no solution to this problem.entertainment will remain a big industry and there will always be ‘stars’.

  • @66c857f763bfdfff7cf98c53dbbda878:disqus  thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 however,i did not really call AK an idiot(My bro would have killed me otherwise:P)..also,senseless movies just like meaningful movies are a treat to watch at times…however,what i’m stressing in this article is-that these stars(yes,even Aamir/Hrithik etc) get paid a lil too much….I think i’m gonna get killed if any AK fan misunderstands my article 😀

  • @facebook-100001033717109:disqus  thank u!! super awesome seems like a bit of exagerration 😀 however, i’ll accept it shamelessly 😛

  • @83c4f23553e8a06c3a8392a1def9e6d7:disqus sorry for refreshing the bad memories of TeesmaarKhan:P

    • Tanmay771

      I choose to remember only the ‘Sheila’ part! So it’s ok! :p

      •  which sadly got over in the first 10 minutes 😀

  • Angela Abraham15

    Calling akhshay kumar an “idiot” haha il second u on dat!!! 😉 the quality of indian films has deteriorated so muc that i hav totally lost faith in dem..nly when a movie like ZNMD or a wake up sid comes out, i realise there’s still hope!! Well written 🙂

  • I must first of all appreciate ur writing style , looks like a legacy to me!!!
    one word for this post and it shall be S U P E R .. A W E S O M E!

    • Tanmay771

      *Dudette :p

  • Tanmay771

    Haha! 😀 true..! I personally HATE such movies! I survived Tees Maar Khan!! 😮 :p