The passing of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput was tragic and gave rise to a conversation on mental health and nepotism. It has been over a month since the actor committed suicide and since his death, a number of controversies have been feuled in Bollywood. Many have been talking about the hard time outsiders have in an industry that is rather close-knit.
Soon after his death, talk of films inspired by his life came up and within a month of his passing, two films inspired by the late actor’s life have already been announced. One of them is going to star Tiktok star Sachin Tiwari who has an uncanny resemblance to the late actor. This then gave rise to the question of whether Bollywood is actually interested in his life or whether they are using this as an opportunity to make a buck.
Film maker Anant Mahadevan is of the opinion that the timing is wrong and everyone just wants to cash in on the opportunity. “Film-makers have a habit of exploiting current topics and real-life situations. We saw how so many films were announced after the 26/11 attacks! A certain film-maker even visited the location just a few days after the tragedy struck. That’s not what honest cinema is all about.”
He further questioned the investigation which is underway into his death and where they will go from here. “The matter is not resolved yet and there is a lot of public sentiment involved. How are they going to take it forward? Whatever they do will not be a truthful account because the investigation is still going on,” he explained.
Terming it “not a legit move,” director Anurag Basu added that a film inspired by Sushant Rajput’s life is way too suggestive. “Since his death, everybody has been gossiping. So, this is an extension of that. That’s what has been happening… log consume kar rahe hain. We can’t say what the film is about as nobody knows Sushant’s story other than his parents and near ones,” he said.
It was also suggested by film maker Ram Kamal Mukherjee that the consent of the family will be vital, without which there could be legalities involved for sharing a film on his life. “As far as the sensitivity of the subject is concerned, by speculating on whether Sushant was killed or committed suicide… basically you’re harping on sensationalism and simply trying to attract eyeballs. Lot of people tried to do that after the deaths of Sridevi and Divya Bharti too,” he said.
Director Vivek Agnihotri straight up said that the project would never go ahead. He guaranteed that “this film will never even be made. It looks shady.” Vijay Shekhar Gupta, the producer of Suicide or Murder: A Star Was Lost, was of an alternate opinion and said, “If I wanted to cash in on a popular subject for fame, I’d have made a film on Shaheen Bagh or the Anti-CAA protests. This is a comment on the film industry and how it treats outsiders and drives them to suicide. First, we saw Jiah Khan and now, Sushant. I want to show the world the dark side of the Hindi film industry and how it functions,” he mentioned.