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Acting versus posing in front of a camera

Acting versus posing in front of a camera

I have been watching movies of multiple languages since childhood. Being brought up in an international metropolitan city such as Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), I have been fortunate enough to understand as well as relate to various styles and cultures. Also, I grew up watching Hollywood movies. My perception of a “hero” or lead character in a movie was that of a good looking person, who was healthy and in shape. Acting abilities came next and an important feature I always wished for heroes or actually the lead actors; include female characters to have in a movie has been that they completely suit the roles.

That is, when you see an actor playing a role, you must feel that no one else could have done it better. You must feel that you are actually witnessing real people in real life incidents. Let me put it in this way. “How would you feel if you saw a movie that showed “certain politicians” running around trees with flowers in their hands and romancing? Also, imagine that you watched a movie in which a pot bellied person is claimed to be “mind-blowing” or “incredibly fit”???

Unfortunately, this is what I had seen in most of Indian cinema; be it north, south, east, or west!  Of course things are changing now and we do see more of character-based movies. But that is like a pin in a haystack!  To be precise, I don’t see most actors working hard to get into a character. Kamal Hassan, Aamir Khan, Vikram, Ranbir Kapoor, Prithviraj, Shobhana, Vidya Balan, Hrithik Roashan, Mohanlal, Deepika Padukone, and actors like that are of another league. This complaint is about the others.

Actor named “X may come in a romantic role, action hero role, or a school boy role”; yet he looks the same. And you are supposed to believe that?? It makes me cringe when I remember, these are the actors whose films we spend fortunes to go and watch in a theatre. But like a rainbow or an occasion of sudden clearing in the sky, I came across the movies named “Toofan” in Hindi and “Sarapattai” in Tamil.

Pardon me, if I spelt the names wrong. Both had similar stories – a young man entering the sport of boxing from totally unexpected quarters. Their sudden rise to stardom after crossing challenges, jealous competitors and how they bounce back after a temporary fall is the simple outline though there is much more to both movies.

Both these were unique and were meant for specific audiences. The Hindi version; “Toofan” kept the city audience in mind, while “Sarapattai” in Tamil narrated a story to which residents of Tamil Nadu could relate to more.

That itself was a big achievement and I show my respect to every artiste in both movies. This includes the director, musicians, choreographer, stuntmen, and of course the actors. Speaking of which, the lead actors in both these movies brought some fresh air to me. The factor which struck me from the first scenes was how the lead actors worked to get into their roles. Request all readers of my post to consider this – both Farhan Akhtar and Arya have worked really hard to get into those specific roles. They have completely transformed themselves.

Now, imagine a yester-year hero of the 80s coming into these roles now, in today’s cinema? Won’t that be nauseous? I am not naming anyone and guess readers can get the picture themselves. The point I am trying to make here is the difference between acting and posing in front of a camera. Again, this is only my opinion, which I have formulated from my experience in watching movies of different languages over the years and also my role as a writer. I do not have any experience in the world of cinema and hence may not be considering several other factors that are required.

However, I am sure there are many others who agree with me or can partially relate to the same. In summary, I would like to see more of the “acting” in “actors” and not simply “posing”.  In the first case, you transform yourself into a role and in the second, you just smile and stand in front of a camera. Indirectly, this is the same message I give to the tons of film critics and award jury members in multiple film industries. These people give lots of reviews and state, “this was right, this was wrong, this actor must improve his/her skills etc.” I would like to ask them, “What is your experience in acting? How many of them were super hits? Why are you not acting in movies currently?

Remember those last PT teachers at school who asked you to run fast but they had pot bellies themselves? Those teachers also only posed but did not act.

Thank you.

About the Author

Yasir Sulaiman is an acclaimed author of 6 books (fiction). A summary of his other responsibilities include being a poet, a YouTube presenter, a Technical Writer, a social media promoter, client coordinator, and a freelance communicative English tutor.