India is one of the world’s largest producer of cinema where movies are not just about entertainment; people’s sentiments are attached to the film industry because of the various actors that they like. As compared to international cinema, Indian cinema is more about larger than life heroes, glamorous heroines, comedy, songs, fights and item numbers. Though off beat films are being made cater to the international audience, the numbers of these films and their audience are very less. Films that make more money here are the commercial ones and therefore, content oriented movies are also told in a commercial format because of the preference of the masses.
Things that show our love towards particular actors are liking their Facebook page, following them on Twitter, Instagram and other social media, using their pictures as our display pictures, watching their movie on the first show of the first day and watching their movies multiple times among many other things. But here are some interesting and crazy things fans have done to show their love towards a star.
India is not just a place where you find temples of gods, here people have reached the peaks of hero worship by building temples for them and worshipping them as gods. Bollywood icon, Amitabh Bachchan, has a temple in Kolkata, built by his fans. South Indian actress, Kushboo, had a temple for her at Tiruchi; the entire village of Bagganadu, in Chitradurga district of Karnataka, worships the famous actor, Kichcha Sudeep, from the movie “Makhi”, offering daily prayers to his photo. Offering milk to an actor’s cut-out and decorating them with garlands is common practice across south India.
You might be thinking what’s crazy in watching a movie at 2 am as you too keep watching movies all night. But have you ever imagined yourself watching a movie in a theatre at 2 am? Yes, in cities like Bellary and Hospet in Karnataka and in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, shows are conducted at 2 am on the day of release. Most of the films, of the South Indian superstars, have benefit shows happening around 5 am in the morning on the day of release.
This might be shocking and bizarre but it’s true. Fan rivalry has been a big issue among Indian fans. Fights among them on social media is common, they abuse each other and criticise other stars’ films. An incident was reported in Kolar where a fan of famous Telugu film star was killed over an argument regarding who was the top star of Tollywood. Fans have also lost their lives during film releases due to fan frenzy and accidents that happen while erecting cut-outs.
Fans admire their favourite stars so much that they get their names and pictures tattooed on their body. Painting vehicles with actor’s photos, famous dialogues and movie names is common. Beside’s that fans get involved in lot of social welfare activities like blood donation and organ donation camps. They also carry out auto rallies and processions during a film’s release.
Voting is fundamental right of every citizen and it’s our duty to vote for a person/party of our own choice. But in India, voting is highly influenced by actors and their choice. Few actors participate in election campaigns and support a particular party and their fans vote for that particular party/person without a single thought about how deserving the candidate is.
Fans pay theatre rents and buy movie tickets in bulk if the movie of their actor is a flop. With lot of multiplexes these days, and box office collections being the criteria for measuring films success this culture might be reduced, but single screen theatres still hold movies depending on the occupancy of previous week. So, to make their stars film hit or to make it run for more days, fans pay money to rent the entire theatre, since if a movie runs for 50-100 days, it is considered a milestone in Indian cinema.
Benefit show tickets of “Baahubali” were sold for ₹4,000 – ₹6,000 and even during “Kabali’s” release AirAsia organised special screenings in Chennai with tickets priced at ₹8,000. These are official ticket rates but unofficially tickets for the first day’s first shows are also sold in black for thousands. During the recent release of a Telugu movie “Gautamiputra Shatakarni”, a devoted fan of actor Balakrishna, stunned everyone and bought a ticket paying a lakh to watch the 100th film of the actor.
This has been the craze for actors and film stars in India. Celebrating a star or a movie is not wrong but, wasting milk for cut-outs when there are people dying out of hunger, following ones political views blindly, killing each other out of fan rivalry – all these seem to be acts of foolishness.