The brigade of Bollywood star kids is expanding. Netflix has announced an Indian take on the popular Archies comics and the movie, titled ‘The Archies’ has not one, not two, but three, star kids making their film debut. Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan’s daughter Suhana Khan is one of the prime characters in the film. Amitabh Bachchan-Jaya Bachchan's grandson, Abhishek Bachchan-Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s nephew and Shweta Bachchan Nanda’s son Agastya Nanda plays the second prime character. Sridevi-Boney Kapoor’s daughter and Janhvi Kapoor’s younger sister Khushi Kapoor comes as the third central character of the movie. To add to all of this, the film is being made by one of the biggest filmmakers in the country, Zoya Akhtar, the daughter of Javed Akhtar-Honey Irani and sister to Farhan Akhtar.
The entry of these three star kids had been making headlines for the past few months when their names had been unofficially spoken about, and then some leaked pictures online also made their way – but today, it’s become the topmost trending topic as Netflix dropped the teaser of ‘The Archies’.
the Justice League of Nepotism https://t.co/4E6LwN2OpY— Advit (@rebelmooned) May 14, 2022
This movie is based on Real life Nepotism !!#thearchies https://t.co/Lwcj9rbmvY— Pooja Ghosh (@poojaghosh23) May 14, 2022
Wait, what!— Prathyusha Parakala (@PrathyushaCFA18) May 14, 2022
I didn't realise these kids were even Indians..Basically a film for everyone with a surname. Nice!#TheArchies https://t.co/9aQp8Nnfv6
#Nepotism— न्यूटन चाचा😂 (@eye_shark_nutan) May 14, 2022
A new virus is coming hope you all take vaccines on time pic.twitter.com/c1aSdx2NuK
Star kids getting a nice platform. Good to see @NetflixIndia acting as a platform for nepotism. https://t.co/ygWF1Zcj7J— Sreemoy Talukdar (@sreemoytalukdar) May 14, 2022
Can one imagine how talentless and useless one has to be to become a movie actor or actress just because “mere papa / mummy bhi the”. And how many talented people get left out because of these celeb kids.— Sanatan Shakti Singh (@SanatanShantiOm) May 14, 2022
Heights of nepotism in India. https://t.co/4hshEzlwL7
Given the fact that Netflix is the most expensive OTT platform in India, it needs to have top tier Indian content to compel people to pay a premium for it.— Burnard Rodri (@rodri_goad) May 14, 2022
Funding pet projects of Bollywood families is not it, boss. International corp feeding the nepotism circle. Pathetic. https://t.co/bC4elEagWZ
A few hours after the announcement video came out, Shah Rukh Khan took to social media to not just welcome his daughter Suhana Khan to films, but also give her a fair warning that criticism is a part and parcel of the business of Bollywood. Because comparisons and expectations from King Khan’s daughter are inevitable, he wrote, “And remember @suhanakhan2 you are never going to be perfect….but being yourself is the closest to that. Be kind and giving as an actor….the brickbats and applause is not yours to keep….the part of you that gets left behind on screen will always belong to you….u have come a long way baby….but the road to peoples heart is unending…..stride forth and make as many smile as you can. Now let there be Light….Camera and Action! (sic).”
He ended the note by calling himself ‘Another Actor’ and not her father.
2022 is an instrumental year for the entry of GenZ star kids into Bollywood. These three are not the only ones making a debut this year.
Sanjay Kapoor and Maheep Kapoor’s daughter Shanaya Kapoor is making her film debut with a film produced under Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, ‘Bedhadak’. Sunny Deol’s younger son Rajveer Deol is making his debut with a Sooraj Barjatya production. Dharmendra and Bobby Deol had taken to social media recently to announce his arrival to the film world.
Aamir Khan’s son Junaid Khan is going to make his debut with a web series, ‘Pritam Pyare’. Reports say that Aamir Khan would be making a cameo appearance in the series as well. Irrfan Khan’s son Babil Khan is making his debut with ‘The Railway Men’ web series.
Reports suggest that SRK’s son Aryan Khan would be making a debut as a writer. Chunky Panday’s nephew and Ananya Panday’s cousin brother, Ahaan Panday is going to make his film debut soon.
Saif Ali Khan-Amrita Singh’s son Ibrahim Ali Khan who is an assistant director on Karan Johar’s directorial ‘Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani’, might soon be following the footsteps of his elder sister Sara Ali Khan by entering into films with a project from a big production house. Reportedly Ajay Devgn-Kajol’s daughter Nysa Devgn has also been approached by some filmmakers for their upcoming projects.
But is being a star kid a sure shot way to success in films? Does nepotism work?
There have been actors who have managed to do great coming from film families. Today, Hrithik Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Tiger Shroff, and Varun Dhawan are at the top of their games. They all come from popular film families. Not only are they working on great projects, but they are also getting appreciation from critics and audiences alike.
On the other hand, there are other celebs who began with an immense amount of potential but never succeeded. Imran Khan, Uday Chopra, Fardeen Khan, Esha Deol, Zayed Khan, Tusshar Kapoor, Jackky Bhagnani, Tanishaa Mukerji, Mahaakshay Chakravorty, Adhyayan Suman, Sohail Khan, Harman Baweja, Sikander Kher and many others have been lost in time despite being hyped a lot when they made their debuts. It’s not that these actors haven’t done big films or not worked with big filmmakers – they have. Yet, after a string of a few flops, they all slowly and steadily vanished.
There are also the likes of popular Bollywood star kids Abhishek Bachchan, Arjun Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Parineeti Chopra, Shraddha Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor and many others who may not be in the top bracket of leading actors in Bollywood today, but are still a part of some big Bollywood projects that often generate chatter and sometimes, viewership on OTT platforms.
History has it, since time immemorial the nepotism debate has haunted the sons and daughters of the fraternity, yet they have always managed to become actors. While Sunil Dutt’s son Sanjay Dutt went on to become an equally popular superstar like his father, Rajendra Kumar’s son Kumar Gaurav remained a one-film wonder. The entire Kapoor family has been going on and on for generations. The list is unending.
Star kids who want to pursue a career in filmmaking are inevitably going to join the industry. Whether or not they succeed, is their fate - which largely lies in the hands of the audiences. Content is still the king.
When Amitabh Bachchan ran out of work post the debacle of his company ABCL, he walked into Yash Raj Studio and asked veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra for work. That's how he became Narayan Shankar in ‘Mohabbatein’. Bollywood and the audience aren't kind to any particular actor. There's a fault in our stars and in their stars, both.