Oscar winners AR Rahman and Resul Pookutty have come forward with their accounts of facing difficulty in getting work in Bollywood.
In a tweet on Sunday, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur posted Rahman’s interview with Radio Mirchi, in which the music composer claimed a “gang” had been spreading rumours about him. “People are expecting me to do stuff, but there is another gang of people preventing that from happening,” Rahman said. “It is fine, because I believe in destiny, and I believe that everything comes from God.”
He further noted an incident where film director Mukesh Chhabra had told the music composer about people deterring him from approaching Rahman for work in his latest movie Dil Bechara, starring actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
Kapur posted the interview and tweeted: “You know what your problem is AR Rahman? You went and got Oscars. An Oscar is the kiss of death in Bollywood. It proves you have more talent than Bollywood can handle..” To this, the music producer and singer responded with: “Lost money comes back, fame comes back, but the wasted prime time of our lives will never come back. Peace! Lets move on. We have greater things to do.”
Following this, Pookutty, a sound designer who received an Oscar for sound mixing for the film Slumdog Millionaire tweeted: “Dear Shekhar Kapur ask me about it, I had gone through near breakdown as nobody was giving me work in Hindi films and regional cinema held me tight after I won the Oscar...There were production houses told me at my face “we don’t need you” but still I love my industry, for it....”
He added that he could have easily switched to Hollywood for work but did not. “...My work in India won me the Oscar, I got nominated six times for Motion Picture Sound Editors and won too.” Pookutty said he had discussed the “Oscar curse” with members of the Academy Awards and that it was faced by several people.
“I enjoyed going through that phase, when you are on top of the world and when you know people reject you, it’s the biggest reality check!”
However, Pookutty on Monday morning tweeted that the “Oscar curse” was over for him. “All my post are not seen in my timeline, posting it here again so that it’s not wrongly interpreted. Oscar curse is over, we moved on. I’m also not liking the direction in which the whole nepotism discussion is going. So peace! I’m not blaming anybody for not taking me in their films.”
Later on Monday, he tweeted: “Nepotism is the cheapest and most unimaginative corruption!”
The conversation between Kapur, Rahman and Pookutty comes at a time when the Bollywood industry is facing massive criticism for indulging in nepotism, following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. There have been several debates following Rajput’s suicide about how the industry has failed to include outsiders in its fold.