Janhvi Kapoor in Ghost Stories: What was She Doing There?
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Janhvi Kapoor in Ghost Stories: What was She Doing There?

Did Janhvi Kapoor make a mistake in making an appearance in an OTT platform when her big-screen career is doing so well?

Ghost Stories is the third in a franchise series that started  in 2013 when  Bombay Talkies  featuring the  Fab Four Filmmakers Karan  Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Anurag Kashyap who were  all at their brilliant best.  Bombay Talkies featured  big-screen stars  like Rani Mukerji, Katrina  Kaif and Amitabh Bachchan  as  it was  created for and released  on  the  big screen in movie theatres.  Lust Stories  released  in  2018 with the same  quartet of directors  doing one story each , was a different  kettle  of  fish. It was designed for  the  OTT platform  and featured no  big-screen  stars. Bhumi Pednekar who played the lead in Zoya Akhtar’s story was  relatively unknown when  she  appeared  in Lust Stories.

 In India  actors  who are  in-demand  in  cinema  normally  shy away  from the OTT platform. So what’s  the up and coming Janhvi Kapoor doing in the series’ third segment Ghost Stories  alongside OTT regulars  like  Shobita  Dhulipala? Apparently she got  lured by the temptation  of  being directed by  Zoya Akhtar. But  it’s one thing for Alia Bhatt to be  directed  by Zoya in  Gully Boy. For Janhvi Kapoor who has a massive movie star fan-following to be put on mobile  phones and computer screens is  not cool. No wonder critics have  remarked on how lost she looks in the  company of  actors who know understand and  relate  to the digital medium.

 A  major filmmaker who wishes to remain unnamed says  putting Janhvi in a web series is  doing her disservice. “She is  not Radhika Apte. Doing a web series at this  stage in  her career  is damaging to Janhvi’s brand equity. After her debut in Dhadak, fans want to see her on  the big screen , and they will  do so  in  Kargil Girl  and Roohi Afza. In both  big-screen projects she plays  the title role. What  was  the need to put her in a web series right after her first release?”

Just how much the  OTT platform damages a film  star’s  big-screen equity was proven earlier this year when right after doing Sacred Games  on OTT  Saif Ali Khan’s  Lal Kaptaan  did not get an audience in movie theatres. Let’s  hope Janhvi’s stardom survives the minuscule appearance in Ghost Stories.

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