Ever since the trailers of Pink Panther 2 are out, the Indian media has pounced on it to study the length of Aishwarya Rai’s presence in the movie. Two frames, no two and a half, blink and you miss it, is she just a side kick? And so on.
But, honestly, why would anyone expect Aishwarya Rai to get lots of footage in the trailer? Pink Panther 2 is all about Steve Martin as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau. And so is the trailer. None of the other characters in the movie are in your face, in any way whatsoever. So why should Aishwarya Rai be treated differently?
If you take a look at the Pink Panther 2 official website, the Cast & Filmmakers page has Aishwarya Rai’s picture and details among those of the nine principal characters.
The website also has five games based on five characters, Clouseau (Steve Martin), Vincenzo (Andy Garcia), Sonia (Aishwarya Rai), Pepperidge (Alfred Molina), and Kenji (Yuki Matsuzaki).
Take a look at some of the pictures from the Pink Panther 2 trailer. The prominence she has got is adequate for her role and good enough for me, thank you very much.
But one cannot expect balance and maturity from the Indian media. It is a past master at knee-jerk reactions and drawing pat conclusions.
An actress adopts a child, it’s a trend. Papers and news channels will run story after story on how single women today are adopting furiously before their biological clocks wind down.
A manic depressive actress kills herself. Be ready to brave stories and chats with pop psychologists about how actresses in the show business are prone to offing themselves and why.
India wins a Gold at the Olympics, and suddenly it is a major player on the World’s sports scene.
The India cricket team wins two matches in a row, it’s the best team in the world. India loses one match, it’s the worst team in the world. Ganguly doesn’t retire, he is selfish. Ganguly retires, he is the most wonderful player ever in Indian cricket. I mean, grow up!
And then there are our film critics. Most don’t know the basic rule of writing a critique: you don’t compare apples with oranges. But no, Nagesh Kukunoor’s Bombay to Bangkok will be compared to his Dor and found wanting, never mind they belong to two different genres.
Bombay to Bangkok may or may not be a good movie, but if comparisons have to be drawn then it better be compared to, say, a Jab We Met or any other romantic comedy.
Whatever happened to perspective?
Pink Panther 2 will be released on February 6, 2009. Aishwarya Rai plays Sophie Solandres, a criminologist, in the movie.