Sara Ali Khan's debut is following the standard script — but bucking the star-child 'debut package' too

Gautam Chintamani

Jul 04, 2017 10:47:52 IST

Ever since Sara Ali Khan — the daughter of Amrita Singh and Saif Ali Khan — decided to become an actor, news and photographs about her being spotted in public (alone or with someone, usually some other star child), have become common.

This is perhaps the standard operating procedure in Bollywood when a star daughter or son comes of age. He or she needs to be paraded in public at someone’s party or such, a buzz is generated, which is usually followed by some breaking news about some big filmmaker deciding to launch them and then another piece of news follows where some other filmmaker ends up being the one chosen by destiny to initiate gen-next into the business. Usually, a candid photo piques the interest, where the striking resemblance between the star child in question and their father or mother gets the conversation rolling (remember Aryan Khan and Jhanvi Kapoor's first big splash?).

In Sara's case, the usual photographs of being seen in public and news items such as her father being (mis)quoted saying how he wouldn't wish a career in films for her, etc. followed. But unlike others, the question of resembling either of her actor parents was a later development. Interestingly enough for a newcomer whose launch film, Abhishek Kapoor’s Kedarnath opposite Sushant Singh Rajput, is still in pre-production, Sara Ali Khan’s online presence is buzzing with enough activity. There are a series of handles across various social media platforms that have assumed her identity (a few of them are fan sites) and it was on one such outlet that a photo of the young actor was juxtaposed with a photograph of her mother, Amrita Singh, from her younger days and the resemblance was too conspicuous to ignore.

 Sara Ali Khans debut is following the standard script — but bucking the star-child debut package too

Sara Ali Khan with Karan Johar. News 18 image

For many second-generation actors, a resemblance with the famous parent is an added bonus; for most, the surname is enough. Irrespective of who your mommy or daddy might be, all star children have to go through the rigmarole and Sara Ali Khan is no exception. She too, like a horde of debutants with famous surnames, would need to harmonise her ambitions with the conditions of her times; she will have to endure comparisons with her parents, her grandmother (Sharmila Tagore), her aunt (Soha Ali Khan) and, who knows, perhaps even her step-mother (Kareena Kapoor). She, too, will have to undergo a period of uncertainty where her age, or rather the age of the ‘male’ superstars, would make it difficult for her to get well-written roles and such. Yet for some reason, there seems to be a forgone conclusion about Sara’s future position as the 'next big thing' in Bollywood.

In a way, Sara Ali Khan’s debut is not exactly the star-studded feature a star child with the kind of pedigree that she has would get. Traditionally, she would have been made to don the persona of her mother from her initial days and packed off in a role that Amrita Singh could have portrayed back then, or be cast opposite the son of one of her mother’s leading men (read Anil Kapoor or Sunny Deol), etc. But by ‘launching’ her opposite an established actor somewhere also suggests that the people behind her are confident to look beyond a standard star-child debut package. There is a sense that Sara Ali Khan is being pitched as the next Alia Bhatt or in other words — an industry insider but good enough to foray into a non-traditional star-child career.

There were the typical rumours of Karan Johar launching Sara Ali Khan in one of his production, then Salman Khan was supposedly keen on producing a film with her opposite his brother in law, Ayush Sharma. Had either happened, it would have been a archetypical launch, but it is believed that Amrita Singh was keener on Sara starting with something else. Sara’s decision to probably opt for an Abhishek Kapoor film as opposed to a Karan Johar production is also reminiscent of Karisma Kapoor choosing to go with a film like Prem Qaidi rather than wait endlessly for her rumored launch opposite Bobby Deol. When it comes to Hindi films and the concept of star-child launches, many often end up destroying the possibilities of a future because of the numbers of alternatives that are in the offing and although Sara Ali Khan might not be the greatest thing to happen to Hindi cinema, the possibility of a star child doing something slightly different than the expected is, for what it’s worth, a good enough place to begin.

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Updated Date: Jul 04, 2017 10:47:52 IST