Will PM Narendra Modi Revive the Career of Vivek Oberoi, the Star Who Could’ve Been a Superstar?

Bollywood

Will PM Narendra Modi Revive the Career of Vivek Oberoi, the Star Who Could’ve Been a Superstar?

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

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n 2002, as a 10-year-old, I watched Saathiya spell-bound. The music, the refreshing narrative flow, and the sparkling chemistry between its immensely likeable leads had me in its thrall. My friend had to remind me that “yeh wohi hero hai jo Company mein tha.” His convincing portrayal of a gangster, followed by a passionate lover, had made him the ultimate Bollywood find of 2002: a level of stardom that few could dream of after two films, in an industry saturated by Kapoors and Bachchans. It seemed as if Bollywood had found its true-blue golden boy, the next SRK.

Seventeen years on, as the nation is coming to terms with Vivek Anand Oberoi’s shocking transformation in PM Narendra Modi’s first look, I can’t help but wonder how exactly did it all go so wrong, so quickly for Vivek Oberoi, the man who should have been a superstar? And will this be the film that turns things around for him? In an industry that’s rife with examples of good PR management creating stars out of actors, Oberoi is a case study – in how not to mess with Bollywood heavyweights and how not to get too real with the media.

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