Reams were written about Anil Kapoor’s role in the much-hyped Tom Cruise big-ticket franchise, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol that opened here on Friday, December 16. The actor even featured in one of the film’s posters and in the promos aired in India. However, fans and critics are feeling seriously let-down by Anil’s much tom-tommed cameo.
Sukanya Verma, film critic, Rediff.com, points out that after Danny Boyle’s Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and the TV series 24 (2011), one expected something more substantial from Anil. “Instead, we see him salivating over a girl in a three-minute role. Forget the length, most of us thought it was a wasted opportunity because India’s representative was only replaying an enduring western cliché that portrayed Indian men as lecherous skirt-chasers,” she grouses.
However, another film critic, Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN, believes it was a good move on the part of the actor to accept the role.
“Anil Kapoor is one of the few Indian actors who deserves the success he has earned over years of commitment to his craft. It may be only a cameo, but just being one of six supporting actors in a film like Mission Impossible is a huge achievement,” asserts Rajeev.
Fans don’t agree with Rajeev’s assessment. Student Jaineel Nagda is unhappy to see “one of India’s best actors showcased as an idiot who’s excited at the sight of a firang (foreigner) woman.” Photographer Samanta Da Cunha endorses that opinion, saying MI:4 turned Anil into a “clown”. She adds, “His over-the-top acting was embarrassing. The whole theatre was laughing.”
Mehul Gogri, city-based retail consultant, is equally dismissive: “What was the whole fuss about? I remember reading interviews of Anil about working with Tom Cruise. Why would someone do a miniscule role that shows him to be a total loser.”