Eight minutes of Mallika?s 'myth'
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Eight minutes of Mallika?s 'myth'

Why do Indian stars open their mouth about an int'l career prematurely?

india Updated: Feb 08, 2006 12:27 IST

Why do Indian stars open their mouth about an international career so prematurely and then end up with egg on their face?

Years ago the formidable Shabana Azmi thought she was doing a pivotal role in director Blake Edwards' Son Of Pink Panther. Shabana of course stood by her decision to do what finally turned out to be a glorified cameo.

Now it is the turn of another Indian performer, albeit belonging to another genre, to fall flat on her face.

Mallika Sherawat's much-vaunted "stellar" role in Stanley Tong's The Myth is just that - a myth. Audiences who saw the film were shocked to see her role was no more than a cameo.

"What was all the fuss about? And why do we go on about our prospects out West when Hollywood has no patience for us?" said filmmaker Hansal Mehta. "Mallika repeatedly made goof-ups at press conferences."

Why do Indian stars open their mouth about an international career prematurely? Mallika Sherawat had been gushing about her role in Jackie Chan’s The Myth. As it turns out now, all she did in the film is nothing more than a cameo.

According to members of the Indian film fraternity at the Toronto Film Festival, Mallika's presence there was a complete non-event.

A fellow actor said: "Seriously her female colleague Kim Hee Seon conducted herself with so much dignity. Mallika was making absurd statements about how in India doing a Jackie Chan film was like doing a James Bond film.

"What did she mean? And then after all the gushing, her role in The Myth was nothing more than a cameo," he said.

While responses to Mallika at the Toronto fest ranged from lukewarm to indifferent, audiences and critics were far more categorical in their dismissal of The Myth, which has been declared a certifiable dud.

The plot has Chan in a double role as a Ming warrior in ancient times and an archaeologist in present times.

A prominent Indian director, who was present at the Toronto Film Festival where the film was screened, said: "After the screening of any film at the festival the papers next day are filled with news and views. There was hardly anything at all about The Myth.

"There was a cold indifferent silence to the film and to Mallika Sherawat. One feels sorry for her because she had pumped up her presence in the film as some kind of a grand event. This is more like a damp squib."

Critics have rated The Myth as arguably the worst film of Jackie Chan's career. Where does Mallika go from here?

Back to the Bollywood grind? She has a brief role in one segment of Ram Gopal Varma's Darna Zaroori Hai with Anil Kapoor and a part in Satish Kaushik's Shaadi Se Pehle with Suniel Shetty.

What a sad impasse in the career of a spunky actress who virtually re-wrote the rules of female stardom in Murder.

First Published: Feb 08, 2006 12:27 IST