I remember that, as a pre-teenager, I thought that film stars were made of a different mettle. That,the way they spoke and looked in films was the way they spoke and looked in real-life. Even a debutant was a superstar to me. How else could it be? I lived in Rishikesh which was a one movie hall town. I was allowed to see a movie only occasionally. Movie stars looked good in movies and even better in Filmfare, Stardust and Star & Style. In the movies they spoke perfect Hindi. In the magazines they looked even better and edited interviews made it look that they spoke English better than the Hindi they spoke on screen.
I always wondered how anyone could be so good looking, with such great command over the language and perfect in every other way. Those were the days before television. You did not know the stars beyond movies and magazines.
Even with the advent of television, Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan was the only other place where you could see a star outside films and magazines. Doordarshan's documentary "A Day in the Life of Amitabh Bachchan" was a major telecast which enhanced the aura value of the star.
What's the aura value a star now? They are all over the place. Inaugurating shops, peddling their films in every other TV show, playing the host or guest in chat shows in the highly competitive world of television. Are they acquitting themselves creditably? Are they increasing their aura value?
- Koffee with Karan has substantially diluted the aura of the stars. They don't look as good or speak as well as they do in films. They do not even appear to be well informed with a significant point of view. The exception of course is Shah Rukh Khan who, while diluting his aura, proves, that even on television, that he is a man of substance.
- In KBC, stars exposed more than they do in films. Their laborious and tutored responses show them poorer than under arc lights - except of course Shah Rukh Khan, who has his wits and style around him all the while.
Stars are in every channel you surf. From news to interviews (Walk the Talk, Devil's Advocate, Nine O Clock news...) in dance shows (Boogy Woogie, Nach Baliye, Jhalak Dikhla Ja) stars are all over the small screen. They are not distant, perfect, desirable and unreachable, anymore.
In my opinion, other than Shah Rukh Khan the few other stars who have only increased their desirability or aura quotient are:
- Juhi Chawla: In Jhalak Dikhla Ja she comes across as sincere and thoughtful(her voting out Bhagayshree and voting for Gauhar is a case in point).
- Aamir Khan: He is as serious and intensive as he is in his films.
- Malaika Arora Khan: She is honest, blunt, incisive and articulate in her opinions and can walk her talk.
Perhaps, a few others, like Sonali Bendre, can be added to this list. However, most stars subtract their aura value by exposing their frailties on television where their voice is not dubbed, there are no doubles, they cannot read from a script and there are (perhaps) no retakes.
Exposure of stars on television and their loss of aura is inevitable.
With so much competition, "the script demands it"