This used to happen during the Amitabh Bachchan era. He made a special appearance in Agni Varsha but his face was plastered on the publicity material as that of the main lead. Before that the same happened in films like Soorma Bhopali and Andhaa Kanoon as well. Now, Vidya Balan is finding herself in the same situation, what with her presence in dubbed release Ek Yodha Shoorveer being projected as much bigger than the actual length in the film.
"Ek Yodha Shoorveer releases this Friday and is a dubbed version of Malayalam film Urumi. Vidya just has a cameo in the film. She appears for a few scenes only," informs our source.
"As a matter of fact, Genelia D'Souza is the leading lady in the film and she has a good role in there. However, Vidya's scenes from the film are largely incorporated in the promo," the source adds.
Incidentally, neither Vidya nor Genelia have dubbed for the Hindi version, which is seeing a haphazard release. It is apparent that the film, which is set in the early 16th century and has the premise of Portuguese sailors dominating the Indian ocean with the fight-back that follows, is arriving in the wake of dubbed version of Bahubali turning out to be a Blockbuster in Hindi as well.
"However, there is just no strategy in place for Ek Yodha Shoorveer," a trade expert comments, "You can't just release a film in such a manner. At least some correct awareness could have been created for it. The last thing you want is to disappoint even that segment of audience which may walk in to watch Vidya in action, who was last seen on the big screen in Hamari Adhuri Kahani last year."
To its credit though, the promo does feature the male lead of the film in abundance. Featuring Prithviraj Sukumaran, who has been seen in two Hindi films so far (Aiyya, Aurangzeb), the film also has Prabhu Dheva in a prominent part.
"Still, they have not just plastered Vidya in the promo but also Tabu, who again features just in a cameo," chuckles an insider, "Such tricks worked in the 80s and 90s when gullible audience wasn't aware of who actually feature in a film. However, not anymore, especially in the digital age today when all information is available in a matter of seconds." Agreed!