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Siraj Syed

Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. 



Series and franchises: Milking cash cows or creating new content?


Abhishek Bachchan, Indian lead actor and son of legendary Amitabh Bachchan, who has acted in all three outings of the superhit Dhoom series of action films made over the last ten years, and Vijay Krishna Acharya, writer of all three and director of the third film in the series, were on the stage on day 2 of FICCI FRAMES, the three-day international convention on media and entertainment which concluded in Mumbai yesterday.

Working in a franchise such as 'Dhoom' and 'Sarkar' (a two-part film about an underworld Don)' is no different from working in any other project, opined Abhishek. He added that 'Dhoom' franchise owed its existence to the tremendous box-office success it attained, almost doubling its ticket collections with every 'sequel'. Speaking on performing the spectacular stunts that are the highlight of the brand, Abhishek said that he usually preferred to perform his stunts himself. However, he added, that in view of the new insurance and completion bond regime, he was not allowed to perform certain stunts in Dhoom 3. Yet, roughly 50% of the stunts in Dhoom 3 were done by him. And if the stunts were dangerous, he shrugged, so be it. He had chosen a career, and could not now shy away from stunts just because he was a family man. (Abhishek Bachchan is married to actress and beauty queen Aishwarya Rai. The couple have a daughter).

Asked about his own favourites among long-running film franchise brands, he named EON films' James Bond series, which has already lasted 43 years.


V.K. Acharya said that a franchise should be pursued only if there was a story to tell, and not just to cash in on the success of the brand. He said that he had tried very hard not to let Dhoom 3 look like a continuation of Dhoom 1 and 2.

Dhoom is a brand produced by YashRaj Films, one of India's biggest production houses, helmed by producer-director Yash(raj) Chopra till his passing away a year-and-a-half ago. Yash had stopped directing films some years before his death, and even production was de facto controlled by his son, Aditya. The company is now headed by Aditya Chopra.

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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.

Bandra West, Mumbai


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