U.S election is over and the result is not what people intended at least the liberal ones. The consequences have started sprouting at various regions in most brutal ways. What is the main reason behind it? Donald Trump is a self-proclaimed racist and misogynist and his followers are expected to be like that, thus expressing it on women and minorities. But then, it is fueled by this little thing called “fanatism“.
If you look in an Indian context, fanatism is more prominent here. Malayalam film industry is ruled by two major superstars since the ’80s; Mohanlal and Mammootty. Both of them are undoubtedly talented and good in their respective works, they are what they are mainly due to the hyper fanbase. The result of this hyper fanatism goes from bullying each other to killing. I have read news about Mammootty fans stabbing a Mohanlal fan and vice versa. Some other fans tend to donate money to the theaters by buying extra tickets so that their hero’s films will do better at the box office. There are fans associations who dedicate their time and money for promoting their favorite star’s film, even if means to demote an upcoming actor or his film. Mohanlal fans have booed at Mammootty’s films and vice versa. Both their fans have booed at an upcoming hero’s film. So, the question is, how far is it going? There is a massive difference between the appreciation given and being a hyper fan. Remember the twilight fan Emma Clarke? Who broke down in tears when news related to Kristen Stewart’s infidelity came around?
Those girls who cried openly when twilight saga’s trailer came out? Situations like this are when you tend to ask, can we just bring it down a notch?
I am pretty sure that celebrities themselves are repelled or “afraid” of hyper fanatism. A Vijay fan committed suicide because his film “thalaiva” was delayed and the actor reacted to it. “This is one of the saddest days in my life and as an elder brother to my fans, I request and sternly advise my fans to not even think of such acts in future. I don’t know how to console Vishnu’s parents and family members, for having lost their 20-year-old son, who had so many years ahead of him”. Rajinikant fans burned a theater at Tamil Nadu when one of his films showed his death scene. “Fans” of Sunny Leone created morphed images of her with them, disgusting trivia. Actor Michael Douglas was stalked by a woman who claimed to be in love with him and even threatened his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones who was traumatized by this incident. Actresses Jodie Foster and Scarlett Johanssen had similar experiences. Some celebrities are humble enough to keep it at bay but the general case is that fanatism is more of a disease. These case are the extreme ones.
What about everyday fanatism?
I expressed in an online forum that Amitabh Bachchan’s portrayal of Don was better than Shah Rukh Khan’s version and his fans attacked me. 😛 I was called an “unloyal” fan who should be ashamed of myself. Really? A harsh circumstance was when Johnny Depp fans attacked me with swear words when I expressed my displeasure about his film, “Sweeney Todd: the demon barber of fleet street“. I have been a fanatic earlier, but I learned a valuable lesson, it is not worth it. I am a fan of Shah Rukh Khan. I am a fan of Taylor Swift. And, always make sure that it is kept down a notch. Once upon a time, I was a die-hard fan of Johnny Depp. In fact, I have collected over 20 movies of his just because I admired him. But, his current film choices, performance quality, and the controversies have killed the fire. Thankfully, I did not have fist fights, though there were opinion differences. At one point I liked the twilight saga and it took a while for me to understand the strong anti-feminist messages the books were giving and on how Edward and Jacob cannot be called perfect lovers. Hyper fanatism is very harmful if the messages depicted by their role models are not proper. During the early 2000s, Mohanlal released several superhit films where he consumed alcohol. This started a trend among youth male population where they started drinking to excess. Stalking and wooing by male heroes in films have inspired young men to not take “no for an answer“. Fanatism, as far s I am concerned, is a disease just like how most people don’t know what consent is. I am sure that even film stars want admirers and followers, not hyper fanbases. Above all, people need good role models.