Thursday, June 4, 2009

Movies lined up for post strike

Hindi movie buffs have quite a few reasons to cheer after a literally dry summer at the box office. As soon as the strike by film producers ends, there will be an array of big budget Bollywood films on offer - from Vishal Bharadwaj's "Kaminey" and Yash Raj Films' "New York" to Sajid Nadiadwala's "Kambhakkht Ishq" and Saif Ali Khan's "Love Aaj Kal".

The row between producers and multiplex owners over revenue sharing began in February. As a result, producers and distributors decided not to push any new releases in multiplexes after April 4.

So films that were due to release in May and June were pushed back. Industry sources now say that the tussle might end soon and, therefore, films with big star casts and huge budgets will release in close succession.

One of the much-awaited films is Bharadwaj's "Kaminey", which narrates the story of identical twins and their journey to fulfil their dreams. The film will see Shahid Kapur playing a double role for the first time and also stars Priyanka Chopra.

Shahid fans will get a double treat with "Paathshaala", which is also likely to release around the same time. There were reports that Shahid's character in the film is similar to Aamir Khan's in "Taare Zameen Par", but the film's producer Ahmed Khan dismisses them.

"There is no similarity between Shahid's role in the film and Aamir's character in 'Taare Zameen Par'. In his film, Aamir was dealing with one child who was dyslexic, but Shahid deals with many kids and basically with the whole education system in 'Paathshaala'," Ahmed Khan had told IANS.

Director Kabir Khan's "New York" is a romantic thriller based on international terrorism. It is a contemporary story of three friends -- John Abraham, Katrina Kaif, Neil Nitin Mukesh -- and how their lives are turned upside down in New York.

Then Sajid Nadiadwala's $20 million "Kambhakkht Ishq" will see Akshay Kumar playing a stuntman in Hollywood and Kareena Kapoor will play his lady love. The highlight of the film is the presence of Hollywood stars Sylvester Stallone, Brandon Routh and Denise Richards.

Also in the line are a few debuts.

Saif Ali Khan debuts as a producer with his film "Love Aaj Kal", which is being directed by Imtiaz Ali. Saif has teamed up with Deepika Padukone in his home production.

Apart from this, southern superstar Kamal Haasan's daughter Shruti Haasan will foray into Bollywood with "Luck" opposite Imraan Khan. The film also stars Sanjay Dutt and Mithun Chakraborty.

Another pair of newcomers making their debut will be producer Vashu Bhagnani's son, Jackky Bhagnani and model Vaishali Desai in "Kal Kissne Dekha".

Movie afficionados will also get their share of comedy with Subhash Ghai's "Paying Guests", which stars Shreyas Talpade, Celina Jaitley and Neha Dhupia.

"'Paying Guest' is an out-and-out comedy based on a play of the same name and directed by Paritosh Painter. It ran for two years in the US, Britian and the UAE. Now the movie too is being directed by the director of the play," said Ghai.

"Paritosh has done an equally good job as the director of the film. It will sure be a blockbuster...," he added.

The multi-starrer revolves around five friends looking for an accommodation in Dubai.

Others that will fight for attention once the strike is over are Bipasha Basu-starrer "Pankh", director Satish Kaushik's bold film on teen pregnancy "Tere Sang", which stars Sheena Shahabadi and Ruslaan Mumtaz, and "Phirr" among others.

But Delhi-based distributor Joginder Mahajan says the dry spell notwithstanding, people will come to the cinema halls only for good films.

"Audiences are very intelligent. Even if it has been a while since there has been a regular flow of films due to the strike, people will not throng cinema halls just for any film. The movie would have to be promising, maybe big budget or big star cast. Only then people will be lured," he said.

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