The Chosen One

Before you jump to the conclusion that its a personal(*yawn*) rant post or a post-Matrix burst out or a spiritual healing session, then relax. Its just about apun ka Bollywood. So sit back and enjoy the ride. 🙂 

I have been quite surprised by this recurring phenomenon in Movies. Have you ever noticed that when ever a new pair is introduced in Bollywood, one of them goes ahead and reach the heights of stardom while the other one is lost into oblivion? What decides this tilt of fate cannot be pointed out and this phenomenon happens irrespective of whether the launchpad was a success or a failure. Only one out of the pair is the chosen one.

You haven’t noticed it? Let me give you some examples then.

1. Kajol & Kamal Sada”nah”

Who got Lucky – Kajol. The year was 1992 when Rahul Rawail directed Bekhudi was released. The movie was one big flop but it triggered the movie career of two budding actors. Kajol went ahead to sign Baazigar while we all know what happened to Kamal Sadana. He appeared in a few other movies like Rang before he vanished from the big screen. Kajol in the other hand went ahead and made history in the Indian Cinema. With an exception of a few girls who don’t like any actress, I haven’t come across any Indian who don’t like Kajol. She is one of the very few actresses who have given hits even after getting married. So, Kamal was lucky for Kajol but Kajol ended up being jinxed for the poor guy. 🙂

 

2. Manisha Koirala & Vivek “Miss”ran

Who got Lucky – Manisha. Subhash Ghai’s Magnum Opus Saudagar, introduced two new stars – Manisha and Vivek Mushran. The movie which was adorned with Raj Kumar, Dilip Kumar and some great music(remember ILU ILU? Doesn’t it sound really stupid now? 🙂 ), was a huge blockbuster. After a few years, Vivek ended up with Fruti and Sonpari on the idiot box while Manisha went ahead and did some awesome movies like 1942 A Love Story, Bombay, Akele Hum Akele Tum, Khamoshi, Gupt and Dil se.

 

3. Ajay Devgan & Mad”who?”

Who got lucky – Ajay. Phool aur Kaante, directed by Sandesh Kohli, was released in 1991. It was an instant hit and was noted for its melodious music(remember Dheere Dheere pyar ko?) by Nadeem Shravan. Ajay Devgan went ahead with a movie career which is still going very strong and is filled with numerous awards and honours. His last notable movie this year was Halla Bol. He married Kajol in 1999. Madhoo on the other hand gave one flop after another and was extinguished after some time. Her last two notable roles after the blockbuster launchpad were Roja and Diljale.

 

4. Akshay Khanna & Anjala Z”aver(i)-age”

Who got lucky – Akshay. Himalaya Putra(released in 1997) was the perfect gift from Vinod Khanna to his son, which went terribly bad. The movie, directed by Pankaj Parashar failed at the box office. Akshay’s second movie was Border which was a blockbuster and gave him the well needed respite. After that there was no looking back and Akshay worked in some big blockbusters like Taal, Dil Chahta Hai, Humraaz and Race. Although his career have had a lot many ups and downs, he is considered as the most talented actor in the present lot. Anjala, well, err, I don’t remember her last movie. 😐 Last I remember, her “worth remembering” role was in Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya in which she was seen in a supporting role.

 

5. Karishma Kapoor and Har-“ishhhh”

Who got lucky – Karishma. Karishma Kapoor was introduced along with newcomer Harish in the 1991 movie Prem Qaidi. The movie didn’t work and Karishma was criticized for her looks. She looked repulsive with those disheveled hair and bushy eyebrows which she shed(the eyebrows that is) 5 years later in Raja Hindustani which incidentally moved her in the big league of stars. And what a star! Numerable nominations, awards and huge blockbusters came her way. She was known for her comedy movies with Govinda as well as the offbeat movies like Fiza and Zubeidaa. Harish on the other hand ended up burdened up with a string of flops and was seen as a sidekick in a few Govinda starrers like Aunty No. 1 and Coolie No. 1 before he vanished.

 

6. Salman Khan and “Bhag-gai-stree”(Bhagyashree)

Who got lucky – Salman. Although Maine Pyar Kiya was not Salman’s first movie as an actor. He had acted earlier in Biwi Ho to Aisi(a Rekha and Farooq Shaikh starrer) but MPK was his first movie as a hero. The movie came at a time when love stories were out of fashion and defined the way Hindi movies were made in the next decade. The movie was blessed with evergreen songs which all of us still listen to even after 20 years. I don’t think I need to elaborate on Salman but Bhagyashree, well, her career nosedived like a helicopter out of fuel. She started promoting her husband as a hero and did some insignificant movies with him, carrying the “Himalayan” albatross around her neck and was last seen in some Sari advertisement.

 

7. Hrithik Roshan and A”miss”a

Who got lucky – Hrithik. The launch with every actor dreams of, Rakesh Roshan gave it to his son on a platter. Kaho Na Pyar Hai was the biggest blockbuster of 2000 and introduced Amisha Patel starring opposite to Hrithik. Initially Kareena Kapoor was supposed to play the role and shooting too had started when she was suddenly dropped. Amisha gave another blockbuster(Gadar) next year but her career is on a decline since then. She was last seen in cameo roles in Bhool Bhulaiyaa and Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic. Hrithik on the other hand, has been churning blockbusters after an initial turbulence which followed his debut. He is the only actor after Rishi Kapoor who won the Filmfare for the Best Actor in his Debut Movie.

I cannot think of any more examples right now, but there must be many more. Of course there are exceptions to this rule. There are pairs which have been successful, like Aamir KhanJuhi Chawla(who were introduced in Qayamat se Qayamat tak) and Rishi KapoorDimple Kapadia(introduced in Bobby) and there are pairs like Anu Agarwal-Rahul Roy(introduced in Ashiqui) in which both the actors failed, but most of the pairs go the “Chosen one” way.

I wonder what will happen to this pair?

U Me Aur Hum – Movie Review

Its always a very brutal job to pan down a directorial debut. Its the closest you can reach to a catch 22 situation. You don’t want to point out all the obvious flaws because its the first movie of the director and on the other side you have such glorious examples ( for example – Taare Zameen Par) of some near perfect debuts that you crave to underline those very flaws. So does U Me Aur Hum fall into the usual Bollywood traps or does Ajay Devgan has a different story to tell?

Ajay Devgan directs his first movie and himself plays the character of Ajay, a leading psychiatrist who meets Pia (Kajol) on a cruise. Ajay is on the ship with his friends Nikhil (Sumeet Raghavan) ,Reena (Divya Dutta) , Vicky (Karan Khanna) and Natasha (Isha Sharvani). Nikhil and Reena are married but are always fighting like cats and dogs. On the other hand Vicky and Natasha are happily unmarried. Ajay falls in love with Pia and after a little bit of fighting and bickering both of them get married. The story follows the journey of these three couples who influence each other lives by the decisions they make in their own, where the main emphasis is given to the love story of Ajay and Pia. It would not be appropriate to go deeper into the story as it would give away the plot.

The story of the movie is such that it could have stood apart only if the performances, dialogues and the screenplay would have been tour de force. Performances are honest and well etched but it is the dialogues and the screenplay which eventually pull down the movie. There are flashes of brilliance here and there but the overall effect looks half baked. For example, take the scene where Ajay is taking to his friends about his wife’s condition and they ask him to bring her back. Everything is perfect in the scene except the dialogues. The lines “Do you understand what I am trying to say” and “You know something” are repeated so many times across the length and breadth of the movie, that it starts getting on to the nerves after sometime. There are some scenes which don’t make any sense like the one in which Vicky is walking naked on the deck. What the heck??? 😐 Another problem is that nothing happens in the first half of the movie. Its completely flat and bland, something we have seen zillions of times in Bollywood movies. Its only in the second half that the movie starts making some sense. The scenes between Kajol and Ajay pick up the pace but when you walk out of the theatre at the end, you feel that something was missing throughout the movie.

Kajol is her bubbly self and is the only reason to watch the movie. Some actors are evergreen and she is one of them. Ajay Devgan is also “cool” except in the scenes where he knits his brows too sharply and say – “You know something??” Eeeeks!!! The rest of the cast also end up faring pretty decently, specially Sumeet Raghavan. Vishal Bharadwaj’s music score is passable but the lyricist Munna Dhiman is someone to watch out for. “Saiyaan” and “Dil Dhadka hai” stand out as far as lyrics are concerned. The title track by Shreya Ghosal is also hummable.

Ajay Devgan impresses in the way he shot some of the scenes on the ship and later some more crucial scenes in the movie like the one in which Kajol is staring at the lizard. He can create wonders for sure. All he needs is an impeccable script and an engrossing story.

Rating – 2.5/5

Director – Ajay Devgan

 

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