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|July 31, 2001||
It is time for unhappening supernatural thrillers like Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Aks - The Reflection to make way for love in tinseltown.
Classic tales of love, lust and longing with a host of hot and happening stars gyrating against the backdrop of foreign locales promise to tantalise the audience in August.
Snapping at the heels of the July 27 release of the Hrithik Roshan-Kareena Kapoor starrer Yaadein are Pyaar, Ishq Aur Mohabbat, Hum Ho Gaye Aapke, Dil Chahta Hai and Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke -- all films about love and longing.
After Lagaan and Gadar - Ek Prem Katha -- temporary aberrations that may have given hopes to experimental filmmakers like Aks director Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, the majority seems to have turned back to love, love and more love.
The highlight of the romantic genre would, of course, be this year's most awaited film -- Karan Johar's Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.
The stage is set for romances thanks to the runaway success of Anubhav Sinha's Tum Bin, which collected 61 per cent in its second week in the Bombay circuit alone against 59 per cent for the heavyweight Aks.
Since both films released on the same day, July 13, trade pundits had predicted that the Super Cassettes' Tum Bin would sink without a trace. But it seems that star-crossed love holds a mass appeal that Aks could not beat.
Tum Bin had four debuting model-turned-actors in the lead and surprised everyone. Its success has given hope to the other three-hero films in the pipeline -- Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat and Dil Chahta Hai.
Each filmmaker promises 'something different' as usual.
But the first to cash in on the love bug was Subhash Ghai's Yaadein.
Ghai's 15th film, which comes after 25 years in showbiz, released a little ahead of the Hindu marriage season. The film explores the blossoming of love between heartthrobs Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor as well as the bond of love between a father (Jackie Shroff) and his three daughters.
The master showman, who has a record of 12 hits, has won both bouquets and brickbats for Yaadein -- his "memories to cherish." While some critics have dismissed it as a bad memory, others have dubbed it a superhit.
Predictably, it has opened to 100 per cent collections and should sail smoothly into the next week. But it is then that it will reveal whether Yaadein has any repeat value to pull the crowds back like Gadar and Lagaan.
Ghai, touted as a For NRIs (nonresident Indians) filmmaker, is reported to have recovered more than the cost of the film's production through lucrative sponsorship deals and music and overseas rights sales.
Yaadein is a feelgood film that hopes to deliver the message that fathers must play an active role in the upbringing of their children and befriend them.
The most cherished 'memory' of Yaadein is Hrithik, who excels in emotional and comic scenes. His dancing skills need no introduction.
Rakesh Roshan's son who catapulted to stardom with his debut Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai last year, has established himself as more than a one-film wonder. Now all he needs is a major blockbuster -- something that has evaded him in Fiza and Mission Kashmir.
Ghai is nervous as well. "I feel like I'm sitting for an exam," he says. In the film business, he says, you're only as good as your last hit.
Perhaps that's why Ghai never rests.
Many are nervous in the Hindi film industry. After the mega success of Gadar and Lagaan, both by virtually unknown directors, equations in the industry seem to be changing.
And the shakeup has caught the stalwart filmmakers unaware. They are now arming themselves with big stars, new sounds, exotic locations, a "different" script and hardcore marketing strategies.
Undeterred by the inability of E Niwas's Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega to stand the onslaught of Sunny Deol's Gadar and Aamir Khan's Lagaan, the months ahead will see more experiments that explore shades of love by veteran directors like Rajiv Rai.
Releasing August 3 are two 'love' flicks. Rai's Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat, with Sunil Shetty, Arjun Rampal and Aftab Shivdasani, and Hum Ho Gaye Aapke, with Fardeen Khan, Reema Sen and Apurva Agnihotri.
In Rai's film, the three men romance a common love interest -- Keerti Reddy.
For Keerti, this film marks her second chance to make it big in Hindi films after an unimpressive debut in the Abhishek Bachchan-starrer Tera Jadoo Chal Gayaa.
The film is a deviation for Rai, who has earlier concentrated on action-packed thrillers. Rai, who has blockbusters Tridev, Mohra, Vishwatma, and Gupt to his credit, has a lot at stake in Pyaar, Ishq..., which has been extensively shot in Scotland.
Contrary to rumours, the Hollywood blockbuster There's Something About Mary has not inspired Rai's romantic comedy about three guys and a girl.
One drawback of the film could be a lack of crowd-pulling music like Tu cheez badi hai mast (Mohra) the title track of Gupt and Oye oye (Tridev).
Music by Nadeem-Shravan is the highlight of the other August 3 release, Hum Ho Gaye Aapke. That and the newfound success of actor Fardeen Khan might just help the film steal a march over Rajiv Rai's Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat initially.
The melody makers, who returned with a hit score in Dhadkan after a forced sabbatical due to Nadeem's alleged involvement in music baron Gulshan Kumar's murder, have once again struck the right chords for the Venus Records and Tapes film.
Directed by Ahathiyan, Hum Ho... stars Fardeen, Reema Sen and Apurva Agnihotri in the lead. The film marks the Hindi film debut of 20-year-old Reema.
In addition to a dream debut opposite Fardeen, Reema -- who, by the way, is not Moon Moon Sen's daughter -- has already bagged Jaal that stars Sunny Deol, Jackie Shroff and Tabu. In Jaal, Reema will be directed once again by Athiyan, whose last Hindi film was the surprise hit Sirf Tum.
Reema has already made waves in the South with Minnalae and Chitram.
With Keerti Reddy and Reema tugging at the heartstrings of Hindi cinegoers, may the best woman win.
Fardeen Khan is on a new high. After making it to national headlines on dope charges, he is in the news for all the right reasons this time.
The new Khan on the block is endorsing the Provogue brand of clothes. That's good news for Fardeen who has witnessed more downs in his career than ups. Currently, Fardeen is on his second innings in the film industry after a flop debut with Prem Aggan.
He got a fresh lease of life with Ramgopal Varma taking him under his wing and re-launching him in Jungle. Post Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya and Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega, Fardeen has become hot property.
Indo-Asian News Service
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