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|September 20, 2001||
'It's no good being good all the time'
Subhash K Jha
After three arduous years, India's only director duo, Abbas and Mustan Burmanwallah, are ready with their latest suspense thriller, Ajnabee.
"No one can be blamed for the delay," says Akshay Kumar. "Ajnabee is an intricately woven suspense thriller. It's like a jigsaw puzzle. One false move and the entire premise controlling the film would have fallen apart."
"I guess it does get a bit boring to be good all the time," Akshay admits. "I don't mind playing the game from the other side of the firing line as long as the role is as challenging as the one I play in Ajnabee.
This isn't the first suspense thriller Akshay has done with Abbas-Mustan. "My first big hit Khiladi was also Abbas-Mustan's first big release," he recalls.
Thereafter Abbas-Mustan became the suspense specialists of the industry, styling such thrillers as Daraar (adapted from Hollywood's Sleeping With The Enemy) and Baazigar (with shades from A Kiss From Dying).
Ajnabee is also partly adapted from Hollywood thriller, Consenting Adults, though the resemblance between the two films are faint.
Interestingly, Abbas-Mustan attempted to move away from their trademark genre in their last film, the controversial Chori Chori Chupke Chupke. But now they seem to have surrendered to their forte wholeheartedly with Ajnabee and their next film Hamraaz (starring Bobby Deol, Amisha Patel and Akshaye Khanna).
But do suspense thrillers have a ready market in this country? Abbas-Mustan seem to think so.
Well-made suspense thrillers -- right from Raj Khosla's Woh Kaun Thi and Mera Saaya and Vijay Anand's Teesri Manzil in the 1960s; to BR Chopra's Ittefaq and Yash Chopra's Dhund in the 1970s; to Abbas-Mustan's Khiladi, Baazigar and Soldier in the 1990s -- have done extraordinary business.
Says Akshay Kumar, "Ajnabee has the potential to become the first suspense hit of the new millennium. During its making, all three of us have been lucky. Kareena became a star, I got married and Bobby became a father. I think the film should prove lucky for all concerned."
The music by Anu Malik, especially the disco hit Tu sirf mera mehboob by Pakistani singer Adnan Sami and Sunidhi Chauhan, is already a rage.
Incidentally, Ajnabee is being released on Kareena Kapoor's birthday, September 21. The role of a wife caught in a bizarre quadrangle is a completely new challenge for Hindi cinema's current reigning queen.
So far Kareena has played a bubbly Muslim girl in Refugee, a quietly intelligent girl in the successful Mujhe Kuch Kehya Hai and a NRI (non-resident Indian) daughter caught between her father and lover in the flop Yaadein.
Indo-Asian News Service
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