By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: Everyone is talking about the impending clash this coming Friday between the two Chopra sisters Priyanka and Parineeti. But spare a thought for Sushant Singh Rajput who faces the most difficult challenge of his career as a movie star.
The second film.
This has been the bane and curse of many post-debut heroes. Kumar Gaurav, who had a spectacular start with Love Story, came crashing down with his post-debut film Teri Kasam. This was followed by Star, Lovers and a series of duds.
Hrithik Roshan, who started with a bang in Kaho Na…Pyar Hai, met with a whimpering snub in his subsequent film Aap Mujhe Achche Lage.
Pratiek Babbar, who was well-received in Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na, is still struggling to find a foothold.
Besides, Sushant’s well-received debut was a 3-hero film.
“Agreed Sushant got the maximum notice on Kai Po Che. But his co-stars Amit Sadh and Raj Kumar Yadav played a very big hand in the success of that film. A solo-hero film is hard to sustain for a one-film success. Yashraj Films had launched Ranvir Singh in Band Baaja Baraat and then cast him in as a multi-personality masquerader in Ladies Versus Ricky Behl. The film crashed noiselessly. One hit, and everyone at Yashraj wants to be Shahrukh,” says a director from television who feels actors should stop using television as a stepping stone to cinema.
Shuddh Desi Romance is also dangerous territory for director Maneesh Sharma. He scored a big success with Bang Baaja Baraat. Shuddh Desi Romance seems to convey the same feisty flaky feel-bindaas flavour of his first film.
Photo-shop Rajput and Parineeti Chopra and they could well be wearing the faces of Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma from Maneesh’s first film.
Both the couples in Sharma’s two films talk in the same we-are-like-this-only-no-reason-to-be-shocked style.
Zanjeer, on the other hand, has Ram Charan Teja shooting straight from the hip. He is a big draw in his home state Andhra Pradesh. Director Apoorva Lakhia feels Ramcharan has the potential to burst open the Bollywood box-office.
“Ram is like an eruptive volcano. Very calm on the surface, all stormy and turbulent underneath, just like Mr Bachchan in Zanjeer,” says Lakhia.
Whether Ram Charan breaks the jinx on South Indian heroes remains to be seen. Yes, the very talented Dhanush from Tamil cinema did score a big success with Raanjhanaa lately. But that was a role and character which required a particular kind of look and personality.
Ram Charan is more in the conventional hero’s mould. He has done only four Telugu films, all blockbusters.
Rajput and Ram Charan’s contrasting personalities would make for an interesting competition at the box-office this week.
Says trade analyst Taran Adarsh, “Both Ram Charan and Sushant come this Friday with super experience. Sushant has done TV and the film Ka Po Che while Ram Charan is a big name in the South. Also, Ram Charan makes his Bollywood debut as the iconic cop Vijay Khanna that had made the Big B a superstar in the original Zanjeer.”
Taran feels both the actors have immense potential. “Also the genres for their films is different. It will be an interesting clash.”