Since Yash Chopra’s Silsila (1981), they haven’t shared screen space for over three decades. But now, rumours suggest that Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha might work together again in Anees Bazmee’s Welcome Back.
The filmmakers, however, have not officially confirmed this news,. We have zeroed in on six top pairings of Bollywood — especially those heroes who are still in demand while their past female co-stars are no longer actively working — and take a guess about their future success.
"Ideally, such pairings might not work at the box office, because the top heroes are working with much younger girls. Mithun Chakraborty-Ranjeeta’s film (Zindagi Tere Naam; 2012) which flopped miserably, testifies to this fact," says trade expert Amod Mehra.
Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol
Notable films: Baazigar (1993), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ; 1995), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), My Name Is Khan (2010)
The lowdown: Possibly one of the most successful Bollywood pairings of all time, SRK and Kajol have several hits to their credit including DDLJ, which is India’s longest running film (it’s still showing at Maratha Mandir in Mumbai). The two have also worked in Karan Arjun (1995) and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001).
Expert talk: "If they have to come together, it’s clear that they can’t play typical lead roles. But still, the enigma attached with their pairing will always be in people’s minds," says trade expert Vikas Mohan.
Our take: We need another love story starring the duo, albeit with a twist.
Ajay Devgn-Karisma Kapoor
Notable films: Jigar (1992), Suhaag (1994), Shaktiman (1993),
The lowdown: Ajay has worked with Karisma’s sister, Kareena; their latest film being Satyagraha, after Golmaal 3 (2010). Ajay and Karisma started off with hits like Jigar and Suhaag but lost their appeal with Sangram and Dhanwaan (both 1993).
Expert talk: "I don’t know how it will work out because while Ajay is working with young actors, Karisma is practically out of the business. They don’t hold a great business value," says Vikas.
Our take: Ajay Devgn can be an archetypal action hero and can star with both the Kapoor sisters.
Anil Kapoor-Madhuri Dixit
Notable films: Beta (1992), Tezaab (1988), Parinda (1989), Kishen Kanhaiya (1990) and Ram Lakhan (1989)
The lowdown: In the ’90s, Anil-Madhuri were riding the success wave, Tezaab being one of their most memorable hits. The last time they came together was in 2000 for Rajkumar Santoshi’s Pukar. Of late, they have been spotted together on a dance reality show.
Expert talk: "We all have grown up watching their films. All of us would love to see Anil and Madhuri together in an intense, hard-hitting film," says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
Our take: Maybe, a family drama would be the best bet for the duo.
Aamir Khan-Juhi Chawla
Notable films: Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (QSQT; 1988), Love Love Love (1989), Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993) and Ishq (1997)
The lowdown: Their first film, QSQT, was a runaway hit. After that, Aamir and Juhi were cast together multiple times. They last worked together in Ishq, which was another success.
Expert talk: "They will surely look good together if they decide to do a film like Paa. The chemistry between them will be worth watching out for," says Amod.
Our take: They could easily play the sensible, grown-up couple in love.
Notable films: Maine Pyaar Kiya (MPK; 1989)
The lowdown: Sooraj Barjatya’s classic gave us a super hit pair and a heartthrob, Salman. Sadly, the two never worked together as Bhagyashree got married and worked with her husband, Himalaya, in several flops before taking a sabbatical for a decade.
Expert talk: "It’s one of the best romance films ever," says trade expert Taran Adarsh.
Our take: Will Prem and Suman still remain friends after 25 years? Maybe the pigeon will be replaced by social networking sites or smartphones.
Akshay Kumar-Raveena Tandon
Notable films: Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (KKK; 1996), Mohra (1994) and Barood (1998)
The lowdown: Till date, people remember, and also rate, Mohra’s song, ‘Tip tip barsa paani’ as possibly the best Bollywood rain song. The couple also went on to act in other movies such as Daava (1997) and Keemat (1998). Later on, Raveena worked with other heroes but didn’t team up with Akshay.
Expert talk: "I don’t know if Akshay would be ready to work with her — if the situation ever arose. The reason being that he is sharing screen space with much younger actresses while Raveena is busy with her family life," says trade expert Amod.
Our take: What about a sequel to their hit, Mohra or maybe, KKK?