Earlier this year, on Eid, Salman Khan’s Sultan — directed by Ali Abbas Zafar — created box- office records. Salman and Ali had teamed up for the first time for Sultan, which was highly successful, garnering over 300 crore. Interestingly, not just the two of them, but other directors and actors, too, who haven’t worked with one another, are teaming for their upcoming ventures.
Aamir Khan is working with director Nitesh Tiwari, of Bhoothnath Returns (2014) fame, for the first time in Dangal, while Hrithik Roshan and film-maker Sanjay Gupta are working on Kaabil.
“There’s new energy (when such pairings happen), and you are constantly discovering new facets about each other and also about one another’s working style. For instance, Hrithik and I are still discovering each other even during the dubbing stages,” smiles Gupta.
.On the same page
The coming weeks will also see Jolly LLB 2 that has Akshay Kumar teaming up with film-maker Subhash Kapoor, who has directed films like Phas Gaye Re Obama (2010) and Jolly LLB (2013) in the past. Interestingly, Shah Rukh Khan is working with director Imtiaz Ali for their next, co-starring Anushka Sharma, and with film-maker Aanand L Rai for his yet-untitled next.
Experts feel that for two people, the trick is to “be on the same page” when it comes to film-making. “Although it’s interesting to see two different minds working together, when they join hands, the two have to work in tandem, or else it might lead to a disaster,” says trade analyst Komal Nahta, adding, “Ultimately, it all boils down to the quality of the script, regardless of who is teaming up with whom.”
But isn’t it a given that new partnerships may be risky, but will result in bringing in a new flavour? Gupta agrees. “I don’t want to reveal anything, but that’s exactly what’s happening with Kaabil. With Hrithik’s talent and stardom, and my school of storytelling, it will show him in an brand new light,” he says.
Watch: Dangal trailer
Rai, on the other hand, feels it will be great to work with Shah Rukh Khan for more than one reason. “SRK is a superb actor, and has managed to retain his sanity till now. His USP is that he makes you realise your importance, which makes you work even harder,” he says.
On a different note, while experts and film-makers agree that a “special bond” develops between an actor and a director when they work together for the first time, they also warn that if the same two people team up again, it can get tricky.
As Zafar puts it, “Of course, I share a comfort level with Salman after Sultan. We understand each other well, but it is a bit unnerving to team up with Salman again with Tiger Zinda Hai, as the expectations of the audience will go through the roof, and you will be expected to live up to them.”