The box office is on a roll after a long lull thanks to Kabir Khan's New York that got a good opening at the box office. Now the Hindi film industry is pinning its hopes on Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor's much-hyped romantic comedy Kambakkht Ishq to keep the cash registers ringing.
Made at a budge of Rs.40-45 crores (Rs.400-450 million), the film was extensively shot at Universal Studios in Hollywood as well as in Italy and Mumbai. This Bollywood extravaganza also has much publicised cameos by Hollywood stars like Sylvester Stallone, Brandon Routh and Denise Richards.
Co-produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and Sunil A. Lulla, the film has been directed by debutante Sabbir Khan and also has Aftab Shivdasani and Amrita Arora in pivotal roles.
The movie's highlight is the Akshay-Kareena chemistry and mind-blowing actions. The 41-year-old actor, who plays a swashbuckling stuntman in Hollywood in the film, has gone whole hog and done death defying stunts himself.
"This is a film for the masses but with a rich international feel to it that would break the mass versus class barrier. We have the best of both the worlds in the film with Kareena playing a supermodel. The Akshay-Kareena combination is the one to watch out for," Nadiadwala had told IANS.
Kambakkht Ishq explores the relationship between two individuals who are completely opposite in nature. Viraj (Akshay) is a stuntman in Hollywood who detests women, while Simrita Rai (Kareena) is a part-time supermodel and doesn't believe in love.
The two meet but they love to hate each other especially because of Simrita's waspish tongue. But the turn of events forces them to be together as Simrita's best friend Kamini and Viraj's brother Lucky decide to get married.
Simrita and Viraj try to stop the wedding, but they end up falling in love with each other instead.
"Both the producer and I dreamt big and we sort of took a simple and interesting story and made it larger than life," said the director.
Kambakkht Ishq is releasing with 2,000 prints across the globe. It is an important film for Akshay as his much-publicised last two releases - Chandni Chowk To China and 8X10 Tasveer - turned out to be duds.
"I'm expecting great response for this film. Though I had worked very hard in Chandni Chowk... , the response didn't turn out to be as expected. Some people and critics didn't like it and '8X10 Tasveer' was more like an art film, which has a niche market in India. Kambakkht Ishq is a complete entertainer and I hope the audience appreciates it," Akshay said.
He says the length and the budget of the film is reasonable.
"It's a reasonable budget (film) around Rs.45-50 crore and is in the similar range as Chandni Chowk To China or a Singh Is Kinng. (And) we won't take much of your time. The film boasts of some power-packed entertainment in two hours and 15 minutes. I guess that is quite reasonable for a film of this scale," he said.
Apart from a diverse promotional strategy, the advance booking for the film opened Sunday instead of a Wednesday for other films.
With the unprecedented buzz and the huge star cast, the film is expected to lend a hand in reviving the box office.