Actor-director partnerships: Recreating cinematic charisma
Time and again, successful actor-director pairs have churned out hits at the box office. This year, too, several announcements have already been made that will once again see popular pairs collaborate.
Film-maker Sanjay Leela Bhansali has announced Inshallah with actor Salman Khan and the two are reuniting after 20 years since Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Actor Taapsee Pannu and film-maker Anurag Kashyap, who teamed up for Manmarziyaan (2018), will shoot for a supernatural thriller directed by Kashyap, who is also producing Saand Ki Aankh, co-starring Taapsee. Actors Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor have teamed up with choreographer-director Remo D’souza for Street Dancer 3D post ABCD 2 (2015). After Aashiqui 2 (2013), actor Aditya Roy Kapur is collaborating with film-maker Mohit Suri on Malang. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is reuniting with Farhan Akhtar in Toofan post Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013).
Comfort level works
Many agree that it helps if an actor works with a director for the second or third time, as they’re familiar with the director’s way of working. “While working with new directors, you set your tuning with them to understand the right metre of performance. It’s not just about the performance but also the film-maker’s style of working that you’ve to learn,” says Taapsee.
Sharing the same opinion, Remo says, “It helps if the actor and director know each other and their strengths.”
Some also opine that film-making requires teamwork. “In cinema’s history, you’ll see people coming together more than once not necessarily because they’ve created something successful but due to the fact that they’ve enjoyed working with each other,” says Mehra.
Trade analyst Joginder Tuteja, however, differs. “Audience is concerned with the end product rather than the actor-director camaraderie. These combinations work only if they’ve delivered hit films in the past,” he opines.
But what about the audiences’ expectations from these hit partnerships? Mehra says, “Every time I start a new film, I treat it like my first film as I work much harder to do justice to the script.”
Taapsee feels that just because an actor and a director have worked previously “doesn’t make film’s marketing or promotions simpler”.
Do these pairs reflect numbers?
Bhushan Kumar feels every actor and director have their brand value with the audience and hence, “it benefits the promotions if you have an actor-director combination that has been successful in the past”.
On whether it has any effect on the box office, Taapsee feels that a good opening is based on the trailer and the star value. Remo agrees that “actor-director partnerships help get a decent opening”.
However, Joginder asserts that “the partnership must come up with a recall value”, Mehra says, it all “depends on the story and people involved in the film”.
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