New pairs in Bollywood films: First-time on-screen jodis to watch out for in 2018
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New pairs in Bollywood films: First-time on-screen jodis to watch out for in 2018

From Varun Dhawan-Anushka Sharma in Sui Dhaaga to Alia Bhatt-Ranbir Kapoor in Brahmastra, 2018 will see a host of fresh pairings on screen. Find out what makes them click with the audience.

bollywood Updated: Jan 03, 2018 19:21 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Varun Dhawan,Anushka Sharma,Ranbir Kapoor
Actors Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma will be seen in Sharat Kataria’s Sui Dhaaga: Made in India.

Fresh pairings in Bollywood is something that the audience looks forward to each year. With a host of top actors being cast together for the first time, 2018 will see as many as 15 fresh on-screen pairs. While some of the highly publicised ones include Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma, there are a few unusual ones, too, such as Rajkummar Rao and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Mouni Roy, Sanjay Dutt and Chitrandga Singh. So what is it about these fresh pairs that click with the audience?

Whole new game

When viewers see something new on-screen, there’s a fresh vibe, of course. Producer Rahul Mittra, who is working with Sanjay Dutt for Torbaaz and Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3, explains, “I’ve always believed in casting coups and I’m extremely conscious while choosing actors. With proper casting, there’s this whole new freshness that the audience is able to savour. So, rather than the typical casting, I prefer [to keept it] a bit unusual.”

Epic journey of #Brahmastra begins!! @aliaabhatt #ranbir #alia

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Actor Taapsee Pannu, who has been cast as the lead opposite Diljit Dosanjh in Soorma, says in agreement, “Audiences always crave new interesting pairs on-screen; we as actors, too, always look forward to working with new people. It helps bring out a fresh side to us. Of course, I’d love to work with people I enjoy working with over and over again, but a certain freshness always has a great appeal, especially if a filmmaker brings two unlikely people together on screen.”

Fresh pairings to watch out for in 2018
  • Varun Dhawan-Anushka Sharma: Sui Dhaaga: Made in India
  • Akshay Kumar- Radhika Apte: PadMan
  • Ayushmann Khurrana-Sanya Malhotra: Badhaai Ho
  • Ranbir Kapoor-Alia Bhatt: Brahmastra
  • Alia Bhatt-Vicky Kaushal: Raazi
  • Sushant Singh Rajput-Jacqueline Fernandez: Drive
  • Sanjay Dutt-Chitrangda Singh: Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3
  • Ranveer Singh-Alia Bhatt: Gully Boy
  • Sidharth Malhotra-Rakul Preet Sigh: Aiyaary
  • Aishwarya Rai Bachchan-Rajkummar Rao: Fanne Khan
  • Tiger Shroff-Disha Patani: Baaghi 2
  • Akshay Kumar-Mouni Roy: Gold
  • Taapsee Pannu-Diljit Dosanjh: Soorma
  • Kriti Sanon-Diljit Dosamjh: Arjun Patiala
  • Kareena Kapoor Khan-Sumeet Vyas: Veere Di Wedding
  • Sanjay Dutt-Nargis Fakhri: Torbaaz

No baggage

Watching a Shah Rukh-Kajol or a Shah Rukh-Rani movie would mostly lead to viewers comparing their previous performances, but with fresh pairings, such comparisons don’t exist. Actor Vicky Kaushal, cast opposite Alia Bhatt in Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi, feels that there’s an intrigue value when two actors come together in a film for the first time. “[Also] the audience has no pre-conceived notions of its expectations from [a fresh] pair. At the end, however, it’s the story that clicks and the honesty with which the actors have lived their characters,” he says.

Age of experiment

In 2017, many fresh on-screen pairs were praised by fans and critics alike. There were Shah Rukh Khan and Mahira Khan (Raees), Hrithik Roshan and Yami Gautam (Kaabil), Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar (Toilet: Ek Prem Katha), Kriti Sanon and Ayushmann Khurrana (Bareilly Ki Barfi), and Arjun Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor (Half Girlfriend), to name a few. Film critic Omar Qureshi points out that earlier, films had more or less a set formula and, hence, we saw hit pairs such as Dharam-Hema, Amitabh-Jaya, Rishi-Neetu being cast again and again. “Today, with experimentation in cinema at an all-time high, characters are more important than the stars. So, if the shoe fits, go for it. Yes, there were pioneers like Shammi and Rishi Kapoor, who took pride in launching 21 and 26 new heroines opposite themselves each, but that helped when a newbie, fresh actor was required. Today, it’s the characterisation that matters,” says Qureshi.

Curiosity quotient

A new pairing has a direct connect with box-office numbers — trade experts feel that the curiosity element often helps. “Filmmakers today cast according to the requirements of the script and what the audience wants, unlike in the past, when the actors were finalised first and later the script was worked upon,” says trade analyst Atul Mohan. “The business part can work for the film if the storytelling and casting are appreciated [by viewers].”

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First Published: Jan 03, 2018 17:56 IST