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Calculated risk

Established B'wood directors are busy experimenting with a battery of greenhorns, writes Princy Jain.

india Updated: May 24, 2006 17:30 IST

The fear of the unknown has always troubled Bollywood. So, between SRK and Kunal Khemu, it’s anybody’s guess who will be a filmmaker’s favourite. But right now, quite a few of our directors are busy with a battery of starlets, greenhorns and one film wonders.

While Ayesha Takia glams up Naseeruddin Shah’s Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota, Kunal Khemu, who earned accolades with his debut, Kalyug will be seen in Madhur Bhandarkar’s Signal. Vidya Parineeta Balan is back with Vidhu Vinod Chopra for his period film Eklavya.

Shiney Ahuja, who wowed in Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi and Gangster, will be seen in BAG films’ Zindagi Rocks and Mohit Suri’s Woh Lamhe. Even Akshay Kapoor, whose Popkorn Khao Mast Ho Jaao sank without a trace, plays the lead in Subi Samuel’s Alag. Shreyas Talpade, who hit big time with Iqbal, has been signed by MF Husain for his autobiographical film The Making of a Painter. Even RGV has cast a new girl, Jia, opposite Amitabh Bachchan in Nishabd.

Bhandarkar, who surprised everyone by casting Kunal and Neetu Chandra for Signal says: “I wanted the soul of the character to rule over the face. Kunal and Neetu come without any past baggage.” Samuel agrees that a prominent face wouldn’t have given him the desired freshness for his Alag. Varma says that an unknown face helps increase the ‘believability’ aspect of a film.

However, does selling a film becomes difficult with no bankable name? Shabir Boxwala, producer of Yun Hota... agrees: “It does become difficult but my USP is Naseeruddin Shah.” As trade analyst Taran Adarsh sums it up: “There certainly is no clear success formula. Kisna crashed despite Vivek Oberoi while Page 3 worked without any prominent face.” No harm in experimenting, right?