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Bollywood braces up for big Diwali releases
08th Nov 2004  12.16 IST
By ApunKaChoice Bureau  


This Diwali promises to be more critical for Bollywood than any other. The quartet of high-profile releases from directors as disparate as Yash Chopra , Abbas-Mastan , Ram Gopal Varma and the late K. Asif ensures an optimum interest level in theatres.

The biggest release this Diwali is Veer Zaara , Yash Chopra's first directorial venture in six years. Already, the film's advance booking queues are longer than those of any other Shah Rukh Khan starrer.




With the successful Kal Ho Na Ho pair of SRK and Preity Zinta , and the late Madan Mohan's sublime musical score, "Veer-Zaara" is likely to be the blockbuster of the year.

Abbas-Mustan's Aitraaz , with its erotic theme of a female hotshot executive ( Priyanka Chopra ) on the prowl, also has audiences geared for a good time in the theatres. But the audience's curiosity about "Aitraaz" is very different from that regarding "Veer-Zaara".

While "Veer-Zaara", which uses the tried and tested SRK-Yash Chopra combination ("Darr", Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge , Dil To Pagal Hai , Mohabbatein ), is expected to cut across every section of the audience and will probably have the biggest opening for any film in the last two years, "Aitraaz" has the winning pair of Akshay Kumar and Priyanka, who starred in two big hits, Andaz and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi .

The "Aitraaz" stars and their producer Subhash Ghai are hoping for a hat-trick. With "Aitraaz", Abbas-Mustan have created what they do best: an erotic suspense thriller, which also stars Kareena Kapoor .

Ram Gopal Varma's Naach also exudes eroticism, albeit of a kind different from that of "Aitraaz". "Naach" is dreamily reflective and subtly seductive in its mood. The makers are calling the film a love triangle between Abhishek Bachchan , Antara Mali and their values. Naach is about two young people struggling for name and fame in the maniacal frenzy of Hindi filmdom.

Naach, which is said to be inspired by 'In The Mood For Love', has Abhishek playing is an aspiring actor and Antara a wannabe choreographer.

The fourth big Diwali release is the all-colour technically enhanced and rejuvenated version of K. Asif's classic tale of love, "Mughal-e-Azam". This legendary film should whet the dormant aesthetics of moviegoers like no other recent film.

Upon the success of "Mughal-e-Azam" rests the fate of other Hindi classics. If a new generation of audiences can be seduced by this vintage entertainer, then the sky is the limit for similar projects involving other evergreens (give or take the blues and the reds).

While the Akshay-Priyanka and Abhishek-Antara pairs sizzle up the screen in "Aitraaz" and "Naach", Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta will aim to create a legendary pair of lovers in "Veer-Zara" to rival Dilip Kumar and Madhubala's unforgettable Salim-Anarkali in "Mughal-e-Azam".



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