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Star cast is 'Khakee's' USP

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

It's now time for "Khakee" to create thrills in the cop flicks genre, after Prakash Jha's "GangaaJal" last year.

Distributors place a high premium on the box office prospects of "Khakee". They feel the stupendous star cast will bring in the audiences.

No doubt with Ajay Devgan playing the villain and Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar and Tusshar Kapoor lined up against the formidable adversary, and Aishwarya Rai in her first screen appearance since the two flops "Dil Ka Rishta" and "Kuch Na Kaho", the queues threaten to cross every record.

Interestingly, the cast that is being looked upon as the USP of "Khakee" has earlier worked in various combinations, with varying degrees of success.

Bachchan, Ajay and Aishwarya were together in David Dhawan's comic fiasco "Hum Kissise Kam Nahin" in 2002.

Ajay and Aishwarya who play adversaries in "Khakee" were cast as a troubled husband and wife in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" and will soon be seen as estranged lovers in Rituparno Ghosh's "Raincoat".

Bachchan and Ajay have an even more interesting history. They first appeared together as an army officer and a military cadet in ABCL's "Major Sahib".

Later they reappeared as a possessive brother and a sneaky suitor in "Hum Kissise Kam Nahin". In Ajay's home production "Hindustan Ki Kasam", directed by his father Veeru Devgan, Bachchan made a guest appearance.

As for Aishwarya and Bachchan, the latter grumbles that he never gets to co-star with the beauty. She was his daughter in "Mohabbatein" and his sister in "Hum Kisise Kam Nahin".

"In 'Khakee', she's paired with Akshay while I'm with Jaya Prada," Bachchan sighs.

Akshay and Aishwarya are the only absolutely untried combination in "Khakee". Their romantic song together is already a hit.

But can Akshay, who has recently been seen with Kareena Kapoor ("Talash"), Lara Dutta-Priyanka Chopra("Andaaz"), click with his leading lady this time?

The unique blend of stars and the clash among the characters that they play is what gives "Khakee" a cutting edge.

The week's other release, "Aetbaar", brings the "Jism" pair John Abraham and Bipasha Basu together with the mighty Bachchan.

Strangely, it's the Bachchan-Bipasha chemistry as father and daughter that the audiences seem to be looking forward to.

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