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Comedy 'Mujhse Shaadi...' could make Bollywood smile
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
"Mujhse Shaadi Karogi?" That's the question that Salman han and Akshay Kumar ask Priyanka Chopra in this week's potential blockbuster.
It's been a while since Bollywood had a big-budget comedy with a top-class cast at the helm.
Akshay had earlier done a comedy with David Dhawan. "Yeah, 'Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi' with Juhi Chawla. I really liked doing that film. To this day it remains one of my favourite films," he says.
Salman has a two-tier interest in the new film. Not only has he done super-successful comedies with director David Dhawan like "Biwi No.1", "Judwaa" and "Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge", Salman's personal and professional relationship with producer Sajid Nadiadwala also goes back a long way.
So, does Salman have a better role in "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi" than Akshay?
No way! In fact the comedy's USP is the one-on-one between the two.
As they do a Tom and Jerry for Priyanka Chopra's hand, one is likely to get the first 'true blue' two-hero film since Ramesh Sippy's "Sholay".
After "Sholay" the two-hero concept has always been lopsided. All the films in the 1980s featuring Amitabh Bachchan with Vinod Khanna/Shashi Kapoor were conspicuously weighed in the former's favour.
In the 1990s, there was Rajkumar Santoshi's "Andaz Apna Apna" where Aamir Khan and Salman Khan shared equal footage and laughter.
These apart, it's rare for a two-hero film to apportion the scene-stealing cake equally to both men.
David Dhawan excels in two-hero interactive comedies. His last film "Ek Aur Ek Gyarah" featured Sanjay Dutt and Govinda fooling around to their hearts' content.
In the latest film, for added appeal there's Priyanka Chopra who's already cored bull's eye with Akshay in "Andaaz" and would, therefore, be considered a hit-and-happening proposition at the box office.
Most of all it's Dhawan, the guru of giggles, who needs to reinvent his laughs.
He started the process in his last film. But in "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi?" the lend of beach babes and boys' bacchanalia is expected to yield rich dividends.
Says Patna exhibitor Roshan Singh, "Titles with 'shaadi' (marriage) and 'dulhan' (bride) have always been considered auspicious. Years back, 'Shaadi' directed by Krishnan-Panju was a hit. Then there was 'Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai' and David Dhawan's 'Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge'.
"Recently there was 'Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai'... all hits. We expect 'Mujhse Shaadi Karogi?' to be a major success."
Akshay's last film "Aan" was a no-no at the box office. Salman's "Garv" opened well but slid thereafter. And Priyanka's "Asambhav", released last week, seems to be a washout.
Can the trio generate box office magic on the wings of mirth?
Apart from Nagesh Kukunoor's badly received "Hyderabad Blues 2" and Rajat Kapoor's "Raghu Romeo", there hasn't been any significant comedy lately.
Maybe "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi?" will be another reason for genuine happiness in the industry after "Main Hoon Na".