Salaam Namaste, this marked the debut of director Siddharth Anand, the filmmakers’ fascination for casting him in urban and uber-cool characters continued. He played Nikhil Arora, who hated being called Nikhil Arora.
He was Nick, as it sounded cool, just like a cucumber and him. He was a chef in Australia who was defined by his laziness and tardiness. The other character was Ambar, who’s called Hambar by her boss, played by the gorgeous Preity Zinta.
She was a Radio Jockie who hated and despised late comers. Because this film was backed by YRF, they had to stay true to the story of love and romance. And because this was a love story made in Bollywood, it had to start with the lead not seeing eye to eye. Salaam Namaste wasn’t just contemporary and refreshing because it was the first Hindi film shot exclusively in Australia.
There was Arshad Warsi, who was undergoing the same problem as Khan of being cast as the hero’s friend, despite performances like Munna Bhai M.B.B.S and Sehar. He was Ron, short for Ranjan Malhotra, who wore his heart on his sleeves after he was done and dusted with being a nerd.
There was Kunal Vijaykar, a total hoot as Ambar’s boss who was a Tamilian and a debonair. And above all, Jaaved Jaaferi, a cowboy who prefers to speak in English even when he can’t! His antics gave the film some of its most maddening moments and so did his dialogues that flowed like wine.