It's advantage Abhishek this week

"Run", starring Abhishek Bachchan, seems to have a distinct advantage over the other release, "Lakeer", this week.

Agile, robust, virile and eminently macho, producer Boney Kapoor's "Run" promises to be athletic fun.

Though it's a film about the cat-and-mouse game between a young suitor, played by Abhishek, and his beloved's over-possessive brother - director Mahesh Manjrekar donning greasepaint for the role - there're only two to three action sequences in "Run", all crucial to the plot.

Abhishek, who's right now the busiest actor in Mumbai after his father Amitabh Bachchan, is tense.

Unlike "Yuva", which comes a week later, "Run" has no other star attraction except Abhishek. Hence the film flounders or flourishes solely on his steam.

According to trade watcher Akshay Kumar: "'Run' will prove a turning point in Abhishek's career, you mark my words."

"Run" is yet another remake from southern Indian films for producer Boney Kapoor. His earlier film "Khushi", which was a huge hit in Tamil and Telugu, flopped miserably in Hindi.

However, Bhoomika Chawla, who was a roaring hit in the southern Indian version of "Khushi", lends her 'lucky' presence to "Run". She also proved lucky for Salman Khan in "Tere Naam", the only successful southern Indian remake in recent times.

The Hindi version of "Run" is not directed by the original southern Indian director as "Khushi" was. The director of "Run", a super-energetic bundle of nerves, is Jeeva who was the cameraman in the Tamil "Run".

This is the first time that a film's cinematographer has been asked to direct a remake.

"Run" proved to be a blockbuster for Madhavan in Tamil. Chances are it would do the trick for Abhishek. Interestingly, Madhavan who played Abhishek's role in the Tamil version of "Run" does the same in the Tamil version of Mani Rathnam's "Yuva", which opens May 21.

This week's other release is "Lakeer", choreographer Ahmed Khan's first stab at direction. Since another choreographer Farah Khan has proved successful at the switchover, does it mean Ahmed will succeed where his earlier choreographer colleague V. Tharun Kumar failed?

Last year Tharun Kumar turned director with "Nayee Padosan", the new-age version of the classic comedy "Padosan". In spite of an eminently watchable performance by debutant Anuj Sawhney, "Nayee Padosan" proved a non-starter at the box office though in the long run it proved a revenue earner for producer Nitin Manmohan.

The disadvantage that "Lakeer" suffers from is the time lapse between its completion and release. The promotions have been blaring round the clock on television for what seems like forever.

Audiences see "Lakeer" as a stale product. They may be right. The star mixture of Sunny Deol, Suniel Shetty, John Abraham and Sohail Khan isn't quite the box office panacea that one would've thought it to be a year ago.

Apart from Suniel who has just scored as a villain in Farah Khan's "Main Hoon Na", none of the others in "Lakeer" have smelt success recently.

Both the upcoming releases have a semi-successful music score to their credit. Again Himesh Reshammiya's songs for "Run" sound far more hip and happening than A.R. Rahman's rehashed melodies in "Lakeer".

Having said that it's quite obvious that both are boys' films, though not in the way "Murder" or "Hawas" were. Both films have romantic tracks knitted into the stunt scenario.

At the moment, "Run" seems to have an edge at the box office. And if all goes well Abhishek will have his first bona fide blockbuster this season.