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Aishwarya cannot carry a film on her shoulders

By Priyanka Khanna, IANS

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Kis Kiski Kismat Movie StillsThe big-budget Diwali releases, "Vaastu Shastra", "Kis Kiski Kismat", "Raincoat" and "Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav", hold some promise of putting a soothing balm on Bollywood's box-office wounds.

Horror flick "Vaastu Shastra" is the latest from the prolific Factory of Ramgopal Varma and K. Sera Sera, who have a tie-up for five films.

The film is slated for release Oct 22 and is directed by Saurabh Narang. It has a formidable cast of Sushmita Sen, Chakravarthy, Piya Rai Chaudhary and Purab Kohli.

Aishwarya Rai will be seen together with her "Hum Dil De Chuke Saman" co-star Ajay Devgan in "Raincoat" which is the first Hindi film of celebrated director Rituparno Ghosh.

Download Vaastu Shastra WallpapersThe Bengali filmmaker's "Chokher Bali" won a National Award for Best Film in Bengali and "Raincoat" will be screened at this year's London Film Festival, which begins Oct 20. Rituparno will begin shooting his next Hindi film set in 1880, "Antar Mahal", soon with a cast that includes Abhishek, Soha Ali Khan, Jackie Shroff and Rupa Ganguly.

From trade perspective, box-office pundits, however, say that after the debacle of the much-hyped "Kyun... Ho Gaya Na", Aishwarya has lost a sizable following.

And "Bride and Prejudice" has not helped either. Clearly, when it comes to Indian marquees, she cannot carry a film on her shoulders. Even her producer Subhash Ghai says she focuses too much on her presentation.

Critics say the only commercial success she has to her credit is "Taal" and even "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" and "Devdas" would have been just as successful without her. In fact, in "Devdas", Madhuri Dixit's sheer talent overshadowed Aishwarya.

Ash has a long way to go before she can match Madhuri who could single-handedly drive even a less-than-average film to unqualified box office success. She would do well to take some tips from Madhuri when she tours the US in November to promote her latest film.


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