Out comes the femme fatale
If one were to simplify things - as Bollywood often does - one could say that this week at the turnstiles, actresses are swapping places.
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
While Diya Mirza goes from coy to cool in "Tumsa Nahin Dekha", Bipasha Basu relinquishes her hot "Jism" image to do something quite different in new director Tanvir Khan's "Madhoshi" (earlier entitled "Mumkin").
According to Bipasha, though ex-flame John Abraham and she are quite comfortable as lovers in "Madhoshi", they don't really make a sexy spectacle of themselves.
So, sorry folks! No "Jism" this time though the promotional footage on television suggests otherwise.
But will the lucky letter 'M' hold up "Madhoshi"? During this year, we've already had four major hits with the lucky letter in the title - "Murder", "Main Hoon Na", "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi" and "Masti".
Bipasha insists John and she haven't been signed for being a real life couple, but because they suit their roles.
While Bipasha saves skin, the demure Diya Mirza sheds it, and her inhibitions, to play a stripper in ailing director Anurag Basu's "Tumsa Nahin Dekha".
Though the title is taken from a Shammi Kapoor musical, the songs for the new "Tumsa Nahin Dekha" by Nadeem-Shravan haven't quite become the rage they were expected to.
The general slump in the music industry is being blamed for the failure of the music to qualify the film as a potential musical hit.
Though the lead pair Emran Hashmi (who is the producer Mukesh Bhatt's nephew) and Diya Mirza aren't hot propositions, "Tumsa Nahin Dekha" should get a better opening than "Madhoshi" simply because it's better promoted.
This week's third release, "Dobara", has no star value, and certainly nothing to offer the audience except an adulterous love triangle featuring Jackie Shroff (who ceased being a leading man two years ago), Raveena Tandon (who is retired from acting and is now awaiting motherhood) and Mahima Chowdhary (whose presence needs no elaboration).
The film's claims to marital maturity, supported by a mature music score by Anu Malik, have very few takers. And it is unlikely that "Dobara", directed by Shashi Ranjan, a television and film producer, will have an opening audience.
Interestingly, a dubbed Hindi version of Rituparno Ghosh's Bengali film "Chokher Bali" is being released this week in select pockets merely to cash in on the presence of Aishwarya Rai who, incidentally, hasn't dubbed for the film.
Director Ghosh sounded baffled by the enforced trans-creation.
"I can't say the producer didn't inform me. But I have no creative part in the whole dubbing process. I've no clue who has dubbed for the actors or whether it has been done faithfully. But to me the whole exercise seems pointless," Ghosh added.
So there we have it. Aishwarya, Bipasha, Raveena and Diya Mirza in films that focus primarily on them.