Saif & Akshaye Play Brothers!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007 13:31 IST
By Subhash K Jha, Santa Banta News Network
/> The prolific Abbas-Mustan admit their new film entitled Race has the biggest star-cast they've ever worked with. "It has Saif and Akshaye Khanna as brothers who are trying to out -do each other."

And Saif is thrilled to have finally signed a film that gives him a chance to dance with a new co-star. "I'm absolutely enjoying working with Akshaye Khanna. A new co-star is always fun. Akshaye and I, and Abbas-Mustan and I seem to come different worlds. It's an interesting mix of different sensibilities.I'm sure the results will be rewarding."

Abbas admits he signed them together because they've never worked together. "Saif has never been seen in a role like the one he'll play in Race. And Akshaye Khanna too has been cast like never before. But what interests us as filmmakers is how the combination will excite the audience."

According to a growing belief within the film industry every star on his or her own spells little magic at the boxoffice. It's the combination that works. Hence Priyadarshan's comedy Bhagam Bhaag held an interest for the audience mainly to see the never-before combo of Govinda and Akshay Kumar.

Says Abbas, "Race also has other stars who have never worked with each other before. Bipasha and Katrina have never worked together, or with Saif and Akahaye. Or for that matter Anil Kapoor with Sameera Reddy."

Apparently Mallika Sherawat was to be cast opposite Anil. But the pair has already been seen—and rejected—in Ram Gopal Varma's Darna Zaroori Hai. So it's Sameera Reddy now.

Abbas-Mustan seem to have got the formula right in Race. "We want to continue doing work that would excite audiences. Of course people want us to make suspense thrillers. We'll continue to do the needful.

But we need to spice up proceedings within our comfort zone. One way of doing so is to bring stars together like never before.

While Race features an array of stars in combinations and looks never seen before, the new Bobby-Akshaye Khanna starrer we've just shot presents our antagonists from Humraaz in totally different roles. Then we have Mr Fraud where Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgan cross swords while Bipasha Basu joins in."

Many other filmmakers are following Abbas-Mustan's formula. Nikhil Advani's Saal-e-Ishq brought unusual combinations like Salman –Priyanka and John-Vidya. In Happy Birthday producer Gaurang Doshi has gone to great lengths to get the hitherto-untried combination of John Abraham and Aishwarya Rai. Gaurang agrees the two stars individually spell much less magic than in a combination.

In Mani Rathnam's Lajjo Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor come together for the first time.

"It's not just for the audience. The thrill of working with big stars in new combination also extends to the director," says Abbas.
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