Monday, July 26, 2004 15:31 IST
The oh-so-human "Spider-man 2" has shattered all box-office records in the US, but in order to cast its web over Indian film connoisseurs, it will have to contend with real life couples sizzling on the big screen.
The Spidey sequel that made a weekend haul of $180.1 million in the US went into action in 300 theatres across India Friday backed by unprecedented hype unleashed by Columbia Tristar.
From distributing "Spider-man" masks at traffic lights to strategic tie-ups with phone companies, dailies and TV channels, the distributors left no stone unturned to ensure the superhero gets a warm welcome all over again.
Though its initial run in India would be left more or less unchallenged by Bollywood, in the weeks ahead, Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker will meet head on with Vivek Oberio and Shahid Kapur, who are the envy of the nation after having stolen the hearts of two of Hindi cinema's most beautiful women, Aishwarya Rai and Kareena Kapoor respectively, in real life.
Come August, Aishwarya and Vivek will live out their much-publicised off-screen affair onscreen in "Kyun? Ho Gaya Na...!" that is slated to release mid-August. The Narsimha Enterprises film by director Sameer Karnik also stars Amitabh Bachchan and Suniel Shetty.
The film's music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is average and the storyline about the meeting of a believer in love (Aishwarya) and a believer in arranged marriage (Vivek) does not seem path breaking.
Undoubtedly the film's USP is the first-time onscreen pairing of Aishwarya with Vivek. The former Miss World's rocky romance and melodramatic break-up with actor Salman Khan had made it to front page of national dailies.
Salman and Aishwarya were a dream team when they worked together in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam". When Aishwarya broke up with Salman, she told a roomful of reporters, "I'm glad the Salman chapter is over in my life. I have long endured the indignity, the physical abuse and the alcoholism."
Previously, Vivek had called a press conference to tell the world that Salman had threatened him against seeing Aishwarya.
Ironically, the public posturing worked in favour of Salman whose first release after the break-up -- "Tere Naam" -- was a hit fuelled by rumours that it was a take on his real life romance and got him the tag of a jilted lover.
Though there is nothing official about Aiswharya and Vivek's affair, at a recent promotion of "Kyon! Ho Gaya Na...", the pair enthralled fans by dancing together.
Asked about his onscreen chemistry with Aishwarya, Vivek said: "The chemistry was exactly like what it is when we are not acting - perfect! The fact that we are friends did help. We share a certain comfort level with each other, a rapport that is essential if you are to produce quality work."
Another couple, Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapur, are working together in two forthcoming projects -- Satish Kaushik's "Milenge Milenge" and Ken Ghosh's "Fida."
Tips Films' "Fida" is expected to release Aug 20 and also stars Fardeen Khan. Kareena has been more open about her relationship with Shahid in the press a la Bipasha Basu and John Abraham.
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