Kareena-Shahid, the hot pair!
Wednesday, August 18, 2004 12:01 IST
By Santa Banta News Network

The failure of all the films released last week, plus the curiosity to see Kareena Kapoor being courted by Shahid Kapur, have added to the market equity of Ken Ghosh's second, highly tricky film Fida.

Will it click?

Ghosh and Shahid Kapur had dealt well with their debut vehicle Ishq Vishq when expectations from them were nil. Hysteria is always the bane of any big release. Will Fida be a victim of over-expectation?

"Not so," says Patna exhibitor Roshan Singh. "Shahid-Kareena pair has youngsters agog. Their real-life relationship is generating more interest than Vivek-Aishwarya."

Fida and its fast paced thriller format together with the Shahid-Ken Ghosh factor ensures a certain fixed audience participation for this week's release. Fida is crucial to both Shahid and Ken. The first film is always easier than the second.

Having proved a hit pair with the campus caper Ishq Vishq, the director-actor combination has now gone into a much weightier zone of cine-expression.

The Kareena factor, too, has played a vital role in creating curiosity for the film. Besides her real-life involvement with Shahid, her career is also a fascinating study of image triumphing over hard and cold box office statistics.

Though none of her films so far, except Satish Kaushik's Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai and Karan Johar's Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (the latter wasn't really her film, and she says it), have shown any considerable returns, Kareena continues to be an iconic box office draw.

The kids love her. And though Fida is aimed at college-going crowds, there's a whole generation of schoolchildren who want to watch Kareena and Shahid dancing and frolicking because they look cute together.

The love triangle formula, with one girl wooed by two men, was a huge hit in Mujhse Shaadi Karogi.Can Kareena do with Shahid and Fardeen Khan what Priyanka Chopra did with Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar in David Dhawan's film?

In fact the Kareena-Fardeen combination has generated two diverse films like SJ Suryah's Khushi and, more recently, Govind Nihalani's Dev.

The neo-realistic thriller format of Fida falls somewhere in between. It is a fantasy that's rooted in reality. And its makers Tips have rightly projected the film in a suspenseful erotic light.

Fida, with its slick Hollywood styled format, could well open up a whole new genre of mainstream Hindi cinema.

After a spate of non-starters at the box office in recent weeks and the fact that another real life couple Aishwarya Rai and Vivek Oberoi (in that career-chronological order) failed to ignite interest in audiences last week, it would be interesting to see if the audience is 'fida' (bowled over) over the Kareena-Shahid pair.

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