Mani Ratnam, Vipul Shah vie for release of Aishwarya Rai movies

Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has three very different releases coming up this year. And the most speculated question in the industry right now is, which performance would Aishwarya get all the popular awards for, the one in Mani Ratnam’s Raavan or Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish?

April 20, 2010 (Calcutta Tube): Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has three very different releases coming up this year. And the most speculated question in the industry right now is, which performance would Aishwarya get all the popular awards for, the one in Mani Ratnam’s Raavan or Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish?

While Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish will release in November, the two Aishwarya projects Mani Ratnam’s Raavan and Vipul Shah’s Action Replay are due in quick succession within a month. While Mani’s Raavan is due for release on June 18th Vipul was all set to release a month later in July, arguing that the two films are completely different in mood theme and treatment.

Those who have seen rushes of the two films say she has given her career’s best performance in both. Then she has Vipul Shah’s Action Replayy where she has attempted a full-on comic role for the first time.

“Of course, comedy which is the hardest genre to do is not taken seriously at the awards. But in my film, Aishwarya has done comedy for the first time. She may have attempted it here and there earlier. But this is her first full-fledged comedy role. But she’s welcome to get the awards for her other two releases, I don’t mind,” says Vipul Shah wryly.

But now it seems better sense has prevailed, thanks to the bitter experience that Vipul went through last year when his Salman starrer London Dreams was released a month after Salman’s home production Main Aur Mrs Khanna. Then too Vipul had argued that two films with the same actor do not overlap when the films belong to the same genre.

Now apparently, Vipul has seen sense. He plans to sit down with Mani Ratnam and figure out a release strategy whereby neither film suffers.

Says Vipul, “Raavan and Action Replay are very different films. And I thought I’d come in July. But I think I’ll now discuss it with Aishwarya and Mani Ratnam. We need to work as one big family in this industry. Besides I still have a song to shoot whereas Raavan is complete. I’ve yet to figure out when I can shoot it because both Aishwarya and Akshay are constantly traveling. We were supposed to shoot it earlier this year in the snow in Manali. Now we may go higher up at the Rohtang Pass, or change the location for the song completely.”

In the meanwhile, those fearing competition from Guzaarish can breathe easy. Contrary to rumours Sanjay Leela Bhansali won’t be releasing in Diwali. After Saawariya which was released during Diwali, he no longer considers the festive season auspicious for his films.

– Subhash K Jha / Sampurn Wire

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