Bollywood stars decide to shine selectively?

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

imageMumbai, July 11 (IANS)"Paheli" will be Shah Rukh Khan's only release for at least one year!

"Unless someone quickly launches a film with me and completes it in the next four months that I have on hand before starting Karan Johar 's 'Kabhi Alvidaa Na Kehna', Farah Khan's 'Happy New Year' and Farhan Akhtar's 'Don '," quips king Khan.

"Three films is all I 'll do. So, for now I 'm unemployed," he says.

But why?

"Too little is definitely better than too much. Excessive workload isn 't good for the stars or the (film) industry," says Akshay Kumar.

So, if you thought Bollywood 's stars were a greedy lot grabbing every offer coming their way, rethink.

The Govinda prototype (grab while the going is good) is out. Most top-notch stars like to work selectively and on one project at a time.

"It 's the only way to work. One reason why the film industry had become so disorganised is we stars were signing more films than we could handle," Akshay says.

Even as Akki wraps up Rajkumar Santoshi 's"Family", his next - Sajid Nadiadwala 's"Jaan-e-Man" - goes on the floor this month. It 'll be followed by Raj Kanwar 's.

"After that I haven 't signed anything. I 'm keeping dates free for the next year. And, no, there 's no insecurity. 'Kal kya hoga ' (What would become of tomorrow) is an attitude that kills careers," says a relaxed Akki.

Saif Ali Khan, who has done a few 'friendship-films ' with Akki, is all for his colleague 's working ways.

"I 've just completed "Salaam Namaste" for Yashraj Films. After that I 've signed Vidhu Vinod Chopra 's "Yagna", and that 's it. I won 't do anything I 'm not convinced about," says a wise Saif.

After the success of "Hum Tum", Saif was flooded with offers. He preferred temperance to the tempest.

"What 's the point in doing stuff I 'll regret later? Better do one quality film a year than five of the sub-standard variety."

Saif 's professional adage seems to sweep across all of Bollywood these days.

Rani Mukherjee concurs: "Oh absolutely! In fact, when I did Shaad Ali 's "Saathiya", it was the only film on my hands. I was taking a big risk. Suppose, God forbid, "Saathiya" had flopped, I 'd have been left jobless!

"But it was a risk worth taking. I chose to sit at home rather than work in something I don 't believe in."

Rani 's gambit paid glorious dividends. After "Saathiya" started the most productive phase of her career with "Hum Tum", "Yuva", Veer-Zaara", "Black", "Bunty Aur Babli" and "Paheli" to name a few.

She begins shooting for B.R. Chopra 's "Babul" this month.

"Then I 've Karan 's film, and that 's about it. Aage ka aage dekha jayega (What is to come tomorrow, will be dealt with tomorrow)."

More and more stars are keeping their date diaries free to accommodate quality work when it comes their way.

Ironically, Aamir Khan who spearheaded the less-is-more trend in Bollywood is doing more films than ever before. Well, Aamir has always made his own rules and lived up to them.

Our desi (indigenous) Tom Hanks is going full steam from Ketan Mehta 's "The Rising" to Kunal Kohli 's romantic comedy with Kajol, to be followed by Vishal Bhardwaj 's next.

And Hrithik Roshan seems to be following Aamir 's steps, for Roshan junior too seems to be on a signing spree.

Hrithik is doing "Krissh" (sequel to the super-duper hit "Koi..Mil Gaya") and "Dhoom 2" (another sequel). He then starts work on Ashutosh Gowarikar 's "Jodha-Akbar".

Nevertheless, the cautious approach is definitely in vogue.

Even newcomers, a breed earlier known to sign arbitrarily in order to stay afloat, now prefer to work only when 'inspired '.

Sammir Dattani, who was launched by the Rajshris in "Uff...Kya Jadoo Mohabbat Hai" in May 2004, was offered dozens of roles. He chose just one and waited.

Says Sammir:"I knew it was a huge risk to have just one film -"Pyar Mein Twist" - on my hands when my debut film sank without a trace. But I 've seen what hasty signing sprees do to careers. Better late than never."