By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Mumbai, May 24 (IANS) It's one of the most talked-about films of the year. And "Bunty Aur Babli" is expected to continue Yashraj Films' unbroken spell of success at the box-office.
The film, which will be released this Friday, is expected to have one of the best openings in recent times.
To begin with, it's a Yashraj Film. "And that's reason enough for the trade to girdle up its loins," avers Patna exhibitor Roshan Singh, who is all set to release it at his posh theatre.
"I've released every single film produced or distributed by Yashraj Films in the last three years. From 'Saathiya' to 'Hum Tum' to 'Dhoom' to 'Kaal'...they've all been huge money makers for me. I expect 'Bunty Aur Babli' to do the same."
The premium production's label puts an extra burden on director Shaad Ali whose crucial post-debut film this is. While the first time around, everyone said "Saathiya" was a frame-by-frame adaptation of his guru Mani Ratnam's Tamil hit "Alai Payuthe", "Bunty Aur Babli" is an absolute original.
But it's an original with huge temptations to offer to the audience. It has the hot-and-saleable Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee in the lead. Together their films so far haven't set the box office on fire. But Rani and Abhishek are regarded as the Jaya Bhaduri and Amitabh Bachchan of this millennium.
Besides her unmatched track record of success in the last two years, Rani has the added advantage of getting rave reviews with Amitabh Bachchan in Sanjay Bhansali's "Black".
She reappears "Banti Aur Babli" with the senior Bachchan, thereby adding a great deal of curiosity in the public mind as to what the "Black" pair has done in their follow-up film.
Perhaps the film's single biggest USP is the presence of the junior and senior Bachchan together on screen for the first time. Though they have Ram Gopal Varma's "Sarkar" coming up together in June, "Bunty Aur Babli" is the first film where Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan will be seen together, though not as father and son, but as cop and fugitive.
In addition there's the music and songs. Shankar-Ehsan-Loys' earthy rustic rhythms capture the foot-tapping beats of dusty north Indian towns in Uttar Pradesh.
According to trade circles, "Bunty Aur Babli" is expected to rake in major moolah in the very first week. The Chopras have left no stone unturned to ensure the film is appropriately marketed, accentuating the hollering antics of two small town con artistes on the run.
In the title roles, Abhishek and Rani are expected to cross new frontiers of their image. From "Bonnie & Clyde" to "Thelma & Louise", capers about characters on the run are common in Hollywood. But not in Bollywood.
How will the audience react to their main heroes creating a huge whoopee of con crime and escape? We don't have to wait long to find out.