Mumbai, Jan. 5 -- The year 2013 ended on a good note with a Bollywood blockbuster - Dhoom:3 starring Aamir Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra and Katrina Kaif. And now, 2014 has opened with the first look of film-maker Farah Khan's next, Happy New Year (HNY), starring Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek, Sonu Sood, Boman Irani, Vivaan Shah and Deepika Padukone. And while the film looks promising, we can't help but notice whether the trend of multi-starrers is coming back to Bollywood.
This year alone, several established actors have taken up films with multiple leading actors. Ask trade analyst Amod Mehra about this trend and he explains, "Multi-starrers have always been around. It's sort of an attraction for the audience. You pay for one ticket and you get to see multiple actors. Who wouldn't like that?"
That's about the viewers, but why is this trend appealing to wellestablished, bankable stars?
"These are more of ensemble cast movies than multistarrers. There are wonderful supporting actors here, but a multi-starrer is when actors of the same calibre come together, something like what Manmohan Desai would make," says film-maker Nikhil Advani.
But one must also note the fact that with more multistarrer projects coming up, the box-office parameters for certifying a blockbuster have gone up as well. Says exhibitor and distributor Akshaye Rathi, "Until a couple of years ago, making 100 crore at the BO was the aim, now that has become 200 crore. So to be able to achieve more and do more business, making a multistarrer is a smart decision."
So even though the trend is catching on, Farah is of the opinion that it's never a conscious decision on film-makers' parts to make multi-starrers; it's something that the script decides. She says, "Doing or making a multi-starrer isn't everyone's cup of tea. In my case, the script requires multiple actors. I was only excited about that. Doing multistarrers is never a conscious thing."
LAST SOLO: Talaash (2012) NEXT MULTI-STARRER: P.K. AAMIR'S CO-STARS (IN P.K.): Sanjay Dutt, Sushant Singh Rajput, Boman Irani, Anushka Sharma
"Multi-starrers change the paradigm of the box-office. And Aamir Khan, no matter how much successful he is, will always try and expand his reach regardless of the number of co-stars. Also, more actors means greater reach," says exhibitor distributor Rathi. SHAH RUKH'S CO-STARS (IN HNY): Abhishek Bachchan, Sonu Sood, Boman Irani, Vivaan Shah, Deepika Padukone.
EXPERT TALK: "Shah Rukh, like his solo hits, has also delivered big multi-starrer hits. He is a superstar, a secure actor and chooses films irrelevant of it being a solo lead or a multi-starrer," says trade analyst Taran Adarsh. don't think that crosses the mind of an actor like him. He does a film for content and his character," says trade expert Vikas Mohan.