Vidya Balan to star opposite Abhishek Bachchan in Pa

By Subhash K. Jha, Bollywood Hungama News Network

The ad maverick Balki's first feature film Cheeni Kum made a dynamic dent in audience's minds. It also made him a lifelong Amitabh Bachchan fan. Having gotten masterly performances out of Tabu and the Big B in Cheeni Kum, you'd expect him to recreate the same magic in his next feature film.

But no. Balki is on to a different route for his second film. His next film entitled Pa which begins at the end of the year features real-life father-son Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan. And no Tabu! This, in spite of her brilliant performance. "But that's because Pa has no room for Tabu at all. This time the story is a father-son one. Amitabh has no love interest in the film. And sorry about that. Abhishek does have a girl though." And for the first time Junior is being paired with the petite and lately out-of-sight Vidya Balan.

Says Balki, "We've already approached Vidya and she's more-or-less agreed. I can see her as a pair with Abhishek, can't you?" Vidya comes into the picture through her sister Priya who works with Balki at Lintas. "In fact, it's Priya I know well. I got to know Vidya only when we started talking for Pa," says Balki.

After repeated pairing with Preity, Rani and Priyanka, Abhishek is on the look-out for fresh collaborative opportunities. Vidya Balan is someone the Bachchans have admired from the time the Big B saw her in Parineeta and then worked with her in Eklavya. The Big B had compared Vidya with his favourite actress Waheeda Rehman. Both father and son adore Waheedaji.

So is Balki looking at the prospect of directing a new pair? "I don't look at it that way. Vidya suits the role. I've known her from her ad days. Though we haven't done any ad together, she has done ads for my company Lintas."

One questions remains. Why don't encore- projects happen with Tabu even after powerhouse performances the first time? Madhur Bhandarkar's Chandni Bar and Balki's Cheeni Kum led to no second project. In fact the only directors whom Tabu has worked with more than once are Priyadarshan and Gulzar.

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