Riteish Deshmukh caught in a comic swamp ...

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By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service

Mumbai, Aug 22 (IANS) What is happening to Bollywood? Comic overkill

seems to be the magic mantra of the moment.

After "Masti, which actually triggered off the current comic wave,

Indra Kumar released box office dud "Pyare Mohan" with Viveik Oberoi

and Fardeen Khan. And he now teams up again with his "Masti" hero

Riteish Deshmukh for "Dhamaal".

"It would be my fourth comedy in a row. In 'Masti' I played a total

duffer. In 'Kyaa Kool Hain Hum' I was extra-savvy. Now in 'Dhamaal' I

hope to be mean-comic. A real glint-in-the-eye kind of funny is what I

want to play," Riteish told IANS. "Dhamaal" will also star Sanjay

Dutt.

The young actor cheers up at the mention of his favourite release

"Bluffmaster".

"It was very slick but not at the cost of losing out on the non-

metro audience. Abhishek was supposed to do my role. Then he stepped

into the other role. I had to opt out of a project to accommodate

'Bluffmaster'. But it was worth it.

"Rohan Sippy is a director I wanted to work with. And Abhishek is a

cool co-star. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him in 'Naach'. We had

loads of fun in 'Bluffmaster' though it isn't a comedy. I keep telling

everyone my romantic lead in 'Bluffmaster' was Abhishek."

"My next release 'Apna Sapna Money Money' is again a comedy. This

time Sangeeth Sivan isn't doing anything risqu?. I admit, I was a

trifle uncomfortable saying some of the lines in 'Masti' and 'Kyaa Kool

Hain Hum'. But in 'Money Money Money' there's nothing to make me

squirm."

For now Riteish seems to be caught in the comic swamp.

"But I've done a very serious segment of Ram Gopal Varma's 'Darna

Zaroori Hai' with Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. I was so nervous. According to

the script, he was supposed to shout so hard at me that I was doubly

shaken. But guess what? My character actually got to shout back at

him!"

Riteish is happy enough with his progress report.

"I started with a south remake, the college romance 'Tujhe Meri

Kasam', which was a blockbuster in Bihar. But in Mumbai you are only as

successful as your box office collections in the city. I had to start

from scratch. I think I've created a small niche for myself."