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Bipasha versus Ash
Subhash K Jha | January 15, 2003 17:40 IST
This Friday brings a study in contrasts for moviegoing audiences.
Jism and Dil Ka Rishta feature two of Bollywood's hottest ladies in prominent roles. Pooja Bhatt's Jism has Bipasha Basu, who featured in Raaz, one of the two blockbusters of 2002. Aishwarya Rai, who played the lead in 2002's other blockbuster Devdas, stars in the other film this week.
According to distributors all over the country, no film since Devdas and Kaante has evoked so much enthusiasm as Bipasha Basu in Jism. The Rs 4.5 crore production has gathered almost as much pre-release hype as the Rs 50 crore Devdas and Rs 45 crore Kaante, which is certainly an eye-opener for the film industry.
Bipasha refutes the belief that Jism is a flesh fest. "It is certainly not about nude bodies and sex." Both producer Pooja Bhatt and her leading lady agree audiences would expect a certain amount of 'sexiness' in the presentation.
Debutant director Amit Saxena has sought inspiration from Billy Wilder's 1944 classic Double Indemnity about a woman who uses her lover to kill her husband. Bipasha describes her character as "quite a number." The heroine as predator might be too unconventional though for the average Indian moviegoer.
Aishwarya plays a typical victim in Dil Ka Rishta. She loses her husband (Priyanshu Chatterjee) and her memory in a car accident. The man responsible for her predicament is Arjun Rampal, who spends most of the time in the film redeeming himself.
Like Jism, Dil Ka Rishta seems similar to Hollywood's Magnificent Obsession, which was remade into two Hindi films -- Gulzar's Kinara and, more recently, Anubhav Sinha's Tum Bin. For Rampal, this role is nothing new. He had similar roles in his first two films, Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat and Moksha.
As Jism's male lead, John Abraham has an edge over his rival this week. Both Rampal and Abraham are well-known models, but Abraham's unself-conscious body language makes him more of a pinup boy than the rather reserved Rampal.
Also, there is more buzz about the screen chemistry between Bipasha and John than Aishwarya and Arjun. Jism also boasts of M M Kreem's score.
If Jism does better than Dil Ka Rishta at the box-office, Bipasha will oust Aishwarya from the No 1 spot.