August 17, 2002 
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What's unusual about Maine Dil Tujhko Diya?
A look at Bollywood releases the coming week

Subhash K Jha

An unusual factor about this Friday's release Maine Dil Tujhko Diya is that two debut-making stars Sohail Khan and Sameera Reddy are both the third of three siblings in their respective families.

While Sohail's brother Salman and Arbaaz (the latter also has a release up this Friday) are already actors, Sameera's siblings Meghna and Sushma Reddy are also part of the entertainment industry.

But there are bigger coincidences controlling the karma of this Friday's release. Sanjay Dutt, who plays the antagonist (he is the third leading man in a row after Akshay Kumar in Ajnabee and Akshaye Khanna in Humraaz to turn into an unmitigated shade of black), seems to be in a legal jam just at the time when he turns evil on screen.

Nine years ago when Dutt had gone to jail, he played Khalnayak in Subhash Ghai's film. The bizarre coincidence gives an unseemly fillip to a seemingly unremarkable film featuring two newcomers, one of whom developed belated starry ambitions.

Sohail Khan directed both his brothers Salman and Arbaaz in Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya (a hit) and Hello Brother (a flop). He evens the score with his third directorial venture where he cast himself in the lead at Salman's suggestion. Whether the saturated market is ready to absorb another Khan remains to be seen.

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Sohail has acquired the requisite muscles on his physique. Whether he has it in his acting abilities is purely a genetical question.

Sohail isn't the only star brother biting his nail in suspense. His brother Arbaaz has a release Soch lined up this Friday. This must be the first time that two brothers are pitched against each another at the box-office the same Friday. Arbaaz has played a bad man earlier in Abbas-Mustan's Daraar. Soch wouldn't have required much thought on his part.

If two star siblings are counting on Maine Dil Tujhko Diya to get a foothold, another star sibling Daboo Malik (composer Anu Maliik's brother) too is waiting for this film to open doors for him. Daboo's earlier score in Tanuja Chandra's Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar went unnoticed. He is hoping for a reversal of fortune with Maine Dil Tujhko Diya.

Another star brother Sanjay Kapoor who, interestingly enough, went bad with a vengeance in his last release Koi Mere Dil Se Pooche, goes straight into his new release Soch, where he plays white to another star brother Arbaaz's black.

The bone of contention in debutant director Sushen Bhatnagar's murder thriller is Raveena Tandon, who plays an actress on the prowl.

This is Raveena's second release in August. She has one more Agni Varsha lined up for the last week of August. "A situational comedy, a thriller and a costume drama within one month. What more could I ask for?" laughs Raveena.

The music in Bhatnagar's directorial debut film (inspired by an Alfred Hitchcock film) has not caught on in spite of catchy Uttar Pradesh-inspired folk number Nikal padive. Bhatnagar is the third debutant director this year after Rahul Bose and Kunal Kohli to attempt to make a mark. While one release is important for its debut-making lead pair the other means the world to its debutant director.


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