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Will it rain at the box office?

By Subhash K Jha
June 02, 2003 18:40 IST
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Murder mysteries, newly married couples, and sex comedies are on Bollywood's menu in June.

The month kicksMallika Sherawat and Himanshu Malik in Khawhishtarts with choreographer-turned-director B H Tharun Kumar's Nayee Padosan -- a rehash of the evergreen 1968 comedy Padosan (Sunil Dutt, Mehmood, Kishore Kumar, Saira Banu) -- releasing on June 6.

On the same day opens the controversial Khwahish (Himanshu Malik, Mallika Sherawat). Directed by Govind Menon, Khwahish deals with love, marriage and sex.

Right after Nayee Padosan (Rahul Bhat, Vikas Kalantri, Anuj Sawhney, Aslam Khan, Mahek Chahal) and Khwahish, the much-delayed Aftab Shivdasani-Amisha Patel romantic comedy Suno Sasurjee will hit the screens. Up next, Sujoy Ghosh 's musical Jhankaar Beats, produced by Pritish Nandy Communications, brings in the story of three friends (Sanjay Suri, Rahul Bose, Shayan Munshi) discovering life, love, and contraceptives.

Both Jhankaar Beats and Khwahish come across as blatantly frank in their attitude to man-woman relationships.

Trying to prove the age-old adage 'men are from Mars, women from Venus' is Aziz Mirza's Chalte Chalte relShah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherji in Chalte Chalteeasing on June 13. Produced by Shah Rukh Khan in collaboration with Juhi Chawla and Mirza, the romantic comedy stars him and Rani Mukherji.

The second big film of the month and 2003 is Sooraj R Barjatya's much-awaited love story Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, due for release on June 27. Anu Malik's music, with hits like Challi aayee and Sanjana, I love you, is already topping the charts. The film is expected to be the first blockbuster since Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas. It is also likely to catapult the careers of Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, and specially Kareena Kapoor, who is said to have given a mindblowing performance.

Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon doesn't have any strong competition except Aziz Mirza's Chalte Chalte. Also, trade analysts doubt the latter's power to sustain itself at the box office for too long.

Director Padam Kumar releases his underworld saga Supari with Chalte Chalte. Featuring Uday Chopra, Rahul Dev, Aakash Saigal, Purab Kohli and Nauheed, Supari is notable for arthouse queen Nandita Das playing an underworld don.

Interestingly, debutant director Kushan Nandy has resolved to release his thriller 88 Antop Hill (Rahul Dev, Lisa Ray, Atul Kulkarni, Shweta Menon) on the same Friday as Barjatya's Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon. Throughout the month the more intimate character-driven films are positioned against the purported blockbusters.Hrithik Roshan in Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon

There is no dearth of new directors in June. B H Tharun Kumar (Nayee Padosan), Sujoy Ghosh (Jhankaar Beats), Kushan Nandy (88 Antop Hill) and editor-turned-director Vijay Kumar, whose dramatic thriller Kahan Ho Tum about a missing person (Samir Soni), vie for audience attention alongside veterans like Mirza (Chalte Chalte) and Tinnu Anand (Ek Hindustani).

But can any of these films take on Sooraj R Barjatya who made two of the biggest successes, Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, in the history of Hindi cinema?
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Subhash K Jha