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Friday, October 26, 2007

Malllika is no more a sex-bomb

Rahul and Mallika hit it off like a house on fire during Pyar Ke Side Effects. While Pritish Nandy Productions are still planning a sequel, Sanjay Chhel has gone and got the unlikely pair together again for his film.

How did it happen?

We've had many incredible casting makeovers, like Tabu stepping into Rani's space in Mira Nair's The Namesake….and Deepa Mehta's Water which was originally earmarked for Nandita Das finally went to Lisa Ray.

But this one takes the cake…and makes you quake.

In writer-turned-director Sanjay Chhel's Maan Gaye Mughal-e-Azam a role designed for Tabu has now be allocated to Mallika Sherawat. It's easy to see the two are as different from each other as any two actresses can be.

The closest that these two antithetical screen queens came to each other was when Mallika's Murder was released alongside Tabu's Meenaxi on the same Friday.

Director Sanjay Chhel is confident he can slot Mallika in the place vacated by Tabu.

"Tabu was being considered earlier for the role of the theatre actress. But it didn't work out."

Apparently Tabu was remarkably rigid about the money. The producers were unwilling to pay her the price she asked for.

Obviously the role has undergone critical modificiations to suit altered conditions.

Director Sanjay Chhel disagrees. "I'm a writer. So I know exactly how to place an actor into a character. Yes, Tabu was to do the role. But the way I look at it now, the role is perfect for Mallika. If Naseeruddin Shah had done Black wouldn't it have been different from the way Mr Bachchan played the character?"

Chhel asserts that his film isn't a spoof on Mughal-e-Azam. "No one in his right mind would satirize that all-time classic. My film is about a theatrical repertoire. Everyone –Rahul Bose, K.K Menon and Mallika—has a comic role."

It would be interesting to see Mallika do yet another role after Pyar Ke Side Effects where she is cast opposite her sex-bomb image.

Indeed the most interesting part of Sanjay Chhel's Maan Gaye Mughal-e-Azam isn't the title. It's Mallika moving in Tabu's territory.

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