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Subhash K Jha’s Fact Finder On Andaaz Which Clocks 8 Years On May 23



1.     In  a blockbuster year when the biggest Bollywood badshahs  burst  onto the  big screen,  this  film with  two new heroines and  Akshay Kumar helds its  own.Andaaz  was  one of the biggest grossers  of  2003  . This was the year of Karan Johar-Akshay Kumar’s Kal Ho Na Ha, Raj Kumar Hirani’s Munnabhai, Rakesh and Hrithik Roshan’s Koi…Mil Gaya  and  Amitabh  Bachchan-Hema Malini-Ravi Chopra’s  BaghbaanAndaaz became  a huge hit amidst the formidable  competition.

2.     Contrary to what is  widely believed , Andaaz  was  NOT  directed by Suneel Darshan but the late  and much-missed  Raj Kanwar(who died suddenly  in 2012 at age 50). Suneel  who produced Andaaz recalls, “Raj came to me with this  concept   of  a  modern  love triangle  about an airforce pilot and  the two women in his  life. I loved  it. I immediately  greenlighted  the project.”

3.     Raj Kanwar   was known to  deliver hits  throughout his career. Deewaana , the  film that  made Shah Rukh Khan an  overnight superstar  was  directed  by Kanwar.  So were  the two big Sridevi hits Laadla  and Judaai. With Akshay Kumar and his wife Twinkle Raj did  two films each.Andaaz was  a  dream come true for Akshay.  He wanted to be  an airforce pilot in  real life.

4.     The big USP  of Andaaz  was  the  two new heroines  Miss Universe Lara Dutta and  Miss World  Priyanka  Chopra.The  clash  of  the  two sirens  was  highlighted  in all the publicity when in fact  the  two ladies   got  along  like  a  house  on fire.  “There  was  never any  rivalry between them. They were  not  great friends. But they  liked and respected one  another. That whole rivalry  was  media made marketing manufacture,” reveals  Suneel Darshan. Both  the  debutantes  had equally well-defined roles. Both were  expected to become  superstars. But Priyanka raced ahead. “She  was definitely  the more  ambitious  between the two,” says Suneel.

5.      Andaaz was Suneel Darshan’s sexiest production ever. He  chooses to see it as  ‘sensuous’. Both the ladies, specially  Priyanka were   made  to  do a  lot  of  skin show.As a matter  of fact even Akshay  who abhors  body show  was  seen in skimpy clothes. Priyanka later admitted to  me, ‘Thoda zyada  ho gaya.’  She did  two other  films with Akshay. But  rumours about them nixed her  pairing with Akshay. In an interview to me in 2004 Akshay had spoken about the  rumours. He  said,  “Why should I let such loose talk affect me? Everyone knows who’s instigating it. The target isn’t me but Priyanka. I just got caught in the crossfire. Now that the newspaper, which wrote about a public fight between me and my wife in Goa, has very graciously admitted that their information was wrong, the truth is out in the open. My family life remains untouched by these malicious elements. I’d rather concentrate on my career than get into these useless controversies.’ Andaaz apna apna.

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