Many believed that he was committing a professional hara-kiri of sorts by signing a film like Kurbaan which would always be known for its lead pair of Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor. However, Vivek Oberoi was unperturbed. He had earlier worked in another Karan Johar production, Kaal (2005) and trusted the filmmaker to utilise him judiciously. Even though he was Kareena's leading man in Mani Ratnam's Yuva (2004) half a decade back and had shared screen space with Saif Ali Khan in Vishal Bhardwaj's Omkara (2006), he didn't mind the real life couple taking centre stage in Kurbaan as long as his role was substantial enough to make a difference to the film.
This is why Karan Johar is continuing to give rock solid support to Vivek Oberoi. Even though Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor are the lead protagonists in the film, director Rensil D'Silva as well as producer Karan Johar are not undermining Vivek's importance in the film. He is pretty much being considered as the 'band muthi' of the film which is all set to explode at the opportune moment.
Says Karan in the actor's defence, "Vivek is a good actor and he has proven himself in each of the films where he has been given a chance to perform. Forget his earlier films like Company or Saathiya which everyone talks about. Even in his last big film where he had an author backed role, Shoot Out At Lokhandwala, he had done quite well. He will bounce back for sure with Kurbaan and other newer set of movies that he is doing. But before that, let him be a surprise package in a film like Kurbaan where he doesn't have to carry the film's weight. Let audiences watch him without expectations and be impressed with what they see. If he has a good role and performance, he will have everything to gain.
Karan Johar The argument does make sense. As a lead hero, Vivek has just two films in hands currently - Kumar S Taurani's action thriller Prince- Its Showtime (which has been moved to early 2010) and Ram Gopal Varma's bilingual Rakta Charitra on which he is pining a lot of hopes. A movie like Kurbaan before that is a teaser of sorts before the actual drama unfolds in the life of Vivek Oberoi who has only seen a dip in his career ever since his infamous press conference.
Though Karan doesn't elaborate much about Vivek's personal life and his equation with many actors and filmmakers in the industry today, he agrees that people's perception does get hampered due to that.
"This is quite unfair actually because once onscreen, an actor should be looked for his acting talent rather than what he does in his real life", rues Karan, "Yes, I know that some parts of his personal life may have clouded people's perception about him but is that really necessary? What should matter is that whether he has done justice to the trust that has been show on him or not. The turmoil or the lack of it in his real life should be of no concern to anyone, whether industry followers, audiences or sheer gossip mongers."
No wonder, it is believed that Kurbaan could well be Vivek's comeback of sorts. He may not find himself placed in the super league of actors after the film's release but at least find respectability as an actor that he is yearning for long.
"He is ready for a new phase in his career and Kurbaan could well do the trick", declares Karan Johar who is whole heartedly supporting the young and talented actor, "He has done a very good job in the film. It has turned out to be a good decision to rope him in for the film. I am sure he would make quite a few heads turn with his act."
Commenting on the same old accusation about Vivek being hidden from the film's print and publicity campaign, Karan says, "See, the problem is that we in the industry are so quick to jump on assumptions. We at Dharma Productions know what we are talking about and all actors and other crew members are rest assured about how they would be projected in front of the industry and the audiences. There are no surprises for anyone."
Now one looks forward to the 20th November release of the film to see if that indeed turns out to be the case. Knowing the fact that director at the helm of affairs is Rensil D'Silva who did an amazing job of probing deep into the characters for Rang De Basanti through an intelligent screenplay, one assumes that history will repeat itself for Kurbaan too.