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Akshay, Vidya in <i>Guide</i> adaptation

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    By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day

    Wednesday, March 01, 2006

    Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Pritish Nandy and Rituparno Ghosh may come together in an unusual partnership this year - a rehash of Vijay Anand's Guide (starring Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman).

    PNC's film, titled Rahgir (traveller or wanderer) is a remake (though PNC refuses to call it that) of Vijay Anand's film, based on the original novel, The Guide, written by R K Narayan. Akshay has been approached to play the role of the traveller (Dev Anand's role) while Vidya might play Rosie.

    Festival plans

    As the project is still to be finalised, Pritish Nandy prefers not disclose the details. "It is similar to Guide and not a remake," he claims.

    "We are working on the details. If everything works out well, Akshay and Vidya will be in Rahgir, where Akshay will play the traveller." The film will start in the next few months, so it is ready for release in the third quarter of the year, informs Nandy.

    "We have some clear targets - we want Rahgir to be shown at some of the biggest festivals, before releasing it in India."

    Akshay's histrionics

    Why Akshay, whose acting skills are more in the commercial mould? Says Nandy, "In my view, Akshay is an extremely fine actor who has traditionally been cast in roles where he had little opportunity to showcase his versatile acting skills.

    He has always been cast in typical Bollywood films, where his ability to showcase his talents has been limited. If he does Rahgir, it will be wonderful to see him in a film that gives him the opportunity to demonstrate his histrionic talents."

    About Vidya, Nandy says, "She displayed fine acting sensibilities in Parineeta. What she needs today is a film that will put her on a different level altogether. It's time she did big-ticket numbers, and Rahgir could be one of them."

    Ritu's reasoning

    Rituparno Ghosh who has been keen to cast Akshay in his films for some time now, said, "I find a great intensity in Akshay, and a natural, athletic build. In spite of being a superstar, he possesses the quality of being a real hero. I haven't met him too many times, but when I narrated the role to him, he felt excited enough to take time out from his hectic schedule to give me the dates for my film. His colleagues, too, praise him highly. In Akshay, I find a transparency and an eagerness to learn."

    What's next?

    There a many films on PNC's release chart - Vikram Bhatt's Ankahee, starring Esha Deol, Ameesha Patel and Aftab Shivdasani, in March; Pyar Ke Side Effects, starring Rahul Bose and Mallika Sherawat; Anjan Dutt's Bow Barracks Forever; and Rituparno Ghosh's Khela, starring Prosenjit and Manisha Koirala.

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