MUMBAI: A queer cloak of secrecy has fallen over Abbas-Mustan’s much-troubled new production Players. One schedule of Abbas-Mustan’s crime caper the desi Italian Job, recently got over in Goa. And the main players namely Abhishek Bachchan, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Bipasha Basu and Sikandar Kher are clueless about who their immediate co-star is!
Don’t get them wrong. Though Abbas-Mustan have shot with the entire cast they’ve not allowed them to know whom they are actually cast with.
A prominent member of the Players cast tells Businessofcinema.com, “We’ve all been shooting dramatic and romantic scenes together. But I still don’t know who my co-star is! I asked the other actors. They too are in the dark about whom they are paired opposite.”
According to a source Abbas-Mustan are keeping the stars in the dark about the immediate pairs for three reasons.
Adds the source, “Firstly Abbas-Mustan want to preserve a sense of mystery till the very end. They are shooting sequences non-chronologically to keep the stars in the dark. Secondly, Abbas-Mustan have to consider the commercial viability of the pairs available in the film. Abhishek Bachchan-Sonam Kapoor and Neil Nitin Mukesh-Bipasha Basu have already delivered a flop each (Delhi 6, Aa Dekhen Zara) as a pair. If these couples are declared as co-stars Players will lose its boxoffice charm. Thirdly the screenplay is actually writing in progress, so maybe Abbas-Mustan themselves don’t know who gets which girl/boy at the end.”
To corroborate this bizarre scenario I put the question to individual members of the cast one by one. Who is your co-star in Players? While Abhishek and Sonam refused to comment, Neil said, “I haven’t been told whom I am paired with. There’s Bipasha and Sonam, two very lovely girls. I don’t mind either.”
Sikandar adds, “All I know is that I play a Pakistani guy named Bilal. Beyond that I’ve no clue who my co-star is.”
Bipasha is a bit more forthright. “It’s like Race where I was with both Saif and Akshaye Khanna and no one knew whom I’d finally be with. In Players I am with both Abhishek and Neil, and neither.”
Interestingly this who-gets-whom riddle of the cast is a growing epidemic. Apparently Madhur Bhandarkar has not told the three suitors in Dil To Bachcha Hai who gets the girl at the end.
Reminds us of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Namak Haraam where both Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan wanted the ‘privilege’ to die at the end. Mukherjee cleverly concealed the finale from both the superstars.