MUMBAI: Arguably the biggest actors of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan, the famed trio are in competition with each other to showcase some form of illness on celluloid.
While Big B’s character suffers from Progeria or Rapid Ageing Disease, a disorder that ages you faster than normal, Shah Rukh is playing a character who is suffering from Asperger syndrome, an ailment which hampers social, emotional and communication skills. On the other hand, Hrithik Roshan is portraying the character of a paraplegic, who suffers from impairments of the motor and sensory function of the lower limbs and hence their movements are severely restricted.
Amitabh Bachchan’s character has been sketched out by R.Balki whose debut film, Cheeni Kum won him a lot of accolades. Shah Rukh Khan is equally well backed up by none other than the King of Gloss, Karan Johar. And Hrithik Roshan has the genius of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who had earlier done Black, to direct him in his film.
While Balki’s film has the novelty of its casting, where Abhishek plays Paa to his father, Amitabh Bachchan, Karan Johar has roped in the hit pairing of SRK and Kajol in My Name is Khan, who are back on screen after a hiatus of eight years. Bhansali, no less an artist in pulling off coups has got Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to be the lead heroine with Hrithik in Guzaarish.
Paa will most likely be the first to release as Karan will continue shooting for his last schedule till September. Guzaarish has just completed its first schedule.
This is not the first time that Bollywood has been involved in a race for similar subjects. While five films were made on Bhagat Singh, post the hit of Chak De, where SRK plays a hockey coach, films on sports took centre stage.
However, this is "battle royale", where three top actors will vie for the numero uno position not just at the box office but also with the critics, and backing them are the industry’s best known directors.