Dubai - Karan Johar's multi-starrer faces off with superstar Ajay Devgn's much awaited action at the cinemas this Diwali weekend in the UAE.
By Yousuf Saifuddin Kapadia
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Published: Fri 28 Oct 2016, 1:59 AM
It has been called the clash of the titans as Karan Johar's multi-starrer 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' faces off with superstar Ajay Devgn's 'Shivaay' at the cinemas in the UAE, today. Karan Johar's romantic drama has been in the news since it began shooting, since not only does it finally bring together Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan and KJo together, but features the biggest stars in the Indian film industry today, including Anushka Sharma, Ranbir Kapoor and Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan. 'Shivaay', on the other hand, is touted to be the biggest action flick of the year - which has mostly seen dramas and a comedy (Housefull 3) raking in Rs100 crores plus each at the box office. The slick action thriller sees Devgn in the director's chair and as the lead protagonist. The film's plotline in a nutshell is the following: 'To protect his family, a stable and innocent Himalayan mountaineer transforms into a mean destroyer when he needs to.' Made with a reported budget of Rs80 crore, ADHM is said to be a remake of 1977 Rishi Kapoor film Doosra Aadmi. There was a rumour that the roles of Rishi Kapoor, Rakhee and Neetu Singh will be reportedly played by Kapoor, Rai Bachchan and Sharma, however Johar has shot down those comparisons. As far as Shivaay's budget is concerned, the man-of-few-words, Devgn, has been mum about it: "My budget of the film is as much as the Ajay Devgn film should be but I have not taken a penny. I have put everything in the film so that does not put pressures on the market of distributors and I felt that's fair enough," Ajay told IANS. The film has been extensively shot in Bulgaria and parts of India, and interestingly marks the Hindi film debut of Bollywood legend, Dilip Kumar's grand niece, Sayyeshaa Saigal and polish actress Erika Kaar. Khan's casting in the film has proved to be a bitter-sweet experience for Johar, since the recent tensions between India and Pakistan - after the Uri attack and cross border firings on the Line of Control (LoC) - have shrouded the film in controversy, with Mumbai based right-wing group MNS asking for a boycott of the film because of the Pakistani actor's presence in the film. The party has asked for a blanket ban on Pakistani artists working in India, but recently softened it's stance earlier on Saturday, allowing the release of ADHM but with a rider -- all the producers who employed Pakistani artists, must pay Rs5 crore each into the Indian Army's welfare fund as an atonement. Distributors and cinema owners have also come forward in support of the film. The MNS decision followed Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' direct intervention in the matter -- a day after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Mumbai and two days after he met representatives of Bollywood. On the aforementioned issue, Devgn came out in support of the ban on Pakistani artists working in India, saying he is not going to "share screen space" with them as of now, neither was he released about it's release in Pakistan, which has become a major market for Bollywood films in recent years after the ban on Indian film was lifted. In response to the ban, a cinema association in Pakistan decided to ban the screening of Indian movies, but had reportedly lifted the ban. It is also noteworthy that ADHM was in hot water ahead of it's release with reports that Johar had to snip out certain intimate scenes and dialogues. While the movies are traditionally releasing in Indian this Friday, the movies are releasing today (October 27) in the UAE, which is one of Bollywood's major markets, where their movies are popular among both South Asian communities and non-Hindi speaking communities. Both filmmakers are aiming to cash in on the festive Diwali weekend, with a bumper opening and end the year on a high note. So, book your tickets and grab your popcorn or nachos and have a good time at the cinemas as both glossy flicks promise a 'paisa vasool' (value for money) experience for the family. firstname.lastname@example.org