Strange how things turn out. Parineeti Chopra and Saif Ali Khan were slated to pair up in a movie to be directed by Saif’s ex producing partner, Dinesh Vijan (producer Love Aaj Kal, Cocktail and Finding Fanny) but the project got shelved. Parineeti even publically acknowledged her “crush” on Saif and went on record to say that she would “even play a tree” in a Saif-starrer. Taking into account the film choices they made in 2014, both these actors find themselves in a similar spot and need career intervention soon.
Parineeti had a mixed year at the movies — she added the zing in ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ but disappointed in ‘Daawat-e-Ishq’ and ‘Kill Dil’. At this moment, Parineeti’s career script is reading a lot like Rani Mukerji and Anushka Sharma’s, before they broke out from the Yash Raj Films (YRF) cocoon. To have the biggest studio of the country backing you is an immunity that you do not want to give away, but somebody needs to tell Parineeti that sometimes you have to go out of your comfort zone to reinvent.
Look how Anushka navigated her career graph and shed the baggage of an exclusive-YRF heroine by signing films with filmmakers such as Vishal Bhardwaj, Anurag Kashyap, Rajkumar Hirani and Karan Johar. Even Alia Bhatt has not restricted herself to only Karan’s production house and mixes a ‘Highway’ with a ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya’. Hope Parineeti does fair justice to her talent and chooses right. Surely there’s more to her than just play the fiery, loud girl-next-door.
And then there’s Saif, who is still dealing with ‘Humshakals’ and its after effects. The Sajid Khan film earned him a lot of negative reactions, which he acknowledged in an interview where he termed the film a “mistake.” Ironically, nobody appreciated his honesty, rather his industry colleagues slammed him for “disowning his own work.” Last checked, he patched up with Sajid. But Saif will need time to forget the lukewarm response to ‘Happy Ending’. This was Saif Ali Khan in his romcom zone doing what he does best, but the audience didn’t care enough.
The ‘Happy Ending’ setback will hurt him more than all the jibes of ‘Humshakals’ but Saif just has to go back to his own career trajectory to know that his audience loved him best when they couldn’t second guess him with ‘Ek Haseena Thi’, ‘Parineeta’, ‘Being Cyrus’ and ‘Omkara’, and stunned us all. He has done it before, he can do it again. Ditto for Parineeti. Maybe they should do that movie together.