Unconventional onscreen pairings: Aishwarya Rai-Rajkummar Rao in Fanney Khan and others

Rajkummar Rao will romance Aishwarya Rai in Fanney Khan. But this isn't the first time we'll get to see an unconventional pairing. Films like Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Raazi, Piku and Pyaar Ke Side Effects are among those which are remembered for its unique casting.

Written by Mimansa Shekhar | New Delhi | Updated: August 2, 2018 4:59:21 pm
bollywood unconventional pairings Bollywood’s tryst with unique onscreen pairings isn’t new, yet we seldom see filmmakers experimenting with the casting of their films.

When the cast of Fanney Khan was announced, fans got excited about Anil Kapoor reuniting with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan after several years. But there was something else that grabbed the attention. It was the pairing of Aishwarya with Rajkummar Rao. Yes, Ash is set to romance, not Anil Kapoor, but Rajkummar in Fanney Khan!

This isn’t the first time that Bollywood has teased its audience with an unconventional pairing. Filmmakers are always on a look-out for actors who’ve never been cast together. While several times it hits the bull’s eye and gets a thumbs-up, there are times that the chemistry of the actors is so cold, that it just doesn’t convince the viewers.

Before Fanney Khan releases on August 3 and we pass our judgment on whether or not Aishwarya and Rajkummar make a good pair, here are some onscreen collaborations we’ve seen in the past, where the actors were as different as chalk and cheese, came from a varied body of work, yet left a mark.

Ranbir Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma – Wake Up Sid

wake up sid stills Wake Up Sid told the story of a spoiled, rich-brat who learns the value of owning up to responsibilities from an aspiring writer.

Konkana was known for her deglam roles in content-driven films which were dark and gusty, Ranbir was a chocolate-boy who was still marking his territory in Bollywood, trying out new things. It was his good friend and debutant director Ayan Mukerji who thought of bringing these two live wires together. This was not just a unique film but even a unique romance.

Arjun Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor – Ki And Ka

ki and ka stills Arjun Kapoor reportedly learned to cook for his role in Ki & Ka.

Arjun has been a self-proclaimed fan of Kareena for years. And he finally got to work with her in this R Balki film. The two actors aced their characters of a house husband and a working wife. And they did have an intense chemistry too!

Cheeni Kum – Amitabh Bachchan and Tabu

cheeni kum stills CHeeni Kum opened to mediocre reviews but picked pace owing to good word of mouth publicity.

R Balki’s flair for unusual casting isn’t new. It dates back to his debut directorial Cheeni Kum where he got Amitabh Bachchan’s 64-year-old character falling in love with Tabu’s 34-year-old character onscreen. And as they say, age is no bar, this film truly justified that. Excitingly enough, the character of Tabu’s onscreen father played by Paresh Rawal, was younger to Bachchan in the film!

Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal – Raazi

Raazi stills Alia Bhatt played an Indian spy in Raazi, while Vicky Kaushal played her husband and a Pakistani army officer.

One of 2018’s biggest hits had everything right, from its story to direction and casting. And this also included the coming together of Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal. Both are powerhouse performers, but it was only director Meghna Gulzar who thought of pairing them up. Result? Vicky set benchmarks for an idle husband!

Ranbir Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan – Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

ae dil hai mushkil stills Karan Johar directorial Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was Aishwarya Rai’s last film before Fanney Khan.

Talk about passionate love in recent films and Ranbir-Aishwarya proved what it takes to do that. Despite their real and reel age difference, their chemistry was through the roof. While Aish played the perfect seductress to Ranbir, their poetic romance set some high standards in films today.

Vidya Balan and Manav Kaul – Tumhari Sulu

tumhari sulu stills Tumhari Sulu is being remade in Tamil as Kaatrin Mozhi with Jyothika reprising Vidya Balan’s role.

Vidya Balan has got used to doing things differently, be it picking her scripts or her characters. So when Manav Kaul tried to woo his onscreen wife in this comedy-drama, any regular imperfect couple could relate to their shenanigans. Didn’t we all love their chemistry in “Ban Ja Rani” song?

Kareena Kapoor and Sumeet Vyas – Veere Di Wedding

veere di wedding stills Sumeet Vyas was the only male lead in the female buddy film, Veere Di Wedding.

One is Bollywood’s crème de la crème. The other one is a boy-next-door from the digital space. And together they made things so real in Veere Di Wedding. Sumeet’s Rishabh was the only stabilising force in the messed up life of Kareena’s Kalindi. In short, they were perfect.

Irrfan Khan and Deepika Padukone – Piku

piku stills Shoojit Sircar’s Piku also starred Amitabh Bachchan and garnered a lot of critical acclaim.

Heard of opposites attract? Irrfan and Deepika proved it. They come from a filmography which is poles apart. Yet they fit into the film like pieces of a puzzle. The two did not talk romance as such, but they exchanged glances. And while they tried to find a middle path to match their personalities, the audience sat with a grin all through.

Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda – Highway

highway stills Highway cemented Alia Bhatt’s career in Bollywood after her debut in Student of the Year.

The road drama told the story of a girl, who develops Stockholm syndrome after being kidnapped. The plot isn’t rare, but Imtiaz Ali’s direction complete with Alia and Randeep’s out-of-the-box casting made it very exciting. While Randeep holds the tag of one of Bollywood’s dark horses, Alia, at that point of time, was just one film old and we were still to witness the actor in her. So many reasons to make Highway special!

Rahul Bose and Mallika Sherawat‎ – Pyaar Ke Side Effects

pyaar ke side effects stills Pyaar Ke Side Effects is a romantic comedy which portrayed the intricacies of a modern relationship.

Yet another case of a performer meeting a sultry siren. Rahul is very choosy about his films. While Mallika at that point was a bombshell. Their casting looked jarring initially, only to prove everyone wrong when the audience witnessed how real these two can get opposite each other. They made a truly commendable onscreen couple.

Manoj Bajpayee and Karisma Kapoor – Zubeidaa

zubeidaa stills Zuebidaa was an award-winning film, directed by Shyam Benegal.

One could never think of Manoj Bajpayee doing some mainstream romance until this film. And well, he not just got to romance Karisma, but even his other onscreen wife, Rekha. Manoj and Karisma looked every bit a royal couple, despite their different worlds, both on and off camera.

Kareena Kapoor and Diljit Dosanjh – Udta Punjab

udta punjab stills Kareena Kapoor Khan played a doctor while Diljit Dosanjh played a cop in Udta Punjab.

It was a total fanboy moment for Diljit when he was cast opposite Kareena in this controversial film. Though their romance was tragic, their characters had a spark, which they tried to bury behind a bigger issue they fought together. But can we really stop the undertones of love?

Naseeruddin Shah and Madhuri Dixit – Dedh Ishqiya

dhedh ishqiya stills Dedh Ishqiya also starred Arshad Warsi and Huma Qureshi.

We still wonder whose pleasure it was to romance the other one – Naseeruddin Shah or Madhuri? Both are Bollywood icons, and so when they got to romance onscreen, their respect for each other was evident. Theirs was a love story full of poetry and beautiful glances. Of course these two amazing actors know how to pull off any kind of role, even if it means romancing someone from another generation!

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