There was a time when Sanjeev Kumar and Zeenat Aman together playing a rustichavaldar and a sophisticated tart, in Shammi Kapoor’s desi Irma La Douce (Manoranjan) was the oddest pair yet. Now with a scarcity of dates for leading ladies, the oddest of couples are being seen together in our films. Here’s looking at some weird out-of-the-box casting.
1. Naseeruddin Shah and Vidya Balan in The Dirty Picture: They were perfectly in-sync earlier in Ishqiya. In The Dirty Picture, he was potbellied bewigged and ridiculously self-important. She was breathy, pouty and all over him. The end-results were hilariously counter-erotic pouts, pans, pots pants and all.
2. Vidya Balan & Ali Fazal in Bobby Jasoos: Heroines being paired with younger guys is nothing new. Sadhana, Mala Sinha and Nanda in their heydays worked with Rajesh Khanna, Sanjay Khan and Shashi Kapoor who were their junior. The thing about Ali Fazal is that he looks very Hyderabadi and very much in love with the bewitching Ms Balan. Age no bar.
3. Kangna Ranaut – Rajkummar Rao in Queen: She had worked with the senior lot of superstars like Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt and Sunny Deol (in the unreleased I Love New York). Rajkummar seemed like a different world which is exactly what the director Vikas Bahl wanted. Sometimes incompatibility makes an unlikely couple jell on screen.
4. Amitabh Bachchan – Jiah Khan in Nishabd: This one takes the cake, and the bakery, for the oddest pairing of all times. He was 60. She was his daughter’s 18-year old wild reckless friend. She seduced him. It all seems highly ironical in the light of Jiah’s death.
5. Dharmendra – Dimple Kapadia in Dushman Devta: What was he thinking? At the peak of Sunny Deol’s relationship with Dimple, Sunny’s dad decided to do a film with her. During a love song, Garam Dharam caught hold of the discernible distracted Dimple and smooched her torridly in what must rank as the most misplaced screen kiss of all times.
6. Saif Ali Khan – Sonali Kulkarni in Dil Chahta Hai: Years after Farhan Akhtar‘s debut film established its cult status, the question remains, why did Farhan cast the very urbane and aristocratic Saif opposite the earthy Marathi mulgi? They looked odd together. And not because they were meant to.
7. Bipasha Basu – Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Aatma: Nothing on this horror movie was scarier than the otherwise – talented Nawaz trying to appear sophisticated opposite Bipasha. Thrill-fitting suits went well with the fake angrezi accent. Even when the scares began we couldn’t stop giggling at Nawaz’s put-on poise. This wasn’t miscasting it was mess-casting.
8. Irrfan Khan – Deepika in Piku: Shoojit Sircar has cast the two actors from different kingdoms together in his next film Piku. From what one hears, they play individuals from very different backgrounds who embrace one another’s difference.
9. Rishi Kapoor – Radhika in Naseeb Apna Apna: From their very contrasting skin tones to their very different personalities, Rishi and the dusky South Indian actress (with her gravity-defying ponytail) were mismatched from the word go. And that’s exactly what the script demanded.
10. Rahul Bose – Priyanka Chopra in Dil Dhadkne Do: He is as Bengali as macher-jhol and from the avant-garde hemisphere. She is as Punjabi as chole-bhature and from hardcore commercial cinema. It remains to be seen how Zoya Akhtar turns this iffy couple into wow!
11. Kangna Ranaut – Vir Das in Revolver Rani: She was the trigger-happy lustful politician from down under. He was her cheesy self-serving toy boy. Vir Das and Kangna were so comically mismatched that the outcome of their liaison had to be tragic.