In Bollywood, it’s quite difficult to be a solo player. Like it or not, the Hindi film industry operates in camps. Directors, writers, actors, musicians… they love to team up and recreate a success story. Working in a partnership is useful because one member not only acts as a foil to the other but also enriches the bond by bringing his or her strength to it. Bollywood is known for some legendary partnerships that have created some memorable work: Salim-Javed, Manmohan Desai-Amitabh Bachchan, Sooraj Barjatya-Salman Khan to name just a few. We present some of our favourite ‘two and three-somes’. Can you imagine one without the other?
STARKID POOL: KAREENA KAPOOR & SONAM KAPOOR
This will be one partnership that is as yet untested and hence, very interesting. Both belong to very well-known film families, both are known as style icons, both have similar lifestyles and hail from the same social set. Kareena and Sonam have not been known to be great friends before but they have come together for a movie Veere di Wedding, the shooting of which will resume soon once new mum Kareena returns to the sets. Sonam, who is Kareena’s junior in the industry, will be producing it. This one is all about (starkid) girl power!
BOX OFFICE KINGS: KARAN JOHAR & SRK
It is hard to tell – did Karan give Shah Rukh’s career a new dimension or did Shah Rukh’s star appeal help Karan find a foothold? Whatever way you look at it, Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan definitely are one of the most successful director-actor pairs ever. It helps that they are close friends, almost like family. It wouldn’t be erroneous to state that they have almost grown up in films together, as actor and director. Together they have cracked the box office formula and every movie they have done together – from KJo’s debut, the candy floss Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to the intense My Name is Khan – have struck gold at the BO. Bollywood loves success stories and the KJo-SRK story is one that keeps reinventing itself.
RAJKUMAR HIRANI-AAMIR KHAN
Unlike many others in Bollywood, Aamir Khan has strictly stayed away from a camp. He has worked with different directors, mostly unknown names and has rarely repeated his co-stars. But with Rajkumar Hirani, he has made an exception. They first teamed up for 3 Idiots and the film created history. They then worked in PK and it was a blockbuster. Raju and Aamir are both similar in many ways. They are wedded to cinema and they believe in movies where script is sacred. While Raju has had a very successful partnership with Sanjay Dutt too (the two Munnabhais and now the Sanjay Dutt biopic), it is with Aamir who he bonds intellectually. Their similar approach to the art and craft of filmmaking is what makes them work together. And when they do, it’s pure magic.
MAESTRO AND HIS MUSES: SANJAY LEELA BHANSALI & RANVEER-DEEPIKA
It isn’t easy to work with a maverick like Sanjay Leela Bhansali. He is as much known for his temper and unpredictability as he is for his creative genius. So for a person like him to work with Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone thrice (Ram-Leela, Bajirao-Mastani and now, Padmavati) is as much a testimony to their talent as it is to his equation with them. In the two stars, SLB appears to have found the perfect muse. They give their soul to the film and he, embellishes it with his unique touch leading to a win-win for both. Most filmmakers have their favourite actors but SLB appears to have his favourite lead pair with who, he clearly, wants to work again and again.
WE ARE FAMILY
THE COUPLE: AKSHAY & TWINKLE
They have been the low-profile regular star couple but over the years, they have come to be the power couple. Ever since Twinkle started gaining recognition as a writer, she has, in a way managed to change Akshay’s profile too. He is the superstar actor who has started dabbling in some seriously interesting films, she is the super star columnist who makes headlines with her fantastic and quirky perspective. Now, Twinkle has stepped in to production with Padman, a unique film on Arunachalam Muruganantham, an activist who revolutionised the concept of menstrual hygiene in rural India. No prizes for guessing who plays the lead – her hubby Akshay.
Akshay’s support for his wife’s ventures – be it writing or now, production, is endearing. They fell in love while working together on films all those years ago but over the years, they never collaborated professionally. Twinkle was happy to forget her film career to take care of home and the kids but she kept herself busy with designing and writing. It’s only now, after all these years of marriage that they are taking their personal chemistry to the professional sphere. It has been said that Twinkle changed Akshay a lot, from inspiring his style quotient to bringing about a change in his persona and approach to work. The result is there for all to see. They have one of the strongest marriages in the industry and it’s beautiful to see how they impact each other’s work. This is partnership at its productive and creative best.
SISTER ACT: SONAM & RHEA KAPOOR
These sisters are like the proverbial peas in a pod. If Sonam is known as the fashionista, she has a lot to thank sis Rhea for. Rhea is not just her favourite stylist but also her favourite producer. The Kapoor girls first collaborated on the chick flick Aisha as well as the Fawad Khan starrer Khoobsurat and Sonam has often stated that these were her most fun films ever. Rhea brings out the best in Sonam while the Neerja girl often turns to her for personal and professional advice. Now, they are back with another film Veere Di Wedding.
DADDY COOL: HRITHIK & RAKESH ROSHAN
They have to be the most successful dad-son pair ever. Striking a 100 per cent success rate, ever since Hrithik made his debut in Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai, this is one Jodi that the box office loves. Rakesh, a successful producer for the last three decades, has reached newer heights ever since he started collaborating with his son. When Rakesh is helming a project and Hrithik is in front of the camera, a 100-crore hit is guaranteed. From Krrissh to Kaabil, they haven’t put a foot wrong.
HELLO BROTHERS: SALMAN-ARBAAZ-SOHAIL
Bhai ho toh aisa. Salman, Arbaaz and Sohail are one unit. While the three of them have their respective production houses, the filial bond makes it difficult to distinguish one from the other. Arbaaz has proved himself to be a savvy producer more than a successful actor and to him, goes the credit of giving Salman a whole new makeover with Dabangg. Sohail is also a producer who also dabbles in sports (he owns a team in the Celebrity Cricket League) for which Salman lends his star power. Be it in the personal or professional sphere, the brothers support each other to the hilt. The films that have been produced by the Khan parivaar – Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Dabangg, Ready, Partner – have all been certified blockbusters.