21 years ago, on this day, Kasoor, starring Aftab Shivdasani and Lisa Ray stormed the box office. While the songs of the film remained popular for years to come, the film itself, even with new faces like that of Aftab and Lisa, became an unexpected hit. But then, that’s what the Bhatts have always done – given us sticky romantic tales that have struck just the right chord with the audience, and for everything else, there were these mesmerising songs that just wouldn’t leave your lips. Both Lisa and Aftab became overnight stars after Kasoor, but in reality, they weren’t even the original cast for the film.
We tell you all about it in this week’s Tuesday Trivia.
Before Lisa, the lead role of Simran Bhargav was offered to Sushmita Sen, who had worked with Vikram Bhatt in their 1996 superhit, Dastak. But despite having worked in a superhit venture with the Bhatts, Sushmita Sen walked out of Kasoor after her break-up with Vikram Bhatt. The role finally went to Lisa Ray, and the rest is history.
Sushmita and Vikram met while they were working on Dastak when they were 20 and 27, respectively. Vikram was married with a daughter, but their torrid affair caused a ridge between him and his then-wife Aditi. The brighter their relationship burned, the quicker it doused. In an interview years later, Vikram admitted that he regretted leaving his wife for a relationship that was immature, blaming age for everything that went wrong between him and Sushmita – ‘we were too young’, he had said.
But in the short time that they were together, the couple appeared hand-in-hand on an episode of Rendezvous with Simi Garewal. When asked what she felt about being in a relationship with a married man, Sushmita had said, “The wife and him were not living together, and I cannot go around feeling guilty or make a person feel guilty if he had a bad marriage. I don’t feel guilty because I have done something very openly with a very open conscience. I know that the man was in a divorce when I met him, and I wasn’t going to wait to tell the world that I loved him just because he hadn’t gone through with his divorce yet.”
That said, even Aftab Shivdasani wasn’t the first choice for the lead role of Shekhar Saxena. The role was initially offered to Anil Kapoor, who, after much deliberation, refused this one to go with Nayak. Later, Vikram Bhatt again tried to rope in Anil Kapoor for one of his projects, Raaz, that coincidentally released exactly a year after Kasoor, on February 1, 2002. But Anil Kapoor was convinced that horror films don’t work in Bollywood, and therefore opted out of that one too. Lisa Ray, after Kasoor’s success, was offered Bipasha Basu’s role in Raaz, but she too failed to go ahead with the project. And then, Dino Morea and Bipasha were finally cast in the lead roles in Raaz. Did you know Vikram Bhatt dubbed for both Aftab and Dino in Kasoor and Raaz, respectively? Well, yes he did. Vikram does that for all his heroes. Listen harder the next time.
Raaz was another typical Bhatt film – a gripping storyline with romance, revenge and everything in between tying the whole thing together, sprinkled with a generous dose of that buttery soft music. And no matter what Anil Kapoor may think, this horror film certainty worked, giving rise to a whole franchise. Did you know this was the first time Dino Morea was credited with his real name? His first film, Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi, introduced him as Siddhanth in the credits, which was also the name of his character in the film. But that’s the subject of another Tuesday Trivia.
(The writer tweets as @NotThatNairita)
ASLO READ | Vikram Bhatt on extramarital affair with Sushmita Sen: Regret abandoning my wife and child