FESTIVITIES: The cast of Secret Superstar (above), and Golmaal Again. Pictures: Supplied
FESTIVITIES: The cast of Secret Superstar (above), and Golmaal Again. Pictures: Supplied

 Mehboob Bawa reviews Films: Golmaal Again, Secret Superstar.

This Diwali will be no different with two superstars, Ajay Devgn and Aamir Khan going head to head at the box office, with the release of Golmaal Again and Secret Superstar, respectively.

Devgn’s film, directed by Rohit Shetty, is the fourth instalment in the madcap Golmaal series. The films, while doing well at the box office, have generally been panned by critics. Shetty’s style is over the top, filling every frame with garish and loud visuals, as well as a “leave your brains at the door” script. Fans of the series, which started in 2006, can expect more of the same with the film, featuring the regular cast including Devgn, Arshad Warsi, Shreyas Talpade, Tusshar Kapoor and Kunal Khemu. Joining the cast for the first time is Parineeti Chopra, Tabu and Neil Nitin Mukesh, all talented artistes, taking the chance to slum it and let their hair down.

On the complete opposite side of the spectrum is Aamir, who stars in and produces Secret Superstar. The film tells the story of a young girl bent on becoming a musician, despite her father's misgivings. She creates a sensation on YouTube and this motivates her to continue in her quest to become a superstar. Aamir is known for mentoring new directors and here gives an opportunity to his manager Advait Chauhan to hold the directorial reins. When deciding on an actor to play the pivotal role of a music composer who works with the young girl, Chauhan turned to Aamir, who initially didn't think he was up to the demands of the character. But such is his professionalism that he screen tested for the role and not only convinced his director but his wife, Kiran Rao, who is also also the co-producer, that he was indeed perfect for the part. Playing the aspiring singer is Zaira Wasim, who starred opposite Aamir in his previous box office hit, Dangal. Wasim played the childhood character of Indian sportswoman Geeta Phogat. Dangal, which focused on two sisters who represented India in wrestling and their relationship with their father who trained them, has become the most successful film in Bollywood history. It has also performed exceptionally well in China, outperforming its run in India.

Aamir ties with another Khan, Salman, each having four films in the top 15 highest grossing films at the box office worldwide. The third Khan, Shah Rukh, notches up three films in this list. Aamir's other films on the list include 3 Idiots (2009), Dhoom 3 (2013) and PK (2014). The adage that everything Aamir touches turns to gold is quite apt as he has a prolific career filled with box office and critical successes. Audiences are eagerly waiting to see what magic this superstar will be conjuring up at the box office with his Secret Superstar.