After a down-on-luck stint and a repeated thumbs down on the big screen, Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai have teamed up to gamble it out in romantic comedy "Action Replayy", which is releasing Friday.
Produced and directed by Vipul Shah for approximately Rs.40 crore, the movie is hitting over 1,800 screens in India and abroad on an extended weekend that commences with Diwali, considered to be an auspicious and coveted gateway for big ticket outings in Bollywood.
The story rewinds into the 1970s era and the movie will see Akshay and Aishwarya for the first time as a romantic couple. The supporting cast - Randhir Kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Kirron Kher, Om Puri, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Rannvijay Singh, Sudeepa Singh and Rajpal Yadav - are expected to spice up the romantic-comedy.
"'Action Replayy' is wholesome entertainment and has something for everyone. The tone is light but there are moments that will tug at your heart," said Akshay who featured in 2004 release "Khakee" that also had Aishwarya. But they were not pitted against each other.
Aishwarya said: "I'm so glad that I finally got to work with Vipul and Akshay... we got to work on a subject where we've pushed the envelope in the comedy genre."
In recent times, Akshay's movies didn't do well, neither has Aishwarya had any big hit to boast about.
While Akshay has disappointed fans with outings like "Housefull", "De Dana Dan", "Blue", "Kambakkht Ishq", "8X10 Tasveer" and "Chandni Chowk to China" since last year, Aishwarya, who remained absent from the big screen in 2009 returned this year with Mani Ratnam's bilingual dud "Raavan" with husband Abhishek Bachchan.
The former beauty queen heaved a sigh of relief with her recent release "Enthiran" ("Robot") though the movie overshadowed her act thanks to the presence of Tamil superstar Rajnikanth in the lead.
So both the actors are hoping to hit the bull's eye with "Action Replayy".
Based on Shah's hit play of the same name, the film revolves around Bunty (Aditya), who is fed up of his parents - father Kishen (Akshay) and mother Mala's (Aishwarya) constant bickering. He believes his life would have been better if his parents would have had a love marriage instead of an arranged one.
His parents' constant fighting puts Bunty off marriage and he always runs away from his girlfriend, Tanya (Sudeepa Singh), whenever she tries to discuss marriage.
Tanya's grandfather, Professor Anthony Gonsalves (Randhir Kapoor), however, gives him the choice to either marry Tanya or forget her. In order to bring about a change in his life, Bunty steals the professor's time machine late and transports himself to the 1970s and tries to make his folks' marriage a love story.
Throwing light on her character, Aishwarya said: "Mala is boisterous and tomboyish, but only in the first half of the film."
Shah organised a special screening of his film for the Indian cricket team in Ahmedabad Monday.
The movie is releasing with Rohit Shetty's "Golmaal 3".
Asked about the box office competition, Shah told IANS: "I don't think so. Let the audience decide which one they want to see. I only want to concentrate on my own film as we have given the best of our abilities for this one."