Saif Ali Khan must be nervous. Really nervous in fact, and he has all the right reasons to be in that state of mind. ‘Cocktail’ releases this weekend and though it would be unfair to call the film as a make or break affair for him, the fact remains that with the younger breed of actors like Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan and (now) even Emraan Hashmi breathing down his neck for a place up in the ladders, Saif indeed needs a solid hit to ensure that he hangs on to his coveted spot.
Let’s admit it; the Top-6 slots are already sealed. With Khans ruling the roost, Akshay Kumar making his place solid enough with two back to back centuries, Hrithik coming back to form with ‘Agneepath’ and Ajay doing films far more regularly and ensuring a yearly hit with Rohit Shetty (though one waits to see how far ‘Bol Bachchan’ goes), Saif has to hang on to his slot in the Top-10 at the least. Well, ‘Cocktail’ is the one on which he would want to place his bet and there are some strong reasons behind that.
First and foremost, it takes him back into the familiar space of the likes of ‘Love Aaj Kal’, ‘Salaam Namaste’ and ‘Hum Tum’ which have time and again worked for him. Of course his experiment with ‘Omkara’ paid off as well but other misfires like ‘Tashan’, ‘Kurbaan’ and ‘Aarakshan’, all experiments no less, didn’t really help his cause. A thriller like ‘Race’ worked really well but then ‘Agent Vinod’ turned out to be a box office disappoint of mammoth proportion. Secondly, ‘Cocktail’ has been pitched well as a quintessential multiplex film which should keep urban audience happy.
Of course, eventually all would boil down to the content but at least from the opening perspective, ‘Cocktail’ seems like a much safer outing with it’s songs doing the trick as well. Moreover with Saif playing it all casual in the promotional campaign as well when compared to ‘Agent Vinod’, which was seemingly a dream project (and hence way too laboured for all involved), the prospects seem better this time around.
The film’s success is all the more important for him because when the likes of Ranbir, Imran and to an extent Emraan are comfortably crossing the 50 crores milestone time and again, it is about time that Saif makes it large with ‘Cocktail’. Pun intended!
– Joginder Tuteja (His first article for Indicine.com)