Karan Johar wrote a script but gave the responsibility to his erstwhile assistant Nikhil Advani, to make the film. Advani did not let his mentor down and delivered a memorable film in the form of ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ (2003). After that, Nikhil moved out of his mentor’s shadow and made a film for another banner. ‘Salaam-E-Ishq’ (2007), which featured many prominent stars, had the look and feel of a Karan Johar directed affair. The promos seemed promising and the songs became popular. Unfortunately, Nikhil’s luck did not smile at him at that time and the film turned out to be a dud.
The director moved out of his comfort zone and made an action comedy called ‘Chandni Chowk To China’ (2009) which starred Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone. The film met the same fate as that of ‘Salaam-E-Ishq’ and was a box office flop. Nikhil and Akshay teamed up again for ‘Patiala House’ (2011), a family drama with a sports angle thrown at it. Lavish sets, glittery costumes and heavy duty drama – Nikhil seemed to be back to his comfort zone. The film opened to a mixed response and although it did not receive as much flak as Nikhil’s last two releases, it could not cover a wide distance as far as the box office collections were concerned.
Not one to be discouraged by the poor state of animation films in India, Nikhil went ahead and made ‘Delhi Safari’ (2012), an animation film featuring the voices of Govinda, Akshaye Khanna, Urmila Matondkar and Boman Irani among others. The film saw some good appreciation coming its way and managed to win the National Award for the Best Animation Film. But, this appreciation did not translate into box office success.
Nikhil Advani surprised everyone by making ‘D-Day’ (2013), an espionage thriller. This was a genre Nikhil had never explored before. The film got some really good reviews and was appreciated by those who watched it. The box office numbers, again, were far from being encouraging.
The filmmaker arrives with ‘Hero’ and ‘Katti Batti’, two films vastly different from each other. While ‘Hero’ releases on September 11, ‘Katti Batti’ arrives a week after. The director has proved his versatility by making films of different genres and with these two films, they could mark an end to his dry spell at the box office. So, will ‘Hero’ bring good news for this director who delivered a hit way back in 2003? September 11 is the D-Day!