March 5, 2008

February poll results: No surprises here

It should come as a surprise to no one that Naseeruddin Shah came out on top in February's romance themed poll, which asked who is Shabana Azmi's best leading man. After all, in last October's poll Masoom came away as the most popular of Shabana ji's movies among SLP's readers, and what could be sweeter than the scene in Sparsh in which he describes what makes her beautiful until she blushingly cries "Stop!" Shabana and Naseer match so well, with their understated, realist style and their unconventional good looks - the relationships they portray are palpable and real, more like families you actually know than like characters in movies.

It's fascinating to me that in real life they don't particularly like each other.

Naseeruddin ran away with the poll, collecting 17 of the poll's 32 votes, a real majority and almost three times as many as his nearest competition. The next closest "leading man" was Nandita Das with six votes for her spicy pairing with Shabana ji in Deepa Mehta's Fire. I am very partial to this pairing (though my vote went to Naseer), and find it tender, steamy, and believable. I'd say that I'd love to see it again, but I'm not going to hold my breath for that to happen. ;-)

After Nandita Das, Vinod Khanna and Boman Irani garnered some support, with four and three votes respectively. I think I mentioned that after seeing Shaque the Shabana-Vinod pairing rose considerably in my mind. And I've already stated my considerably more realistic wish to see another movie about Shabana ji and Boman ji as a couple.

Finally, Shashi Kapoor and Om Puri picked up a vote each for their diverse resumes of both art-house and mainstream pairings with Shabana ji. And poor Kulbhushan Kharbanda could not muster any votes at all - that's what he gets, I suppose, for philandering and neglecting our Shabana in such films as Arth and Fire. He should have treated her better!

Stay tuned for the March poll, in which we ask: Should they or shouldn't they?

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