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Akshay versus Prabhu Deva at the box office

The two, who have collaborated before, release their respective films on the same day

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After Kamal Haasan’s classical dance in Vishwaroop, it is time for some freestyle dancing and a heist drama at the box office. “ABCD - AnyBody Can Dance” and “Special 26”, releasing on Thursday, are films that bend the conventional rules of entertainment.

Choreographer-director Remo D’Souza and Prabhu Deva take the lead in ABCD along with a lineup of well-known choreographers pitching as actors.

Last week, we had Tamil superstar Vikram speaking his own Hindi lines in Bejoy Nambiar’s “David”. This week, Deva speaks his Hindi lines.

“It was a real ordeal. Not just for me, but the people who were assigned to get me to speak correctly. But I managed. Let’s see how it goes,” he said.

Contrary to rumours, Deva says he has a full-fledged role in the film.

“I am there throughout, and choreographer Ganesh Acharya plays my best friend. It is not just a film that uses the film medium as a pretext for dancing. There is a very emotional story in ABCD,”

Deva said there are glimpses of his own life in ABCD — his rise from a chorus dancer to a dance superstar.

After the underwhelming performance of his out-and-out potboiler Khiladi 786, Akshay Kumar is back in Special 26.

The caper-heist adventure film recreates a true-life incident, where a bunch of conmen posing as CBI officers raided a well-known jewellery store in Mumbai.

Director Neeraj Pandey, who earlier made thriller “A Wednesday”, stressed on the fact that his film is not a documentary-styled recreation of the real events, but a fast-paced thriller.

The film is a major release for Viacom18 Motion Pictures, who made films such as “Kahaani” and “Inkaar”. This time, the banner is pitched against UTV Motion Pictures, just as Kumar is pitched against Deva.

“How can I be pitched against Akshay? He’s such a big star! I am a dancer who’s just strayed into acting as an adventure,” said Deva.

Last year, he directed Kumar in the blockbuster “Rowdy Rathore”.

Would Deva be as successful in acting as he is at dancing and direction? The last time we saw Deva in a Bollywood film was Rajiv Menon’s “Sapne” in 1996 opposite Kajol.