A casting coup, an off-screen link-up and a consummate director make Kismat Konnection the most eagerly-awaited film of the season.

It is an understatement to say that Kismat Konnection is highly-anticipated. It is Shahid Kapur's first release after his blockbuster hit Jab We Met. It also marks the return of director Aziz Mirza. And to spice up the proceedings, Kapur is currently linked with co-star Vidya Balan and their chemistry is widely talked about. These are enough reasons for the film to generate tons of excitement all around.

Return to direction

Mirza literally launched Shah Rukh Khan's career with Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman (though it wasn't King Khan's first release). This was followed by Yes Boss, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani and Chalte Chalte.

Each of these films left a lasting impression on audiences and Mirza shares such a good rapport with Khan that together they formed a production house, Dreamz Unlimited, along with Juhi Chawla.

So how is it that Khan in missing from Kismat Konnection? "I would have loved to work with Shah Rukh but I required a younger actor to play the role of the protagonist, who
is in his mid-20s. If I had the script earlier, when Shah Rukh was young, I would have definitely cast him, there's no two ways about it," says Mirza.

The best part about Mirza's films is that the hero always represents the common middle-class man with whom the majority of audiences can identify with. So when he was looking for an actor who could exude the qualities of a struggling young man competently, he zeroed on Kapur for the role of Raj Malhotra.

"I was instantly impressed with Shahid Kapur when I saw him for the first time in his debut film Ishq Vishq. He has excellent acting skills and is a talented young actor. I also liked his work in Jab We Met. I think he has surpassed himself in Kismat Konnection with his terrific performance," says Mirza.

Mirza infuses Kismat Konnection with new talent not only with Kapur, but also his son Haroun Mirza, who assisted him while making the film. Haroun has rightly been credited as co-director of Kismat Konnection. He also assisted his father during the making of Chalte Chalte.

Kapur's lucky streak

Kapur's stature as an actor and his box office clout has grown tremendously after his back-to-back solo hits Vivah and Jab We Met. He has established himself as the most lovable young romantic hero in Bollywood and his role in Kismat Konnection will only consolidate this position.

"I have enjoyed doing light-hearted romance. Kismat Konnection falls in the same bracket but it also comes with Aziz uncle's sensibilities. I think it is a magical love story with realistic moments," says Kapur.

The film will see Kapur paired opposite Vidya Balan for the first time. Many believed that it was an odd pairing as Balan looks older than Kapur, but he was unfazed by such talk and has faith in the film's script and characters.

Balan's connection

There is no doubt that Kapur enjoys Balan's company. His excellent on-screen chemistry with her seems to have translated off-screen and this is what has got everyone linking them together. However, Balan has learnt not to react to the rumours of their alleged romance.

She has previously been linked to John Abraham and was considered the reason for a rift between him and his girlfriend Bipasha Basu. Balan was also accused of being one of the reasons for Kapur's split with girlfriend Kareena Kapoor, as she was shooting with him for two months in Canada during Kapur's tumultuous phase with Kareena.

Balan clears the air saying, "Shahid doesn't speak about his personal life as he is a private person. At the time we were shooting Kismat Konnection in Canada, nobody was aware of what was happening between him and Kareena except himself. All this talk of me being involved with him are baseless rumours."

Balan would rather steer away from controversies and concentrate on her work as she is keen to continue her winning spree after having a great phase in 2007, when she delivered big hits such as Heyy Babyy and Bhool Bhulaiyya.

Her only box office dud was with Halla Bol earlier this year, though the film was critically acclaimed.

"I am really hoping that Kismat Konnection works at the box office. Aziz Mirza has made a beautiful film. His films always tend to make audiences happy," says an optimistic Balan.

Pritam factor

When music director Pritam Chakraborty composed music for Kapur's Jab We Met, the songs became a craze, especially dance track Mauja Mauja. Chakraborty once again composes for Kismat Konnection and has come up with tracks to complement Kapur's dancing agility and romantic hero image.

The tracks Aai Paapi, Move Your Body and Soniya Ve are perfect for Kapur to showcase his dance moves and wow his fans.

Pakistani singing sensation Atif Aslam has sung the romantic track Bakhuda, which has gone down very well with Kapur's female fanbase. With chartbusting music and Mirza's sensible direction, Kapur seems set to replicate the success of Jab We Met with Kismet Konnection.