Top 100 Bollywood Movies Of All Time: No.27 - Interesting Facts About "Saathiya", Director Shaad Ali's Debut

Ariana Linh |Jul 28, 2019

"Saathiya" is the directorial debut of Shaad Ali. It was a massive success, comprising of a great story, music, and acting. Let's see what it's about.

As soon as the name Saathiya came up in a conversation about Top 100 Bollywood Movies Of All Time, one can't help but conjure up the image of Vivek Oberoi riding his bike while grooving to the music and the beautiful Rani Mukerji as his wife.

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The poster for Saathiya. Source:

Top 100 Bollywood Movies Of All Time - Saathiya: The directorial debut of Shaad Ali

In 2002, director Shaad Ali starts his career with Saathiya, a vastly successful remake of Mani Ratnam’s Tamil film Alai Payuthey. The movie was memorable for its storyline, the chemistry between its main actors and of course, its amazing soundtrack.

Top 100 Bollywood Movies Of All Time - Saathiya: The Story

Saathiya tells the story of Aditya (Vivek) and his desperate search for his missing wife Suhani (Rani Mukerji). We are then told of their story in a flashback, in which the pair appears to have met at a wedding. It was love at first sight for Aditya as well as Suhani, and the 2 quickly got married despite the refusal of their families.

Things soon turned sour for the lovebirds as their marriage ran into problems. To make matters worse, Suhani had a car accident that Aditya was completely clueless about. Now, it's up to Aditya to find his lover and reignites their relationship.

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Aditya (Vivek Oberoi) and Suhani (Rani Mukerji) have great chemistry as a couple. Source:

Top 100 Bollywood Movies Of All Time - Saathiya: Some fun facts about the film

Abhishek Bachchan was the director's preferred choice for the role of Aditya, but Abhishek ultimately turned down the offer.

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Abhishek Bachchan was Shaab's first choice to play Aditya. Source:

There's a callback to Alai Payuthey, particularly in the opening of the movie where Aditya rides his bike through sea waves.

Director Shaad Ali shared that he was in a constant state of stress while making the film. The original movie's director, Mani Ratnam, was also Shaad's mentor. This, in turn, put a lot of stress on the first-time director, and he said it felt like he was having exam anxiety every day when making the film. In an interview, he said once the shooting was over, he had to think about how Mani himself would have done each shot and how he would react to them.

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Director Mani Ratnam has a lot of influence on Saathiya. Source:

In the iconic opening, Vivek is seen listening to music with headphones on. In fact, there was no music playing and the headphones were just props.

Besides Alai Payuthey, Shaad also makes references to other Mani's movie. Specifically, in one of the train sequences in Saathiya, the song Chaiyya Chaiyya from Dil Se, another of Mani's work, can be heard.

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There's a reference to Dil Se, another of Mani's work, in Saathiya. Source:

In another interview, Shaad admits he wants Saathiya's plot to be a lot different from the original Alai Payuthey. However, he still thinks of it as "the Bible" and borrowed a lot from it.

Until now, Saathiya remains the only movie where actors Vivek Oberoi and Shah Rukh Khan are seen together on screen.

After its release, the audience was surprised that Vivek's skin tone was fair. This is due to the fact that in his debut movie, Company, he put on makeup to make his skin darker.

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Company is Vivek's acting debut. Source:

When asked about his experience shooting for Saathiya, Vivek recalled the fact that he was afraid nobody would know who he is. Company, his debut, was shot in parallel to Saathiya, and many people who didn't see Company when it was aired wouldn't recognize him at all.

Chalka Chalka, one of the songs from the film was used in the Hollywood movie The Accidental Husband (2008).


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