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Asambhav (Hindi: असम्भव, translation: Impossible) is a 2004 Indian Hindi action thriller directed by Rajiv Rai and produced by Gulshan Rai under Trimurti Films banner. It was released on 23 July 2004, starring Arjun Rampal, Naseeruddin Shah and Priyanka Chopra in the lead roles with Dipannita Sharma, Tom Alter, Milind Gunaji and Sharat Saxena playing supporting roles among others.[2] The film was shot entirely in Switzerland.[3]

Movie poster for Asambhav
Directed byRajiv Rai
Produced byGulshan Rai
Written byRajiv Rai
StarringArjun Rampal
Priyanka Chopra
Music byViju Shah
CinematographySukumar Jatania
Distributed byTrimurti Films
Release date
  • 23 July 2004 (2004-07-23)
Running time
149 minutes
Box office50 million (US$700,000)[1]

Rajiv Rai worked with Arjun Rampal in Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat (2001). Rai signed him for a second time for Asambhav in 2002. Work on the movie had begun in 2002 when he started his new project and titled it Asambhav. Aishwarya Rai was initially signed to act as Rampal's heroine but was replaced by Priyanka Chopra. Legendary actor Naseeruddin Shah was cast as the villain. Shooting began in June 2003 and was completed in September 2003.[4] It was the first Indian film to be graded digitally on Luster.[5]

The film was launched in March 2004. The soundtrack was composed by Viju Shah; it was released on 26 May 2004. The film was released on 23 July 2004. Through an extensive post-production work and huge promotion, Asambhav was an average grosser at the box office, collecting 34 million (US$470,000) nett. It grossed 43.0 million (US$600,000) in India and was average overseas as well, with a collection of US$19,504 in the United States and £16,894 in the United Kingdom.[1]



Captain Adit Arya (Arjun Rampal) is a special agent of the Indian army. The Indian president Veer Pratap Singh (Mohan Agashe) is kidnapped by Rafiq Mabroz (Shawar Ali) in exchange for cash rewarded by renowned terrorist Youssan Baksh (Mukesh Rishi) and General Ansari (Milind Gunaji). Adit is sent undercover to rescue the president and his daughter, Kinjal (Dipannita Sharma).

The mission is coded "Asambhav". Adit poses as a journalist for Indiatimes and makes his way to Switzerland with the help of a RAW agent called Atul Bhatnagar (Jameel Khan). On the flight, Adit meets Alisha (Priyanka Chopra). Alisha is a singer and has come to Switzerland to do a show with Sam Hans (Naseeruddin Shah). Her friend Shilpa (Chitrita Sharma) accompanies her. However, the people whom Alisha and Shilpa have come to Switzerland with are drug smugglers. Shilpa is murdered when she finds this out, and Alisha pretends she knows nothing but meets Adit for help. Adit and Alisha fall in love.

Adit links events from Shilpa's murder to the president's kidnapping and sees that Sam Hans, General Ansari, Youssan Baksh, and Rafiq Mabroz are involved together. Hans' friend Ranjit Parmar (Yashpal Sharma), of the Indian embassy, checks files of Switzerland and learns Rafiq Mabroz is a terrorist. He informs Hans, and Hans decides to fight ISI. However, he signs a deal with ISI by kidnapping the president from Youssan Baksh and returning the president to Baksh in exchange offer 50 million pounds.

Parmar suspects someone at the Indian embassy is a traitor helping terrorists. He finds out that Ms. Brar (Tora Khasgir) is a traitor. He informs ambassador G.L. Sarin (Sharat Saxena) and is knocked out by Mabroz. Parmar awakes to discover that Ms. Brar and Sarin are both traitors and are associates of Mabroz. Mabroz kills Parmar, and Sarin leaves a suicide note beside Parmar. Capt. Arya and Bhatnagar find Parmar dead by the note, but Arya reveals that the ambassador is the traitor because of his head-stamp on the suicide note. Arya tries to finish Sarin, but Brar calls the police to get Arya and the ambassadors arrested. Arya shows the police his army card while Sarin and Brar flee. Arya chases them, and Gazi (Chetan Hansraj) tries to attack Arya. Arya runs after Gazi and is attacked by ISI agents and Youssan's men in a fort. They try to kill Arya, but Arya fires back and kills all of them, including Gazi.

Adit reaches Youssan's headquarters, to free the president. He kills General Ansari and all of Youssan's men. Youssan takes the president and flees. Adit chases him. Sam has captured Alisha and Kinjal but is stopped by Ambassador Sarin, who has Hans' friend Brian as a captive. Hans gives money to free Brian, but Sarin kills Brian. Hans kills Mabroz's men. Ms. Brar and Volga (Anupama Verma) chase Alisha and Kinjal near a helicopter but kill each other in the crossfire. Sarin tries to finish Hans, but Hans kills him to avenge the death of Brian.

Youssan tries to kill the president, but Adit kills Youssan and saves him. Mabroz tries to shoot Adit, but Adit kills him. In the end, Adit meets Sam, who confesses sins he committed but promises to improve; so they become friends after being arch rivals throughout the Mission Asambhav. Adit goes back to India with his girlfriend Alisha, Kinjal, the president and Atul Bhatnagar.


Lead castEdit

He is the male protagonist of the movie. He is a para-commando. His objective is to save the president from the Al-Amaz terrorist group led by Youssan Baksh.
She is the female protagonist. She is the love interest of Adit. Alisha is a struggling singer from India. She is trapped by Dabral, Sam Hans and Brian in a drug smuggling plan and she seeks Adit for help.
He is very important for the movie. Sam is a rich drug dealer. He is originally from Delhi, but he resides in Switzerland.

Supporting castEdit

She is the bright daughter of the president. Kinjal studies at a university in the USA.
He is a man with wisdom. He is supposed to be relaxing in Switzerland, but is kidnapped by Mabroz. He is freed from Mabroz, but then kidnapped by Sam Hans, who sells the president to Youssan, before finally being saved by Captain Adit Arya.
He is a member of the Indian Embassy in Switzerland. He has unintentionally passed the tender to Rafiq Mabroz for the vacations of the Indian president, for which he is upset. He informs his friend Sam Hans about the situation as well as the Indian Embassy. However, Embassy members G.L. Sarin and Ms. Brar are revealed to be Mabroz's allies and traitors of the country, during which Mabroz kills Parmar.
He is the influence of Sam Hans. Brian is responsible for involving Alisha in the drugs smuggling. He is killed by G.L. Sarin, after being held at ransom for Sam Hans' money.
He is a RAW agent, who is sent by the Indian army to fulfill the needs of Captain Adit during the mission.
  • Chitrita Sharma as Shilpa
She is Alisha's friend. She is murdered by Gazi.


Ansari is an ISI agent from Pakistan. He is a powerful man with contacts. He arranged an attempt on Sam Hans's life, and he has contacts in Al Jazeera. He is a clever man and keeps a cool head for most of the time. He is shot and killed by Adit.
  • Tej Sapru as Hashmi
He is an ISI agent. Hashmi is first of the two henchmen of General Ansari. He is killed as he attempts to apprehend Bhatnager.
  • Chetan Hansraj as Gazi
He is an ISI agent. Gazi is second of the two henchmen of General Ansari. He kills Alisha's friend Shilpa, and lures Adit into a trap created by Ansari. He is killed by Adit.
He is the Indian ambassador. A seemingly proud Indian at first, until turning out to be a traitor. He kills Sam Hans's friend Brian, and is killed by Hans in return.
  • Tora Khasgir as Ms. Tanya Brar
She is an associate to the Indian Ambassador G.L. Sarin. Ms. Tanya Brar is revealed as a traitor, working for Rafiq Mabroz and is working alongside Sarin for the huge fee paid by the ISI. She is accidentally killed by Volga, after both women try to kill Alisha and Kinjal, who dodge the attack.
He is the leader of the Al Amaz insurgency. Baksh is a clever man, as he discovers an Indian spy in his group. As well as smarts, he has strength. He is killed by Captain Adit Arya in the final scenes of Asambhav.
He is an international terrorist whose purpose is similar to a mercenary. Whilst Youssan and Ansari are patriots, Mabroz cares only for the money. He is responsible for the death of Embassy worker Parmar.
Dabral is an associate of Brian's. He discovers Alisha and is one of the few people who actually know who Aditya is, and what relationship he has to Alisha. Dabral is killed by Zorba.
She is a lady in Rafiq Mabroz's gang. She is the love interest of Mabroz.
  • Shabhir as Zorba
He is a man in Rafiq Mabroz's gang.
  • Mumaith Khan as Dancer in song "Mashuqa Rubiya" (Special Appearance)



Rajiv Rai is well known for directing hit films in the action thriller genre including Yudh (1985), Tridev (1989), Vishwatma (1992), Mohra (1994) and Gupt (1997) under the banner of his father Gulshan Rai's production company Trimurti Films. All did well at the box office and were huge successes, establishing Rai as a well acclaimed director.[6] After his five successes in action movies, Rai directed a romance film for the first time titled Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat and the newcomer Arjun Rampal was cast in the movie, who had filmed Ashok Mehta's Moksha. However, Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat was released before Moksha and was billed as Rampal's debut movie. Rampal received critical acclaim for his performance.[citation needed]

In 2002, Rai planned to shift to action thriller genre after Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat. In an interview with Filmfare Online, Rai said "I listened to several people's opinions. I made the film ('PIAM') not on intuition and belief but on marketing strategies and counsels from trade persons insisting that love stories were the trend of the day."[7] In that same year, Rai started his new project with a comeback to action genre and titled it Asambhav.[8]


Arjun Rampal, Rajiv Rai and Priyanka Chopra at Asambhav music launch (left to right)

After planning Asambhav, Rai signed Arjun Rampal as the hero of the movie as Rampal had worked as the hero of Rai's previous directorial venture Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat. Aishwarya Rai was signed as the heroine.[9] Rampal and Rai were in Dil Ka Rishta that released on 17 January 2003 and Asambhav marked their second pairing. However, Rai backed out in 2003 and Priyanka Chopra was cast in as the female lead.[10]

Naseeruddin Shah was roped in to essay the role of the villain as he had worked with Rai as a hero in Tridev and as a villain in Mohra. Shah had earned critical acclaim for his villainous performance in Rai's Mohra and had earned a nomination for the prestigious Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role at the 40th Filmfare Awards.[11][12] Noticing on Shah's previous success in a negative role, Rai cast him as the villain in his latest action thriller.[13][14] The total cast was of 55 artists including model turned actress Dipannita Sharma, Tom Alter and Sharat Saxena among others.[5]

During the music launch, Rajiv Rai was interviewed on casting models in important roles. He said, "I wanted a very western look to the film; I wanted it to look stylish. I have roped in many models because I wanted my film to look fresh and stylish. Models have a lot of exposure, they are very confident in front of the camera. There are a lot of fresh faces coming into acting. I wanted fresh faces for my film. The modeling industry can act. It's not fair to pinpoint. Arjun (Rampal) himself was a model."[15]


After the casting was finalised, Rajiv Rai flew to Switzerland and the film was shot in Ticino. He began filming in June 2003 with a schedule of 57 days. It was filmed in multi-camera setup. While most scenes were shot with four cameras, the action sequences consisted of seven camera units. It was the first Indian action film to feature no stunts. The action sequences were digitally shot. Asambhav was the first Indian film to be graded digitally on Luster.[5] Filming was completed in September 2003.[4] It was the first Indian movie to be shot in that location, in the longest filming schedule of any Indian film unit in Switzerland. Asambhav was digitised and no duplicates were used in its development.[15]


Asambhav was launched in March 2004. The soundtrack was composed by Viju Shah and it was launched in Mumbai on 26 May 2004.[15][16]


Asambhav was released on 23 July 2004 to limited cinema houses but became an average grosser.[1]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional reviews
Review scores
Source Rating Reference
Bollywood Hungama       [17]
Planet Bollywood            [18]
Apun Ka Choice       [19]

Asambhav received mixed reviews from critics upon release. Ronjita Kulkarni of Rediff wrote "Asambhav, starring Arjun Rampal and Priyanka Chopra, is a good film. It packs in the done-to-death Pak-bashing content, and reduces Pakistanis and Afghans to caricatures."[20] Prema K. of Bollyvista wrote "The film grip the audience even in a single reel. The songs flow freely. Viju Shah too seems to have lost his touch! The cinematography is good, in fact, the only real good thing about the film. Arjun Rampal is good but the role does not offer him much scope. Priyanka Chopra is reduced to a glamour piece. The model brigade serves as mere sidekicks. Talented actors like Naseeruddin Shah, and Arif Zakaria have been positive." Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars and gave positive reviews. He wrote "On the whole, ASAMBHAV is a medium film in all respects. At the box-office, its chances of hit movie asambhav [impossible]."[17] Shahid Khan of Planet Bollywood gave a rating of 8 out of 10 stars. He wrote "Rajiv Rai's direction is uninspired. Therefore, his "Asambhav" ends up looking tired and dragged out."[18]

Nitika Desai of Apun Ka Choice gave a rating of 3 out of 5 stars. She wrote "'Asambhav' is a film that sticks to the beaten and worn-out Bollywood stereotypes. Over-dramatic dialogues, deliberately forced songs and inflated action sequences make it quite a predictable and stodgy fare."[19] Subhash K. Jha of IANS wrote "Asambhav is arguably the only mainstream film ever with no mother-figure on the hectic horizon. But absence of melodrama cannot in itself be a virtue unless it is compounded by a moist quality in the overall design of storytelling."[21]

Pankaj Shukla of SmasHits praised the movie but criticised the casting. He wrote "The film in totality is not boring. It not only entertains but also makes value for the money, as the labor done by the director is quite visible on the screen. It is only the casting of the film that has gone haywire."[22]

Box officeEdit


Created on a very high budget, Asambhav became an average grosser at the box office. It collected 80,632,076 rupees in the opening weekend from all over the country. The earning in the following week was it 100,507,694 in the second week and 220,731,569 in the third week. It grossed a total of 500,113,339.[23] As a result, it was declared an average grosser.[24] Asambhav grossed 43.0 million (US$600,000) from India in 2004 with a nett of 34 million (US$470,000). The estimated net rate was 69.8 million (US$970,000) and the estimated gross was 98.8 million (US$1.4 million)[1]


Asambhav was an average in overseas as well. The film collected US$19,504 in the United States. In the United Kingdom, the film hit fifteen screens in the first weekend of 23 July and collected £16,894. In the second weekend of 30 July, the screens were reduced to fourteen. Asambhav collected £2,142 and grossed a total of £30,311 in the first two weekends. It was declared an average grosser.[23]


Soundtrack album by
Released26 May 2004
GenreFeature film soundtrack
DirectorRajiv Rai
ProducerGulshan Rai
Professional ratings
Review scores
Planet Bollywood          [25]

The soundtrack of Asambhav was recorded in 2003. It was composed by Viju Shah. It was released by the Tips Music Films label on 26 May 2004. The lyrics were written by Sameer and Remo D'Souza was the choreographer of the music sequences. The soundtrack was released on 26 May 2004.

The soundtrack consisted of eleven tracks including five songs, five instrumental versions and a special 'Asambhav Theme'. The director Rajiv Rai and the supporting actor Naseeruddin Shah also sang in the movie. They performed the song 'Raatein Badi Hain'.[25]

The soundtrack received mixed to negative reviews. Shahid Khan of Planet Bollywood rated it 7 out of 10 stars. He wrote "Viju Shah´s "Asambhav" might not exactly win the award for the best soundtrack of the year but there are some pretty darn good tunes here."[25] Runaq Kotecha of Glamsham wrote "The music of Asambhav once again confirms that Viju Shah is certainly one of the best composers that we have when it comes to delivering expeditious racy tracks with ultra modern electronic beats. However, in the midst of all the upbeat technology and heavy duty musical instruments, the tunes seem to be taking a back seat."[26] Aira of SmasHits wrote "Music of 'Asambhav' is only mediocre. If heard in isolation the music lovers will probably be interested in the techno bit of the entire album."[27]

Asambhav: Track listing
1."Raatein Badi Hain"Hema Sardesai, Naseeruddin Shah, Rajiv Rai & Nayan Rathod06:18
2."Teri Dekh Dekh Ladkaiyan"Udit Narayan & Kavita Krishnamurthy06:08
3."Mashuqa Rubi"Anuradha Sriram07:26
4."Main Sada Hoon"KK07:44
5."Koi Aayega"Sunidhi Chauhan06:15
6."Asambhav Theme"Instrumental07:02
7."Raatein Badi Hain (Instrumental)" 06:18
8."Teri Dekh Dekh Ladkaiyan (Instrumental)" 04:49
9."Mashuqa Rubi (Instrumental)" 07:12
10."Main Sada Hoon (Instrumental)" 07:46
11."Koi Aayega (Instrumental)" 06:12

Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Asambhav". IBOS. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Asambhav: Complete Cast and Crew details". IndiaFm. 23 July 2004. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  3. ^ IndiaFM News Bureau (12 July 2004). "Priyanka Chopra speaks about Asambhav". IndiaFm. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Asambhav (2004) – Box office/business". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  5. ^ a b c Raj Lalwani (14 July 2004). "A Tryst with the Impossible – Asambhav". Glamsham. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Rajiv Rai comes back to Bollywood". Times of India. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Rajiv Rai back to making action films". Times of India. 14 July 2002. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  8. ^ Dominic Ferrao (24 May 2002). "Asambhav -Rajiv Rai's new project". Times of India. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  9. ^ Dominic Ferrao (10 December 2002). "Ash, Arjun Rampal to star in Asambhav". Times of India. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Priyanka Chopra bags Vikram Bhatt's next film". Times of India. 26 April 2003. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Filmfare Awards (1995)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  12. ^ "The Nominations – 1994". Filmfare Awards. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  13. ^ Purva Desai (2004). "Interview with Naseeruddin Shah". Glamsham. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  14. ^ Viral Bhayani (2004). "Interview with Naseeruddin Shah". Glamsham. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  15. ^ a b c Purva Desai (25 May 2004). "Music Launch of 'Asambhav'". Glamsham. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  16. ^ "Asambhav music release". BBC. April 2005. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  17. ^ a b Taran Adarsh (23 July 2004). "Asambhav Movie Review". IndiaFm. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  18. ^ a b Shahid Khan (23 July 2004). "Asambhav Movie Review". Planet Bollywood. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  19. ^ a b Nitika Desai. "Asambhav Movie Review". Apun Ka Choice. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  20. ^ Ronjita Kulkarni (23 July 2004). "'Asambhav': Impossible to take in!". Rediff. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  21. ^ Subhash K. Jha. "Asambhav Movie Review". Glamsham. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  22. ^ Pankaj Shukla. "RAJIV'S FIRST NON-MULTI STARRER IS A NON-STARTER". SmasHits. Archived from the original on 27 October 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  23. ^ a b "Asambhav (2004) – Box Office Earnings". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  24. ^ "Movies: Bollywood box-office report". Rediff. 27 July 2004. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  25. ^ a b c Shahid Khan. "Asambhav Music Review". Planet Bollywood. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  26. ^ Runaq Kotecha. "Asambhav music review". Glamsham. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  27. ^ Aira. "Music Review of Asambhav - The Impossible". SmasHits. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  28. ^ "Asambhav (2004) – Awards". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 13 October 2012.

External linksEdit