Hi, to those people who clicked on this review by just reading its name!
Now, that everybody is comfortably settled in the new year and drawing upon the realization that history has a weird way of repeating itself, especially, when comes to following through with one’s resolution; once again, the holiday spirit starts to simmer low and the excitement of new beginnings wears off. We find ourselves slowly removed from the over-enthused affirmations/resolutions with which we started the year.
As I know myself fairly well, I have decided that I will take a little help from the people who are special to me and write a review of their favourite movie. So today, I choose one of the favoured films of my dear friend, co-writer of this blog post, and a kind soul, Gaurav Dorje. A person who not only directs my role professionally but also motivates me to become a proficient writer. Also, I could not help but go with his choice, as he has picked one of the most under-rated yet most entertaining Bollywood movies of all time, ‘Andaz Apna Apna’.
Watch the trailer of this movie:
- Director: Rajkumar Santoshi
- Screenplay by: Aditya Sohoni and Dilip Shukla
- Music By: Tushar Bhatia
- Cinematography: Ishwar Bidri
- Edited by: V. N. Mayekar
- Amar Manohar: Aamir Khan
- Prem Bhopali: Salman Khan
- Raveena (fake) / Karishma: Raveena Tandon
- Karishma (fake) / Raveena Bajaj: Karisma Kapoor
- Teja Bajaj and Ram Gopal Bajaj: Paresh Rawal
- Crime Master Gogo: Shakti Kapoor
- Robert: Viju Khote
- Vinod Bhalla: Shehzad Khan
- Release Date: 11 April 1994
This movie is like the series ‘Friends’- it never gets old. In fact, the older it gets the funnier it becomes. Experts and avid movie fans are now finally decoding the barrage of comical subtleties and interpretable lessons in a movie made two decades ago. This movie consists of every element that makes a movie a comical one; may that be its songs (‘Do Mastanae’, ‘Ye Raat Aur Ye Doori’, ‘Ello Ello’, etc. composed by Tushar Bhatia), the twisted, comical script, the dialogue delivery, scene setting, costume design, character development, etc. There are barely two scenes that pass by without the viewer erupting into blistering laughter or a quiet snigger at carefully placed innuendos.
This movie, or shall we say, this comical grenade released on 4th November 1994 casts Amir Khan, Salman Khan, Raveena Tandon, Karishma Kapoor, Paresh Rawal and Shakti Kapoor. And, I know, it will be an understatement if I say their performance in this movie was good. They were so natural and organic that after a while the viewer might even forget that they were acting. And, to add to that, the director used the actresses’ real names (Ravina and Karishma) and intertwined (not just interchanged) the names of the two characters to add another layer of confusion and comical element into the movie, and more importantly, kind of breaking the fourth wall, and laying an interception of names- a “Nameception” in a rather subtle, implicit and cunning manner. Also, don’t forget the movie within the movie and the short but special cameo by ‘Juhi Ji’. Add to this the fact that the settings and scenes (including songs) are shot in everyday locations, the movie looks more like a regular comedy of errors than a planned project: notwithstanding the fact that the movie took three years to complete.
The director and writer, Rajkumar Santoshi, who also directed and wrote serious and intense movies such as, ‘Damini’ and ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’ composes an epic comedy film by adding folds of comical plot over a string of a simple straight forward storyline. In simple words, the movie is like an onion with layers of subplots and sub-subplots. Another admirable fact is how Santoshi allows each character to flourish and develop fully- no character, no matter how small, is without meaning.
The story revolves around two middle-class bachelors who keep dreaming of a short cut to a rich and lavish life. Lady luck knocks at the doors when they realize they merely have to win the heart of and marry the only daughter of a wealthy businessman, Ram Gopal Bajaj (Paresh Rawal) to fulfil their ambitions. Now to do exactly that, these two bachelors had to face enormous but hilarious obstacles. The great misconception that all they have to do is woo the girl, impress the girl’s father and then, get married and live a rich and happy life. falls flat on their faces when the twists and turns that life places on their expectations knocks them back to reality and draw out hilarious fails.
Those poor bachelors went through the confusion of realising that their father-in-law (Ram Gopal Bajaj) had an evil twin brother (Teja) who wants to usurp his brother’s identity and his wealth to the realization that Karishma is Raveena and Raveena is Karishma. Confused much? Furthermore, the two dumb spies (Robert and Bhalla) of the evil twin brother also cause immense confusion for Ram Gopal and Teja that ultimately sees them locked up in the dungeons of my most favourite comic villain of all, Crime Master Gogo (Shakti Kapoor). In the meanwhile, the two ‘heros’ manage to free the evil Teja and lock Ram Gopal back in the cell.
The barrage of ‘pilaan’ (plan) that Robert and Bhalla conjure to get rid of the two heros and help Teja in his missions are both hilarious and admirable. The way their plans blow up on the face causes more torment to Teja than the two goons- Quit literally (remember: “kiske mama ki gun?”). And that’s not all, the ‘heros’, too, plan a criminal act that initially seems to work very well only to come out as a major setback to them and a major push to the impending climax to the madhouse riot that had been going on in circles.
The other movies which are written and directed by Rajkumar Santoshi are notable, but ‘Andaz Apna Apna’, I am sure, is one of those movies for which his audiences will remember him for the longest of times. The movie was way ahead of its times and constantly pushed the fourth wall by first using the real names of the two lead heroines, and by using several pop culture references in the movie (including the two goons), and the plots within plots. The ageless dialogues as, “do dost ek hi pyale se chai piyenge” (keep your enemies close), “Bread ka Badshah aur omelette ka raja, Teja” (don’t count your chickens before they hatch-literally), “wah wah kya shakal hai teri- thu thu thu thu thu” (outward praise vs inner hatred), and many more are a funny first impression, but they are actually life lessons- by the book. The icing on the cake is that the two lead heros are ironically named ‘Amar’ and ‘Prem’ meaning ‘Immortal or Timeless Love’, when in the movie the main intent of love on the part of those two characters is merely a sham and a lie. From then to now, this movie is enjoyed by all the people from all generations. Though when this movie was released, it was not received well, it failed at the box office. But, it remains a hit in the hearts of the present and remains a timeless classic for the upcoming generations. Who knows, future Media and PR/Marketing students might end up doing case studies on this movie.
If you are ever in a mood of a lighthearted and frolicsome type of a movie on a lazy Sunday or Saturday (or, whenever you are feeling lazy) afternoon, then your selection of watching this comic masterpiece would be an apt decision.
I would recommend this movie to even those who do not understand the Hindi language. Find a subtitled version of this movie and enjoy a Bollywood film that literally starts by pokes fun at its overtly melodramatic aspects. Further, if you can’t find this movie then go to YouTube, and enjoy its songs. I know, I enjoy them till today; singing ‘Do Mastanae’ with my friend over tea.
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Until next time, take care and enjoy!