9 Apr 2014

Dialogue Baazi: Andaz Apna Apna (1994)

Last Sunday, to be precise, on 6th April 2014, two national newspapers simultaneously celebrated 20 years of the now iconic Hindi film comedy Andaz Apna Apna. It is rare in commercial Hindi cinema when genre takes over star power. Andaz Apna Apna is even more of a rare movie for how often in its running time do the gags work. It is a template that the film's director Rajkumar Santoshi tried to emulate quite unsuccessfully in Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (2009) and Phata Poster Nikla Hero (2013).

Anyway, for a film with a comic insanity very ahead of its time, I remember watching AAA in my childhood and been unimpressed by it's on your face slapstick, exaggerated performances, constant uproar and loud sound recording. The movie's influence has grown on incidental TV views, such that I now own a DVD that is played whenever any movie-loving guest, yet unaware of the movie, stops by.

In a hilarious world purely Wodehouse-ian and unreal, there are no social or life messages here. Yet, if one brings the magnifying glass closer, Ram Gopal Bajaj's (Paresh Rawal's brilliant double role) character of a man so concerned about not wasting time that no smile flickers in his face, is a statement for busybodies. In contrast, Shyam's twin brother Ram alias Teja seems to have more fun plotting and scheming. Of course, there is no such message in the movie, all meant to be damn funny, which it is. But for deciphers like us, Robert's line unwittingly mocking at the timekeepers of the world is a hoot.

It is a swift character introduction. A plane lands, cut to the empty chairs and tables in garden, and Ram Gopal Bajaj briskly walking with Raveena and Karishma trailing. Robert literally appears in this scene twice, first with a newspaper and then, tea. He is the first and only character in the movie to get back at Bajaj's robot-like demeanor:

Robert: Sir, shakkar dalne ka time ho gaya sir?   
Ram Gopal Bajaj: Nonsense!

Andaz Apna Apna released on April 11, 1994, and ironically, flopped

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant mashup of Andaz Apna Apna... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzbSd_lxC6Y