An ‘Andaaz Apna Apna’ Remake, Do We Really Need It?
Will the new generation take kindly to the banal slap stick entertaining comedy that was Andaaz Apna Apna?
If I say, “Shabaash mere cheetay!”, you would guess the film, right? No? Let me try another. “Teja main hoon, mark idhar hai!” You guessed it right. There are innumerable iconic gems that take us back to the slapstick comedy Andaaz Apna Apna, which released in 1994. In a season of challenges, re-making Andaaz Apna Apna after more than two decades can be a killer challenge. It was one of those rare movies like Lamhe and Silsila that failed to fire up the box office but went on to become a cult film over the years.
When I first heard that producers Vinay and Priti Sinha were considering a sequel, my first reaction was quite filmy – Nahin!! Why mess with a loveable classic? Wouldn’t it be sad to watch any other actor, other than Aamir and Salman Khan regurgitate the comic fantasy?
I had lost all hope, but when I read that Varun Dhawan and Ranveer Singh were approached for the sequel, the prospect of a contemporary Andaaz Apna Apna seemed riveting. But, but, but, I have to admit that the rumours of Ranveer Singh and Ranbir Kapoor as Amar and Prem were far more intriguing. What say?
For the un-initiated, let’s rewind the reel to 1994. Far away from intense love stories of the early 90s like Beta, Dil, Saajan and Roja, director Raj Kumar Santoshi had created an entertaining world, bristling with quirky characters and nostalgic OP Nayyar-eque music in Andaaz Apna Apna. The film presented us with a whacky chemistry between the two budding Khans - Aamir and Salman. In a bid to woo a ravishing Raveena, a rich heiress and her cutesy secretary Karisma, the boys tried to outwit each other with every filmy trick possible. Whether it was lacing the food with ‘julaab’, switching drinks laced with poison, riding pillion with Crime Master Gogo or foiling the plans of a moronic Raabert, the boys charmed us all. The pleasure we derived from it was directly proportional to our tolerance for candy floss. And yet, the candy floss had a certain charm and emotion to it.
The script’s banality may well have been deliberate, but we got sucked in by the fun quotient lurking around every corner of the film. What helped was the fact that each character made his/her screen presence felt with their comic timing.
Whether it was Jagdeep as Bankelal Bhopali (Prem’s dad) or Deven Verma as Murli Manohar (Amar’s dad) or Mehmood as the director of Wah Wah Productions, Paresh Rawal as Teja or Viju Khote as Robert - the characters tickled us in myriad ways. Yes, I know. Initially, the critics held their heads in their hands and wondered why and how such saccharine banality can appeal to viewers, but Andaaz Apna Apna went on to become a cult comic caper.
Here-in rests the problem. How do you create characters like Crime Master Gogo and a situation akin to holding a Swayamwar in today’s world? At a time when audiences are appreciating movies like Masaan, Kahaani and Andhadhun, how do you re-create scenes where an actor can simply stick on a beard and people fail to recognise him? Gone are the days when three men in fake beards could proclaim loudly, ‘Ek jagah jab jama ho teeno Amar Akbar Anthony’ and yet no one recognised that they are indeed Amar Akbar and Anthony. Ha!
At a time when the entire matrix of comedy has changed to a realistic Bareilly Ki Barfi or Tanu Weds Manu, rebooting Andaaz Apna Apna can border on being disastrous. Yes, even with Duracell bunnies – Varun Dhawan and Ranveer Singh. For one, the sequel will need clever writing that adapts to modern sensibilities, outstanding music and an assortment of riveting characters who can mouth a volley of memorable one-liners like the old gem ‘Main toh kehta hoon aap purush hi nahi – aap mahapurush hain’.
Since Bollywood is on a success spree with films like Great Grand Masti, Fukrey Returns, Tiger Zinda Hai and Baahubali becoming a franchise, it is time for directors to demarcate a sequel, a reboot, a remake and a franchise. A khichdi is likely to be unappetising, unless it is a well thought out plan with defined distinctions. In the case of Andaaz Apna Apna, a reboot like the Munna Bhai series, where a new story with a similar setting and some repeat characters can aim to relive the experiences of the original, could work best.
Since I’m already thinking aloud, how about Alia Bhatt and Taapsee Pannu as the two fun loving crazy leading ladies? And since we are looking at a laugh riot, how about Aamir, the original Amar in the role of Crime Master GoGo in his inimitable Firangi Mallah style? See, as long as they don’t call it Andaaz Apna Apna 2, or Andaaz Apna Apna Returns, I’m ready with my popcorn. How about calling it - Tune Mari Entry To Dil Main Baji Ghanti. Cheesy, eh? Ranveer Singh will carry it with great chutzpah, don’t worry.
(The views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)
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