How to Update ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ for the Millennials
Rajkumar Santoshi’s Andaz Apna Apna is the latest film to fall victim to the remake fad that has Bollywood in its uninspired clutches. Not content with butchering classic songs and ruining childhoods, the powers that be have decided to turn their jaundiced eyes onto this cult comedy.
When reports of the remake starring Varun Dhawan and Ranveer Singh broke out, custodians of 90s memories rushed to their nearest social media website to rage while the obligatory trouble-stirrers pointed out that the film had never been very good to begin with.
It is hard to dispute that Andaz Apna Apna is dated now in a way its contemporaries like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun don’t seem to be. Many lovers of AAA will argue, of course, that it is those exact qualities that give the film its enduring charm.
Since we are all but little ticket-purchasing cogs to the juggernaut that is Bollywood and no amount of outrage is likely to turn the tide on this production, we decided that we might as well get on board and offer a few words to the wise while there. Here are a few suggested changes that would make the film fit in better with the Netflix-and-chill crowd.
1. Amar (Aamir Khan) and Prem (Salman Khan) were essentially daydreaming ne’er-do-wells who sell off their fathers’ properties without their knowledge to fund their enterprise. The remake should retain this sense of reckless adventurism in the face of middle class solidity. Maybe have the two heroes involved in some disastrous, shady venture involving bitcoin?
2. Amar and Prem now share a Netflix account, instead of a cup of tea, to cement the bonds of brotherhood and friendship.
3. Either Raveena (Karishma Kapoor) or Karishma (Raveena Tandon) need to harbour a secret ambition to become a major Instagram influencer.
4. There definitely needs to be at least one Ghajini reference during the scenes where Amar “loses” his memory to keep things postmodern and meta.
5. A same-sex storyinvolving Robert (Viju Khote) and Bhalla (Shehzad Khan) but only in the spirit of tokenism for the woke crowd.
6. Ram Gopal Bajaj (Paresh Rawal) is now a quintessential NRI millionaire from the US. He thinks demonetisation was a masterstroke and carries his own water-bottle everywhere.
7. Crime Master Gogo’s (Shakti Kapoor) antics, recorded on a stray smartphone during the climactic fight, inspire a gritty Anurag Kashyap web-series, complete with a tragic backstory involving neglectful parents and child labour. Comic books and action figures follow once he signs a licensing deal with Comic Con India. The Crime Master Gogo Costume is voted as the most popular one among cosplayers three years in a row.
8. The filmmakers officially acknowledge memes as a legitimate form of film discourse by incorporating green screen shots for digital manipulation; they also include many wide panoramas of the main stars against pristine white or black backgrounds that make imposing Comic Sans text onto images easy.
9. One title couple opts to live-in together for a year or two as a bohemian experiment (#progress). The other makes a joint Facebook page.
10. An Andaz Apna Apna Cinematic Universe is announced after the release of the film, with filmmakers promising us decades of more movies fleshing out the stories of all peripheral, blink-and-you-miss-them characters. We resign ourselves to this state of things while we await the eventual heat death of the universe.
(Neha Yadav is a doctoral candidate at BITS, Goa. When not engaged in narrative nit-picking in her professional capacity, she can be found doing it for the sheer pleasure of it.)