From ‘Moochein’ to Flying Cars – The Fall and Fall of Comedy!

How would the legendary Utpal Dutt respond to the new remake of his cult classic ‘Golmaal’? Not well, we think. 

2 min read

The article was originally published on 29 March 2018 and has been republished from The Quint archives. On Utpal Dutt’s birth anniversary, The Quint brings you a video that imagines the thoughts the classic Golmaal’s Utpal Dutt would have if he were alive to watch the new Golmaal today! Sit back, relax and enjoy!

Cameraperson: Abhay Sharma
Editor: Prashant Chauhan
Producer & Actor: Shoubhik Palit

In Bombay they make films as a factory makes soap and sells it, wholesale or retail. The masses want them that way, they say. In reality, they have manipulated the masses into a state of cultural prostration.
Utpal Dutt, in a seminar in 1992

This is exactly how Utpal Dutt would have felt even today after watching the remake of his cult film Golmaal’ that aired way back in 1979.

Indians remember Utpal Dutt as the iconic Bhawani Shankar from the cult comedy flick Golmaal. Little do they know that he was multifaceted personality. He was a thinker, a theatre artist, a playwright and a director. With a career spanning over four decades, he has acted in over 100 Bengali and Hindi films. He won the National award for best actor in Mrinal Sen’s Bengali film Bhuvan Shome. He also won filmfare awards in the category of Best Comic Actor and supporting role for films like Golmaal, Naram Garam, Rang Birangi and Saheb.

In sharp contrast to his esteemed acting career, at one point between these films, he joined the underground Maoist guerrilla movement in Bengal to engineer a political revolution through violence.

He also started his theatre group in the late 40s called ‘Little Theatre Group’ to develop the growth of modern theatre.

But his “achaaaaa” and “Beta, Ram Prasad” is something none of us can forget. He played the moustache-obsessed boss to Amol Palekar in Golmaal and people fell in love. His comic timing was on point.

Cut to present-day Golmaal. The crass and unbearably loud comedy is in stark difference to 1979 comedy blockbuster. The older Golmaal’s comedy was situational, the present day Golmaal is filled with double-meaning dialogues and the comedy is so forced that you almost want to puke. Where the older Golmaal had some stellar performances, the new Golmaal just makes you cringe.

(This story was originally published in Quint Hindi.)

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