Friday, January 9, 2009

Wherein I cheat, address Misters Khan & Khan and explode from adoration: Andaz Apna Apna reloaded.

I've seen plenty of Indian movies, and blogged about a small margin of them, so the problem of posting is never really about lacking a movie to talk about. It's more about what I'm inspired to write about. And so, even though I've already discussed this movie, I'm going to talk about it again. And by talk, I really mean "gush".

So. Andaz Apna Apna. One of the few films where just looking at my collection of screencaps can send me giggling. This is truly one amazingly funny film, and I've loved it to pieces since I first saw it, as a very fresh Bollywood fan. I'd seen the movie mentioned countless times when the topic discussed was "best Hindi comedy ever" before I saw the film and even though there are as many tastes in comedy as there are people, I am pretty much inclined to agree.

Everything about it is just so delicious. From the first moments, the guest appearance by Juhi Chawla (as Juhi Chawla!) meeting Amar (played by Aamir Khan) and a romance developing between them, you start to see the great, parodic, not-too-serious manner that the film adopts. The way Juhi delivers those cheesy lines that Amar's filmi-addled mind is later revealed to have dreamed is very telling of the film's character; it's just loud enough to be hilarious in an outrageous way but yet with a certain subtlety that shows the wit behind it. The makers, the actors, they know what they're doing. The silliness is over-the-top, yet self-aware.

It's exactly that rare type of stupidity and intelligence mixed that makes AAA's formula so successful. That's not to say it's some kind of incredibly deep, layered movie with a message. It's still a comedy; I'd be stupid to say it wasn't. But there is something great about the type of devotion that the film gives to being parodic, self-aware and most importantly, a comedy. It avoids the "interval turn-around" completely - it doesn't suddenly decide to be a serious love story or a family drama. It does its thing and stays true to it until the very end.

The characters are all utterly dim-witted, but in a weirdly charming manner. Amar is a manipulative, scheming dumbo who wouldn't know sincerity if it hit him with a manner, but I love the character all the same. Same goes for Salman's Prem, who's more naive and sincere, but still determined to get what he wants (rich girl Raveena ..played by Raveena!).

I have a hard time thinking of favourite scenes or favourite lines simply because there are so many. In some ways I consider Andaz Apna Apna almost an exhausting comedy; it's just so funny, nearly all the time. It rarely stops to give you time to breathe - even the songs can be hilarious! When I put it on, I have to prepare myself to laugh my head off. Sometimes, something less funny and light may be more in order.

So what's this I hear about a sequel? I'm truly as torn as ever. On one hand I would love for another Khan-Khan collaboration and seeing as how well Salman and Aamir still get along, I think it would work, given the right script and movie. But whether that movie should be a sequel to Andaz Apna Apna or anything emulating its style, I'd have to say "thanks, but no thanks". The movie stands alone; there is no story to come afterwards, and re-making it, even with a lot of the key players, seems pointless. If it still works for modern audiences in its current form, why change it?

So, dear Misters Khhhan and Khan (should either of you be reading, you blogger people you!), enjoy your current success and by all means make a movie together, but don't bother making sure it's of the same breed as Andaz Apna Apna. Such scripts are one of a kind. A good original comedy I would gladly welcome, however. And if we truly mean to make some sort of AAA re-union happen, let's not forget to pull the ladies out of their pro-longed maternity leaves and get Raveena and Karisma into this project, as well (I always thought Raveena was a criminally underrated comedienne in the 90's). Paresh Rawal returning goes without saying, of course.

Before I leave you, I must link to the fabulous write-up of the film by TheBollywoodFan, that explains a lot of the cultural comedy references woven into the movie.

Oi maa!


Darshit said...

The Best Indian Comedy Ever...
No sequel needed.

Oooi Maa...

theBollywoodFan said...

It's exactly that rare type of stupidity and intelligence mixed that makes AAA's formula so successful.

Absolutely agree, and thank you for the link! I have never tired of AAA.

Wouldn't at all like a remake in which Aamir and Salman do not play the two young men (Salman recently said they wouldn't qualify any longer, which is great), but if they came up with a sequel, I'm all for it. Also totally agree on Karisma and Raveena -- it wouldn't be near the same without them.


veracious said...

Darshit - True.

theBollywoodfan - Knew you'd reply to this!

In any remake/sequel, they shouldn't play young men any more!

Andaz Apna Apna Movie said...

I love this movie... thanks for sharing your thoughts...