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Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Aamir, Salman’s madcap ‘Andaz Apna Apna’

The film is 20 years old, still it effortlessly finds its way into one’s daily life.

'Andaz Apna Apna' celebrates 20 years. ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ celebrates 20 years.

‘The film connects because of its fantastic characterization’

‘Fukrey’ director Mrighdeep Singh Lamba pens a fanboy tribute

I am a sucker for madness on screen. ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ remains one of the few absolutely crazy film rides I have ever taken in mainstream Bollywood.

The film is 20 years old, still it effortlessly finds its way into one’s daily life. Till today, people mouth the dialogues and it doesn’t just stop here. The brilliance of the film is proved when people take these dialogues to explain situations. Take, for instance, the “Aaya hoon toh kuch leke jaaunga..” line, which is used by anyone who forcefully takes up an opportunity or makes use of unplanned chance. Another atrociously funny dialogue, “Gogo ji aapka ghagra..” is not just used when someone is unaware of a wardrobe malfunction but also referred to anything out of place.

The biggest reason of the film’s connect is the fantastic characterisation. One doesn’t remember the film as a Salman Khan or an Aamir Khan film, one remembers it because of the memorable characters. Each one is unique and has a quirk. Put Amar, Prem, Teja, Gogo, Anand Akela, Bhalla and Robert in any situation and they will have you rolling on the floor with laughter.

As a filmmaker, I know how difficult it is to make one person laugh and then to make a room full of people laugh is something else. Then to make them laugh at the same jokes every time is something only a genius film can achieve. This is what ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ does for me every time I watch it.

Simplicity is the most difficult thing to achieve. Just like, it’s not the sharpness of the knife but the heat of it that cuts through the butter — in the case of ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ the heat is what comes from the team’s experience. The film for me is spontaneity par excellence. There are films of various genres and then there is ‘Andaz Apna Apna’, a genre in itself.

‘Andaz Apna Apna didn’t have a bound script’

Dileep Shukla, the dialogue writer of ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ talks about the magic of improvisation that shaped the film we love

How did the idea of the film come about?
After the success of Ghayal and Damini, director Rajkumar Santoshi and I had become a formidable team. Santoshi had an idea that he shared it with Aamir (Khan) and Salman (Khan). Both the actors loved the idea so much that they came on board instantly.

So the film never had a bound script?
That was the nature of this film. Comedy films usually depend a lot on improvisation and even if they have a bound script, they improve upon it. After Aamir and Salman signed film, the film evolved. For example, when Prem is asked whether he has seen Sholay, Amar says “Iske baap ne likhi hai” which was a reference to Salman’s father Salim Khan who co-wrote Sholay with Javed Akhtar. Also, a lot depended on timing. Every actor had their specific timing and an ada, which a writer can’t really confine in words. The sharbat glass football scene evolved like that. It could never be explained in a script.

The confusion of names with reference to real names of Raveena Tandon and Karisma Kapoor was a crackling idea. It was actually the doing of an assistant director. One day, out of confusion, he called Raveena, Karisma and vice versa. We thought it had the sense of instant humour. We incorporated it immediately.

Crime Master Gogo as Mr India’s Mogambo’s nephew, how did that come about?

Gabbar Singh was an iconic villain, but he was a crude character. Mogambo was not really of threatening nature. We wanted a character who would talk big but would do little in action, which is why Mogambo was a correct reference for us.

How did you deal with the film’s debacle?
We did go to the theatre when it released and saw very few turning up at the shows. It was difficult to deal with for some time, but we had to move on. We genuinely believed that we had made something good. I don’t really know why the film didn’t work then and why it’s working now even with the new generation who term it as a cult.

How do you see the sequel?

Since Amar and Prem have gotten married in the first film, in the sequel, we can reveal that both have two younger brothers. Aamir’s brother can be played by Ranbir Kapoor and Salman’s brother can be Imran Khan. Ranbir’s character can be named Imran and Imran can be named Ranbir, so that it creates another quasi-realistic sense of humour and in turn, confusion. Raveena and Karisma should also have sisters who are friends. Shakti Kapoor’s Crime Master Gogo should be bedridden and a new comic villain can be unearthed. And Paresh Rawal has to be seen in the film or else it won’t look like a fun and worthy sequel.

‘Tinnu Anand was supposed to play Gogo’ 

Crime Master Gogo was supposed to be played by Tinnu Anand. In fact, he came up with the dialogue “Aankhen nikaal kar gotiyan khelunga”. It’s been really long, but if I remember correctly, there were some problems with his dates or he was out of the country. When I was offered the part, I did call up Tinnu and took his permission to do the role. Once I got into the role, I was told that the most popular line of my character was coined by him.

The solo fight with Salman Khan during the climax was actually conceived with Aamir Khan in mind. In fact, we shot a bit of it too, but Aamir wasn’t really comfortable with the idea. That’s when Salman and I became part of that fight.

In the last scene where Amar and Prem’s marriage proposal is getting accepted, Crime Master Gogo is part of the happy end, standing along with the police inspector. Originally, he was supposed to be arrested and taken away. I went to Mr Santoshi, our director, and told him that since he’s such a lovable villain, and doesn’t have menace in him, he must be part of the happy ending, and not put behind bars like a typical villain. Now when I look back, it was such a wise suggestion.

When I was shooting for ‘Andaz Apna Apna’, I was doing three-four shifts daily, but shooting for this film never felt like work because we enjoyed creating it so much. It has to be one of the finest films of my career, and a happy memory.

The Further Adventures of Amar & Prem 

Vinil Mathew 
(director, hasee toh phasee) 

Since ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ refers a lot to real life and makes a great comedy out of it, we can see Salman in his new ‘Dabangg’ avatar and Aamir has turned into the villain of ‘Dhoom 3′. Then we find that Crime Master Gogo is out again to seek revenge. Then we reveal that Aamir loses his memory like his character in ‘Ghajini’. Meanwhile, we discover Aamir actually has a twin brother in Toronto. Two romantic interests can also be planted to increase the confusion. Now, Crima Master Gogo can join hands with the twin brother, and turn this into a globetrotting adventure comedy. 

Sanjay Chouhan 
(writer, paan singh tomar) 

Since ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ was spoofy, anything less than outlandish won’t work. Harishankar Parsai’s story Inspector Matadeen Chand Par can be tweaked. We can send Amar and Prem on a mission to Mars to solve a murder case. Over there, they find people are nice and law abiding and the suspects are two beautiful girls. We can have Amar suspecting Prem’s girlfriend while assuming his girlfriend is innocent. And there can be another villain who wants to sabotage the operation. And the friends or relatives of Crime Master Gogo can be lurking around.

 

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