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Monday, July 16, 2018

Minding the Mindless

Remember the scene in Housefull 2 where a crocodile jumps out of water to bite John Abraham’s posterior ?

Written by PriyankaPereira | Published: July 2, 2012 2:12:36 am

Remember the scene in Housefull 2 where a crocodile jumps out of water to bite John Abraham’s posterior,or Ajay Devgn breaking the finger of anyone who dares to point it at him in Golmaal 3? These sequences defy logic,as much as Salman Khan romancing Asin while hanging precariously from a tree on a cliff in Ready does. But then,that’s precisely been the USP of brothers Sajid and Farhad Samji,who have become Bollywood’s bankable movie writers. Over the years,the duo has been termed “the minds behind mindless entertainers”. And they don’t seem to mind it,at all.

“We are writers by fluke,” says Sajid,when asked about their entry into Bollywood. His younger brother Farhad nods in affirmation. They grew up in Mumbai,after which,the family shifted to Bengaluru. They assisted in the family’s restaurant business there for a while. But in 2002,they moved to Mumbai to try their luck in the film industry.

They had no background in films,barring the fact that they grew up on a diet of Hindi cinema. They came to Mumbai with a bank of songs and did rounds of impromptu singing on the sets of various films. “We even used to carry a plastic bucket along to use it as a drum while trying to sell our songs,” recollects Sajid. Impressed with them,Salman Khan got the brothers to write the song Munna Mobile,Pappu Pager in David Dhawan’s Hum Kisise Kum Nahin (2002) — a film Salman had signed at the time. The actor dropped out of the film later,but Sajid-Farhad were retained.

“This paved the way for more writing assignments. The turning point came when we wrote the title track of Munnabhai MBBS. Ram Gopal Varma heard it and told us that we narrate stories through our lyrics,” says Farhad. Varma then offered them his film Shiva (2006) with Mohit Ahlawat. “Ramu was the one who encouraged us,after which,Rohit Shetty offered us to write dialogues for his film Sunday,” says Sajid,who along with his brother has written dialogues for big-budget films such as Ready,Golmaal 2,Golmaal 3,All The Best,Double Dhamaal and Singham.

It has been a mixed decade for the brothers. “It’s been five years of struggle and five years of success,” says Farhad.

They are currently working on Shetty’s next Chennai Express,Sajid Khan’s Himmatwala remake,and a movie each with Sanjay Dutt and Akshay Kumar. “In the beginning,we took whatever offers came our way. Now,we pick and choose. However,entertainment remains our underlying mantra,” states Sajid.

For the writers,the inspiration comes from mingling with common people. “We meet people from various walks of life and borrow from their lingo. Farhad does a lot of online research and studies the pulse of the audience,” says Sajid. Yet,most of their homework is done in theatres — by watching movies and noticing the audience reaction. “I study the punchlines that make the viewers laugh,” he adds.

The brothers,with their wacky sense of humour,may have won the goodwill of the industry and the audience adulation,but they are yet to please the critics. “Singham is the only film for which we got good reviews,” says Sajid. Farhad promptly adds: “Reviews or awards don’t really matter to us. It is rewarding when a child walks up to us and says,Maaji satak li,the popular dialogue from Singham.”

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