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Rang Birangi, Aloo Chat : Filmy Experiment Gone Wrong

10 May

So, what’s common between Rang Birangi and Aloo Chat? Ok, lets recall Pati Patni Aur Woh and DDLJ, any bells ringing yet??

David Dhawan’s movie Hero No.1 was a good mix of Bawarchi and DDLJ. Govinda becomes a cook/servant to gain entry into Karishma’s house only to impress her family members and gain their confidence. Of course, lots of movies got inspired by DDLJ and lots of such movies came out, some good…some bad. Similarly, PPAW inspired a string of movies where bosses flirt with their secretaries.

PPAW released in 1978, made under BR Films banner and was directed by BR Chopra. The story was about Ranjeet Chaudhary, a family man who is happily married with a kid. His wife is very nice, caring and faithful; and yet Ranjeet goes out of his way to feign his wife’s illness so he can gain his secretary’s mercy. And this pity turns into more care and affection from her side. Ranjeet does succeed at this and gets the required affection, but at what cost? Sanjeev Kumar played the loving husband and later the lecherous boss, Ranjeeta played the low-key secretary who was a middle-class working woman and not the stereotyped secretary, and finally Vidya Sinha played the loyal and loving wife.

DDLJ, made in 1994, paved the way for NRI audience targetted movie. There is nothing to write about this movie because everybody knows everything about it.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee wrote the screenplay and directed this movie made in 1983 and titled it Rang Birangi. The movie directly picks on the idea of PPAW. Ajay Sharma is the boss of a company and has a beautiful wife in Nirmala. His secretary is Anita, a very dedicated and beautiful woman. Ajay finds his life boring as he is involved in mundane stuff of office activities. That’s when his friend Ravi lands up in his office and quizzes him about Anita. Ajay is offended initially by the thought of flirting with a secretary but Ravi narrates to him the story of PPAW, how Sanjeev Kumar lies about his wife’s health and gains the warmly arms of his secretary. Ravi pushes Ajay into trying the experiment which seems to succeed at first, but later falls flat. How things start going awry makes for a good laugh.

Amol Palekar was Ajay, the boss; Parveen Babi was his wife and Deepti Naval was the simple and nice secretary. The friend who plants the idea in Amol Palekar’s mind was played by Deven Verma. It was a refreshing look at how PPAW situation works only in movies; talk of innovation, one movie referencing another. Coincidentally, Parveen Babi who plays the wife in this movie, actually makes a guest appearance as Sanjeev Kumar’s secretary in PPAW.

Anyways, Aloo Chat makes a direct reference to DDLJ. Nikhil is US returned guy who is in love with Amna, a muslim girl. His parents are orthodox and he does not know how to speak/convince his parents about his love. Nikhil approaches his mamaji who suggests that he should take the DDLJ route. Nikhil’s mamaji hatches a plot whereby Nikhil would bring an american girl, Nikki, home in the pretext of marrying her; and Amna would accompany Nikki. While Amna would try to impress Nikhil’s parents, Nikki would try to create a bad impression so that Nikhil’s parents would approve of Amna at the end of it all; trying to create the reduced-shock-effect…zor ka jhatka dheere se lage. As was supposed to be the result of this experiment, it fails and things go haywire causing much confusion and evokes a lot of laughs. Aftab Shivdasani played Nikhil, and Amna was played by Amna Sharif, her debut movie. A special mention of mamaji played by Manoj Pahwa, who was the narrator and backbone of the movie.

There are many movies which reflect/inspire/copy/plagiarise another movie. Very few movies actually experiment keeping an eye and alluding another movie. So, are there any other movies which make direct references to another movie? An experiment falling under its own weight?? I am really eager to know of it.

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Posted by on May 10, 2009 in bollywood, movies

 

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