How does one define ‘cult’? Don’t ask me. All I know is Paresh Rawal berating a skinny Salman and a yet to be perfectionist Aamir could be the single greatest scene in cinema. And I mean that, in-my-humble-opinion and all the be damned. All right, maybe Andaz Apna Apna wasn’t path-breaking or revolutionary. It was just a bunch of people fooling around on camera, which is more difficult than it sounds. Ask Paris Hilton. The acting may not be in the Daniel Day-Lewis category, the music was probably composed on a Rs. 300 Casio keyboard. Karishma Kapoors’s unibrow is bushier than Anil Kapoor’s chest. And yet it all just seems to work out somehow. It’s not the best, and it’s not perfect. It just fits (That’s what she said!) It has it’s own kitschy charm about it. I guess that’s why it’s cult. And because of the following 3 reasons:
The Dialogues :
The 90’s where the halcyon days of Kumar Sanu’s career. That should tell you all you need to know about that unholy decade. Loud, annoying lyrics and dialogues where the hero (a 40 year old clad in bright white sneakers, jeans and a gaudy, paunch-hiding shirt) seduced his heroine (a 17 year old curly haired Daddy’s girl with eyes the size of saucers) over chai. Each sentence started with “Suniyejee…..” and ended with profuse blushing. It’s no surprise really, the Lucknowi mannerisms and politeness was prevalent in that era. But Andaz Apna Apna took this whole setup and turn it around on its head, parodying it with such success that people still quote it. To turn around the menacing, hooded villains punchline and twist to make it about playing marbles with eyeballs requires a lot of psychedelic drugs and too much time spent alone.
The Characters :
The 90’s had Crime-m'fuckin’-master Gogo. Fast forward to the current era and who do you have in the villain department? Don, RDX, Kabira (speaking) Tushar Kapoor’s nipples. They don’t hold a candle to the over-the-top hijinks of Shakti Kapoor. The old one, not the creepy older dude we currently have to bear with while wondering how did the fruit of his loins turn out so damn good-looking.
Every actor looks born to play the part given to them, and giving the part of the father to comic legends like Jagdeep (Javed Jaffery’s father) and Deven Verma (Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s boy wonder) is pure genius. And to add to that a cameo by Mehmood (Lucky Ali’s pop) was a masterstroke. The bumbling henchmen Robert and Shehzad Khan as Bhalla (mimicking his Dad Ajit, seriously look him up, bet you recognize him). Even the minor characters are so good it feels wrong to not mention them. And Karishma and Raveena still looking fresh as daises. So I assume she hadn’t met Akshay yet. Bazzingaa! (That felt weird, I’m never using that again) . Paresh Rawal is damn good it’s almost unfair to his co-stars. Switching between the sleazy Teja,whose idea of a good time is being fed grapes by girls in chaniya cholis, and the Uncle who is every guy’s worst nightmare as a girl’s dad.
Eternal Looouvvv (aka Amar Prem):
These guys. Where do I even begin? It’s so heartwarming to see a young Salman, not ‘being human’ and being a carefree entertaining actor for once. And Aamir Khan plays the streetsmart motormouth so effortlessly it’s ridiculous. Let’s see one of these current pampered chikna attempt this and not look miserably fake. The banter between them is the stuff of legends and imitated (pretty poorly) by everyone after a few cold ones. Or in bus journey, what better time is there to whip out your fancy corduroy pants and woolen sweaters and boodie to “Bom Bom”. We all know a couple like this in real life (shoutouts to Mau, Dhano, Man, Bhavs, Pani), maybe that’s why it’s so easy to love them.
Comedies like this may never be made again, but people like Ranbir and Akshay do give me some hope. Anyway, honestly this isn’t a critical analysis of a movie. This is plea for the ignorant fools who haven’t watched this gem of a movie to arrange a screening for friends and family right now.