Cult kisne dekha
It is not necessary for something to be a hit to be appreciated. You might harp on the saying, “Justice delayed is justice denied”. But sometimes, it does work in the opposite direction. The film industry (anywhere in the world) runs on just one purpose, get the moolah. Yet, not all flicks meet the same fate. Some get into the flop mode only to become a cult on television or video format. In this first of the series, I prefer writing on five films which I have appreciated. Yes, there are much worthier films out there in the world of cinema but one is authorised to write on only those films which they have seen.
JAANE BHI DO YAARO
No need to screech. It has been confirmed to be a cult classic and is rated as one of the best Indian films of all time. What makes this movie interesting is that it has become a benchmark for all dark comedies, especially ones which talk about corruption in politics, media and business. Two simple-minded photographers become pawns in the hands of a newspaper editor who wants to expose a bureaucrat and an industrialist but has some ulterior motive. Every scene is a masterpiece and the Mahabharata episode at the end is like the perfect icing on an amazing dark chocolate cake (just saying cake is an understatement here). Nothing has changed even in today’s scenario; neither its humour nor the issue it deals with.
FYI: The lead characters were named after director assistants, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Sudhir Mishra. Chopra even starred in the film as Dusshasan.
ANDAZ APNA APNA
Shocked to find it here? Reality is, the film could not garner enough money to become a success. Over the years, it has garnered a reputation for itself, as a result of which there are many talks of a sequel. If you look at it from the critics point of view, silly is the first word which would crop up. But that is exactly what makes the movie amazing, its silliness. The other consists of some memorable characters, say Crime Master Gogo and Teja. The film is basically about two good-for-nothing young guys trying to get the attention of an heiress, Raveena Bajaj. But villain Teja is interested in her money too. The fun is not in talking about it but watching it.
FYI: When the film was being shot, the lead actresses were apparently not on good terms with each other. But catfights in Bollywood are nothing new, right?
DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT
If you love Leslie Nielsen, chances are, this film might be on your radar. A parody on Bram Stroker horror classic and the innumerable films made on Count Dracula (especially the Hammer Classics starring Christopher Lee, and the vampire made famous by Bela Lugosi), the film was demolished by the critics. Yet when you see it now, you find the humour rib-tickling at the most. Mel Brooks stars as the vampire hunter Professor Van Helsing. The story is the same but the treatment is just too funny.
FYI: It was co-written by Mel Brooks and he was also the film’s director. He had made an earlier spoof on another horror classic called Young Frankenstein and it was a success.
Never heard of it? You are not forgiven. This Hindi film is a classic example of a movie which did not get much space on the big screen but sold many copies on DVD. A parody on Hindi films, it could be called one of the underrated comedies. It has genuinely crazy dialogues and scenes which make you go ‘baaaahh‘ and laugh out till your stomach hurts. Where can you find a hero’s father, who is a ‘mayyat ka saman bechne wala‘, goes on measuring people (if he feels they are going to die) and feels bad about news talking about people’s safety? I leave you to figure the film’s humour with this one line used in the film – Arjun se Krishna ne Ramayan main kaha tha kee zindagi ek safar hai suhana yahan kal kya hoga kisne jana.
FYI: The film’s villain Anupam Kher was going to do a villainous character in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro called Disco Killer.
Film buffs would agree that this Mani Ratnam movie is one of his best but under-rated works. Literally meaning ‘The Duo’, the film is an indirect documentation of the friendship and the subsequent rivalry between Tamil film and political biggies M.G.Ramchandran (MGR) and Karunanidhi. Apart from some innovative music by AR Rahman (as always) and cinematography by Santosh Sivan, it is the acting which lends a certain credibility. South stars Mohanlal and Prakash Raj (the villain in Singham and currently a lot of other recent movies) play the lead roles.
FYI: Prakash Raj was one of the last choices for the role. Some of the actors associated earlier were Nana Patekar, Mammotty, Kamal Hassan, Mithun Chakraborty and even R Madhavan. Raj received a National Award for this role.