Andaz Apna Apna -A Madhouse

Andaz Apna Apna, released in 1994, is a cult classic in Indian Cinema. Today’s major Khans had young blood running in their veins at the time, which is perhaps why they were able to pull off this ridiculously amazing movie with the innocence it required. Aamir Khan, playing Amar, is a lower middle class son of a barber. Spendthrift, narcissistic and street smart, he knows how to talk his way out of (most) situations. Salman Khan, playing Prem, has a similar financial background, being the son of a tailor. The only difference is that he likes to  believe that he is smart, when in reality his life revolves around the principle of “iss bewakoof ko aur bewakoof mat bana.” The two men are strangers, and only meet in their pursuit of a rich young woman from London, who has come to India to find a groom for herself and by default, an inheritor for her father’s fortune. This bachelorette named Raveena (from London), played by Raveena ( last name Tandon) has a secretary and confidante called Karishma, played by Karishma Kapoor.

Do you notice something funny?

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Yes. The characters’ names are awfully similar to their own (Salman is anyway known in most households as Prem). The movie breaks the general conception of being in a vacuum away from reality. The characters most often have their own songs as backdrops, like the epic scene where Amar inaugurates the jail and ‘Papa Kehte Hain’ plays in the background. After the interval, the movie begins by Prem recognizing that the story of the characters has reached its second half.

Moving on. The two suitors decide to team up in order to get rid of all the other suitors. Afterwards, the courtship of Raveena is taken up by both in turns. Amar ‘loses’ his memory in a twisted plan to reach the rich girl’s bedroom, by creeping her out to a level that she loses her shit and smacks him across his head with a ‘danda’ that he so willingly offers. Prem, never too far behind, enters as a doctor and decides to stay and heal the patient. Why, you ask? Out of the goodness of his heart, of course.

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‘Smart boys’, as Bhalla would say. Bhalla and Robert are the beautifully fleshed out almost villains of the movie. Assistants to the main villain, Teja, they follow (or try to, anyway) his orders of killing his twin brother’s daughter, Raveena. Disguised as her house maids, they make many embarrassingly weak attempts to do away with the girl. Meanwhile, the two lovers continue to exhaustively hit on Raveena, until Prem begins to discover that he has the hots for… Karishma! At precisely this moment, the boys’ worlds are turned upside down.

“Woh jo hai, woh main nahi hoon, aur main jo hoon, woh woh nahi hai.”

Karishma is Raveena, the rich one, and Raveena is Karishma, the not so rich one. The movie keeps the tone of a comedy rather than a tragedy, as the two sets of lovers keep their romance going despite the new found information. This is when Raveena’s father (Teja’s twin bro) decides to drop by from London. A man bound by his manners and discipline, he takes one look at Prem and Amar and shoos them away.

This is when the movie really picks up. The wannabe grooms decide to get the father kidnapped to be able to save him later, and the villain gang also comes up with the very same plan. With confusion that lies at the center of the movie’s climax, the father goes to the villain’s side and the two boys have to manage an actual rescue. What happens next?

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There’s chaos everywhere. The whole cast reunites in a shady basement to free the newly kidnapped Raveena and Karishma from the evergreen and extremely entertaining Crime Master Gogo. This is where Shakti Kapoor delivers the best performance of his life with “Yeh Teja Teja kya hai?”

Amid an insanely mind baffling scene containing heroes, heroines, twin brothers, villains, barely villains, clowns, random men with guns, and “100 crore ke heere,” the movie reaches its comic peak. In the end, the diamonds are returned to the father, the girls are handed over to the boys, the criminals are caught by the police, and happiness is restored to our lives. My favourite scene(s) from the movie is when Amar begins to talk up a man, and then reduces him to his genitals (or the lack thereof).

“Main toh kehta hoon ki aap purush hee nahi hain… Mahapurush hain.”

They always look down, as if the proof of their manhood lies in the dent in their pants. If you’re a girl, guy, mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, monkey, zebra – basically if you’re any living creature, this movie is an absolute must. Meant to be re-watched, this one is eternal.

My rating- 4.5 on 5.

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