Why Andaz Apna Apna must not be remade

Andaz Apna Apna’s spin-off can backfire since expectations from it will be unrealistically high. Every character has to be well-written. Every moment has to induce laughter. Casting has to be perfect

Why Andaz Apna Apna must not be remade

Biswadeep Ghosh

Most remakes and sequels share a common quality. They are inferior to the originals that inspire them. Still, they continue to get made and are frequently successful.

One rumour that’s been in circulation for a while is that filmmaker Rajkumar Santoshi’s uproarious comedy Andaz Apna Apna, which has entered its 25th year, might be remade with a different plot.

AAA, which had brought Aamir Khan and Salman Khan together, was a surprising commercial failure. The film has become a cult classic since then, and today, almost everybody agrees that it deserved to succeed at the time of its release.

It is being said that the new version might star Ranveer Singh and Varun Dhawan as the two good-for-nothing central characters played with gay abandon by the then-young Khans.

Aamir likes the idea. The megastar has reportedly said: “Andaz Apna Apna is a film that people have loved immensely [in the past], so I am sure they would love to see it. I don’t know what exactly is being planned — a remake, part two or an offshoot. But whatever it is, I’d personally like to see a fresh take.”

And, there is more. Actress Huma Qureshi has even said that if the film is remade, she would like to play Crime Master Gogo, the parody of a comic book vigilante essayed memorably by Shakti Kapoor in the film.

Most diehard AAA fans will, however, insist that remaking the film is a bad idea. What’s more, they will be spot on.

AAA had four lead actors who were just right for the film: the two Khans, Karisma Kapoor and Raveena Tandon.

Aamir’s underused comic talent had been seen in Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin before AAA. Salman could act silly without too much hard work, and that is what his character in AAA was supposed to do. Both Raveena and Karisma had what it takes to do good comedy, which Santoshi had identified while putting the team together.

Four young and gifted comic actors apart, AAA’s wacky story was maddeningly hilarious.

Two characters named Amar and Prem (a nod to the Rajesh Khanna starrer Amar Prem and played, respectively, by Aamir and Salman) try everything they can to win the heart of Raveena Bajaj, an affluent heiress (Raveena Tandon), who has a secretary named Karisma (Karisma Kapoor). Neither of the two gold-diggers knows that Karisma is the real Raveena. She is concealing her identity because she wants to marry a man, who truly loves her.

The presence of other oddballs complicates the story even further. Bhalla and Robert (Shehzad Khan, Viju Khote), who serve as Raveena’s employees, are men with crooked plans. Paresh Rawal excels in an author-backed double role - as Raveena’s good man father, and her bad man uncle.

Shakti Kapoor is superb as Crime Master Gogo, who makes the viewer fall of his seat when he says: “Crime Master Gogo naam hai mera. Aankhen nikalkar gotiyan khelta hoon main.” Deven Verma makes an appearance as Amar’s barber father and Jagdeep as Prem’s tailor dad.

Getting a set of fine actors and casting them in appropriate roles was a major reason why AAA evolved into a fantastic situational comedy. Can a modern-day filmmaker find a comparable set of actors, who can play similar characters today? That's possible, but the maker must remember that miracles of perfect casting don’t take place every day.

The dialogues of AAA are side-splittingly funny. There is this moment when Rawal’s bad man character Teja talks about his professional ambitions: “Bread ka badshah aur omelette ka raja, Bajaj, humara Bajaj.” On another occasion, Amar tells Gogo: Aap purush nahi, mahapurush hai.”

The film is packed with gut-busting lines that can only lead to hysterical laughter.

AAA took the retro route and paid tribute to films such as the Johar-Mehmood comedies. Tushar Bhatia’s music also had a quaint feel, with songs like Ello Ello and Yeh Raat Aur Yeh Doori reminding of tracks that emerged out of OP Nayyar’s song-making factory.

Echoes from the past gave AAA its distinct flavour. A remake or a reboot may not be able to emulate it – and even it does, the outcome may not interesting enough,

If AAA had so many things going for it, why did it fail?

It failed just like other unlucky films have, and will. Still, it was head and shoulders above other comedies of that period.

AAA’s spin-off can backfire since expectations from it will be unrealistically high. Every character has to be well-written. Every moment has to induce laughter. The casting has to be perfect, and the director and all the actors inspired enough to give their best.

Making that happen won’t be easy, even if Aamir and Salman were to team up with Santoshi once again.

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