Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron and Andaz Apna Apna are rightly considered as two landmark comedies in Indian cinema. However, in between these two films another film was released, which can easily be counted as one of the funniest films to be ever made. But the film didn’t go on to attain cult status like the above mentioned films and remains a largely unknown and underrated film. The film in question is Peechha Karro which is directed by Pankaj Parashar and stars Farooque Shiekh, Amjad Khan, Rajendranath, Satish Shah, Ravi Baswani and Anupam Kher amongst a host of other talented actors.
People who have grown up during the Doordarshan era will definitely remember Pankaj Parashar with much admiration and nostalgia. After all he was the man who directed Karamchand, one of the landmark shows of the Doordarshan era featuring Pankaj Kapur in the iconic role of Karamchand. Besides this, he had also helmed Jalwa starring Naseeruddin Shah and Chaalbaaz, which arguably can be rated as two of the slickest movies of the 80’s era.
Usually, I consider writing synopsis of a film to be the most boring part while writing a post. However, this is one film, wherein I had lot of fun while writing the synopsis.
Giri Haridhara (Satish Shah) and Hari Giridhara (Ravi Baswani ) are two bumbling detectives, who believe that Brigadier (Amjad Khan) is leaking defence secrets to enemy countries. Vijay (Farooque Shaikh) is in love with Brigadier’s daughter Roma. Vijay is the son of Kandha Raam (Rajendranath) who owns a Mayyat ke saaman ka dukaan (to put it simply Rajendranath can be called as a mortician or an undertaker) . Embarrassed by his social status and his father’s business, Vijay disguises himself as his father and goes to meet Amjad Khan to fix his alliance with Roma. Giri Haridhara and Hari Giridhara come to know of this secret and use this as a weapon to blackmail him to spy on the Brigadier. What ensues is a mad, mad comedy.
The link posted below should give you fair idea of the madness that lies in store
Comedy is serious business. It takes a good amount of skill, good writing, comic precision amongst other things to make a good farcical comedy. One which is able to make the audiences laugh. Despite the absurd plot, silly one liners, Peechha Karro is able to make you laugh for most of the times, because it is able to pull off the farce convincingly thanks to the writers, director and the actors involved in it. And the comedy is done with such a deadpan precision, that it only adds fun to the proceedings. The film revels in the sheer stupidity of the plot, characters, dialogues etc and exploits all of these to the best possible extent.
From the first scene itself, the intentions of the makers are very clear. To make a rip roaring farcical comedy which does not take itself seriously. Knowing well that in such a plot any emotional conflict or melodrama would feel odd, the makers clearly avoid employing the same. From the first scene to the climax, the film moves in a singular direction without any unwanted diversions.
As stated earlier making people laugh is no monkey business. Making comic films requires good comic timing, skill and precision so that even the silliest joke is able to make people laugh. And this is something which director Pankaj Parashar and his team very well understand and in the process deliver a very silly but very funny comedy. The humour in the film is of the slapstick variety. Many of them are total PJ’s – the kind of those which you would crack amongst friends leaving them with a silly grin.
The sub plot of Rajendra Nath as a guy who makes Mayyat Ka saaman is undoubtedly the most hilarious sub plot in the film. Now a subplot dealing with an undertaker could have been a subject of dark comedy. But Pankaj parashar and his team of writers integrate it very well in the ongoing series of comic events in the films. Rajendra Nath portrays the character with such a superb timing that he dominates the show in whichever scenes he is present in.
Even the dialogues are superbly written and complement the entire mood of the film, keeping you in splits throughout. Sample some of these dialogues
Rajendra Nath after reading a newspaper article “ Bus Khaai mein gir gayi. 20 log marr gaye . Hey bhagwaan tera lakh lakh shukar hai” J
Rajendra Nath to Farooque Shaikh “Yeh Dhanda mar nahin sakta. Kyunki Marne mein hi iss dhande ki zindagi hai. Aur Zindagi ke bare mein Bhagwaan Krishna ne Arujn se kaha tha ki Zindagi ek safar hai suhana. Yahan kal kya ho kisne jaana.”
Farooque Shiekh (in disguise) to Amjad Khan after going to Khan’s sprawling bungalow “ Aap ka bungla ekdum choota hai . Ekdum Jhopde samaan.”
These are only some of the hilarious dialogues that are present throughout the film.
One must also appreciate the film makers for not to insert any comedy with double entendres and vulgarity.
The only flaw I found with the movie was the unnecessary insertion of songs. I believe this was done purely from a commercial point of view. One song specifically seems to be inspired by the Naino mein sapna song of Himmatwala wherein Farooque Shaikh and the leading lady Roma Manek are dancing amidst a horde of colourful pots.
It won’t also be wrong to state that Andaz Apna Apna in all probability derives its inspiration from this movie. A harassed crime lord ( Anupam Kher), two bumbling protagonists (Staish Shah and Ravi baswani here – similar to Aamir and Salman of Andaz Apna Apna) and a crazy climax amongst others are some of the plot points which I found common between this film and Andaz Apna Apna.
No comic film can ever be enjoyable if the actors involved in it are not able to perform their parts convincingly, however unbelievable the proceedings may be. And the actors in Peechha Karro perform their parts more than convincingly. As the two bumbling detectives, Ravi Baswani and Satish Shah share an amazing chemistry and complement each other very well. Their scenes especially with Viju Khote who plays a harassed constable is howlarious. Farooque Shaikh uses his spontaneity and comic timing correctly and gives a fine performance.
Amjad Khan in particular seems to be enjoying his role as a suspicious brigadier. He delivers the silliest of one liners with such ease and precision that it is hard to keep a straight face. The scenes especially in which he and Sudhir (who plays an accomplice to Anupam Kher) appear together are one of the high points of the film. Amjad Khan also pays a nice homage to the iconic role of Gabbar Singh in one of the scenes in the film.
Anupam Kher who appears only towards the end of the film does an efficient job. The leading lady Roma Manek doesn’t have much to do as the standard Bollywood heroine and does an average job. As mentioned earlier, the music by Anand Milind is totally of the unnecessary variety.
Lastly it would be unfair not to mention Rajesh Majumdar who has written the story, screenplay, dialogues of the film and is majorly responsible for the film being such a fun affair. Surprisingly, there seems to be no clue about Mujumdar’s body of work even on IMDB apart from this film. Same is the case with producers of the film. Maybe the commercial failure of the film made them fade into oblivion.
Even Pankaj Parshar was not able to live up to the promise he showed in the early stage of his career. A few years ago he had made a new installment of Karmachand with Pankaj Kapur which was also a disappointment.
Peechha Karro in a nutshell is a very funny and severely under rated comedy. A film like Andaz Apna Apna found a cult following later on in the DVD and video circuit and is a much revered and loved film today. But, Peechha Karro still remains largely unknown film and I believe it is high time that the cult of this film needs to be spread to the far and wide corners of the blogosphere amongst film buffs.
Finding the film on VCD/DVD is a real challenge. Thankfully, the film is available online and below is the link for the same. Do give this film a try and spread the word amongst all those you know. You won’t regret it for sure J