In the season of love, smile along with these heart-warming, screwball comedies
Watch ‘Yeh Shaadi Nahi Ho Sakti’, ‘Andaz Apna Apna’, ‘Dil Hai Ki Maanta’, ‘Chupke Chupke’ and ‘Chashme Buddoor’
The subgenre of screwball comedies emerged in the 30s in Hollywood to mock conventional love stories and to infuse laughter, irony and fun into romance. In India, such comedies are few and far between but we have picked a few in this season of love just so you can laugh along some quirky classics as well as a fresh, new offering.
Yeh Shaadi Nahi Ho Sakti
Zee Theatre’s brand-new offering, Yeh Shaadi Nahi Ho Sakti’ is based on Shakespeare’s classic comedy ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ and adds the deliciousness of 90s cinema, fashion and music to the plot. The story revolves around Lakshman (Chaitnya Sharma) and Priya (Prajakta Koli in her teleplay debut) who can’t marry each other until the latter’s elder sister Pallavi (Shikha Talsania) decides to get married. Lakshman eventually devises an elaborate plan to get Pallavi married to an eligible NRI groom (Adhaar Khurana) but there’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip as the proverb goes. Watch the comedy to find out if the marriage takes place finally. Directed by Akarsh Khurana, the star cast includes Aseem Hattangady, Gopal Datt, Akash Khurana, Siddharth Kumar, Pawan Uttam, Sarthak Kakkar and Lisha Bajaj. The play will be aired on February 19, 2023 on Tata Play Theatre.
Andaz Apna Apna
Like the Hollywood hit ‘Dumb and Dumber’, Raj Kumar Santoshi’s ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ also came out in 1994 and was a hilarious buddy comedy. It also however had plenty of shades of a screwball romance as the entire premise of the film was based on an elaborate plan to woo an heiress and get married to her for money. However, the best laid plans fail when Amar Manohar (Aamir Khan) and Prem Bhopali (Salman Khan) actually fall for the heiress and her maid, without any idea about their true identities. The film also starred Raveena Tandon and Karishma Kapoor and has gone on to become a cult hit over time.
Dil Hai Ki Maanta Nahin
Mahesh Bhatt’s 1991 hit ‘Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin’ was ‘inspired’ by 1934’s Hollywood screwball comedy ‘It Happened One Night’ and featured Pooja Bhatt as an impetuous, spoilt and wilful heiress who leaves her home to get married to a film star she believes herself to be in love with. Along the way, she runs into Raghu (Aamir Khan), a small-time journalist who promises to help her but is basically looking out for a scoop. How the two bicker and fall in love along the way makes for an endearing film which also had a super-hit musical score by Nadeem Shravan. The cast included Anupam Kher, Tiku Talsania and Deepak Tijori.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s ‘Chupke Chupke’ (1975) had romance and a central conflict about mistaken identities. A remake of the Bengali film ‘Chhadmabeshi,’ the film features a Botany professor Parimal Tripathi (Dharmendra) who playacts as a driver in his wife Sulekha’s (Sharmila Tagore) marital home. There is also his friend Sukumar (Amitabh Bachchan) who playacts as a Botany professor and fall in love with Sudha (Jaya Bhaduri) who thinks he is married and rejects his advances. Starring Om Prakash, Usha Kiran, David, Asrani and Keshto Mukherjee, the film was an absolute laugh-riot.
Sai Paranjape’s 1981 comedy ‘Chashme Buddoor’ is the perfect example of the screwball genre as it actually had a parody of romantic Hindi film songs and starred Farooq Sheikh, Deepti Naval, Rakesh Bedi and Ravi Baswani in breakout roles. The story revolves around three friends who fall for the same girl (Naval). When she reciprocates the feelings of Siddharth (Sheikh), the other two dejected boys try to separate the two. There is also a mock car chase and a hilarious fight sequence in the climax. One of the most refreshing comedies to emerge from the Hindi film industry, ‘Chashme Buddoor’ also had heart-warming cameos by Leela Mishra and Saeed Jaffrey.