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'Mujhse...' makes audiences laugh, makers happy
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
The lucky letter 'M' of 2004 has struck again, and a comedy at that.
After "Murder", "Masti" and "Main Hoon Na", now "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi" (MSK) is the fourth success of the year, and the second successful comedy.
While earlier Indra Kumar's "Masti" counted on revving up the raunchy, "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi" is fairly vegetarian in taste. The conventional love triangle hardly resorts to double meanings. What the film offers in wild abundance is acres and acres of beach babes all cavorting in kaleidoscopic swimming costumes.
"That was a deliberate strategy," grins David Dhawan, happy to have proven wrong detractors who had written him off.
"I wanted to bring the 'Baywatch' look into Hindi cinema. I believe films can't work unless they offer something new for the audience to chew on."
The across-the-board success of "Mujhse..." augurs well for the comedy genre. A year ago, Priyadarshan had scored a bull's eye with slapstick in "Hungama". That was an exceptional comic success followed by super duds like "Nayee Padosan" and "Fun2shhh".
Now the genre has woken up to a new dawn, what with "Masti" and "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi" doing well.
One man grinning from ear to ear is Akshay Kumar. The response to his performance has been unanimously positive. More than Salman Khan, it's the affable and underplayed Akshay who has walked away with the acclaim.
Says Akshay: "Comedy has always been my favourite genre. I loved doing David Dhawan's 'Mr & Mrs Khiladi' and Priyadarshan's 'Hera Pheri'. And in fact in Raj Santoshi's 'Khakee', I was the comic relief. Now, after 'Mujhse Shaadi Karogi', I've decided to do at least one comedy every year.
"The response to my performance has been overwhelming. I've never had so many kids and women congratulating me through SMS and e-mail. It's as though I've suddenly connected with a whole new generation. And the best part is the film is equally big overseas. In the US, 'Mujhse...' is a runaway hit. I couldn't have asked for more."
While Akshay prepares to get seriously funny in the future, Salman turns serious in his next two films, "Phir Milenge" and "Dil Ne Jisse Apna Kaha".
The next major comedy release would be Priyadarshan's "Hulchal" in November. And if that works, comedy will finally get the status it deserves in Hindi cinema.