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Bollywood offers choice between chuckle and frown
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Will "Hulchal" - being released this week - complete a hat-trick of Hindi comedies for the prolific Tamil-Malayalam director Priyadarshan?
Both "Hera Pheri" and "Hungama" clicked against all odds at a time when comedies weren't considered a bright prospect at the Bollywood box office.
"Hera Pheri" and "Hungama", and then to a large extent Raj Kumar Hirani's "Munnabhai M.B.B.S.", changed that perspective. Suddenly comedies do have a market.
And the latest Priyadarshan offering has Kareena Kapoor and Akshaye Khanna.
The fact the ultra-choosy Akshaye has chosen to be in an ensemble comedy by the same director proves comedy is fun for both the participants and the spectators.
Besides the untried Akshaye-Kareena pair, "Hulchal" has Priyadarshan's comic favourite Paresh Rawal who sparkled in "Hera Pheri" and "Hungama".
Arshad Warsi, who found great comic success with "Munnabhai...", is also part of this remake of a southern Indian comedy.
Both Akshaye and Kareena maintain that comedy is harder to do than drama. With their recent films "Deewaar" and "Fidaa" respectively faring poorly, Akshaye and Kareena need a hit pretty badly.
The audience too needs a break from grim themes. Though "Aitraaz" had its crude comic interlude, the four Diwali releases were hardly funny.
The audiences are in the mood for some food for some funny bone tickling. Also, there was no release last week. The diehard movie addict could be famished for his weekly fix.
The other release this week "Ab...Bas" is another Hollywood remake. It's supposedly a remake of "Enough", which starred Jennifer Lopez as an abused wife who tries to run away from her sadistic husband. "Ab...Bas" stars two model-turned-actors - Diana Hayden and Shawar Ali.