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Bollywood comedies back in business
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
The season of laughter is upon us again.
Never mind if Piyush Jha's spoof on Hindi films "King Of Bollywood" has gone down the drain and "Dil Bechara Pyar Ka Maara" also miserably failed to get an opening.
This week again there is a comedy in the theatres.
After seducing the hell out of audiences in "Khwahish" and "Murder", Mallika Sherawat turns comedienne in "Kis Kis Ki Kismet". Whether her kismet will shine and send the box-office cash counters jingling remains to be seen.
But filmmakers are keen on creating laughter even if they don't finally laugh all the way to the bank.
"It's because of the success of the four comedies - Priyadarshan's 'Hungama', Raj Kumar Hirani's 'Munnabhai M.B.B.S.', Indra Kumar's 'Masti' and David Dhawan's 'Mujhse Shadi Karogi' - that filmmakers have regained confidence in the genre on the whole," says filmmaker Arjun Sablok who generated some laughter playing a comic concierge in Sanjay Gadhvi's "Dhoom".
Even Salman Khan who loves to fool around on screen has turned superstitious about satire. His marital drama with director Adhiyaman, which had another title earlier, has now got a funny name.
Following the success of the Salman-starrer "Mujhse Shadi Karogi", the title of his new film has been changed to "Shaadi Karke Phans Gaya Yaar".
This is tantamount to trivialising what's basically a serious film about marital trouble. But who's listening?
The magic mantra for quick bucks right now seems to be mirth.
This Diwali, Priyadarshan who fashioned two successful recent comedies - "Hera Pheri" and "Hungama" - is all set to release "Hulchal" with the brand new cast of Akshaye Khanna, Kareena Kapoor and Arshad Warsi.
Interestingly, "Munnabhai..." and "Hungama" have caught the fancy of non-Hindi filmmakers across the country. Various regional language versions of both films have either been released or are being planned in southern Indian languages.
Such is the clamour that leading men and women in Bollywood are lining up for any decent comic opportunity that comes their way.
Strangely though, character actors like Paresh Rawal and Om Puri who made hay while the sun shone have decided to go easy on the laughs.
The scenario today replicates the one in the 1960s when Mehmood had to move away from his funny films as Shammi Kapoor donned the giggly garb in "Professor" and other films.
For now the heroes are tickled pink. And they don't mind sharing their joke with us.