There was a scene in Farah Khan’s film, Om Shanti Om (Which seems like a masterpiece, post-Happy New Year), where Arjun Rampal asks the director to use a Manmohan Desai angle while shooting the film.
Taking a cue from this philosophy, Farah Khan has been trundling past the streets of Bollywood, selling her so-called Manmohan Desai angle wala brand of filmmaking. One fine day, she narrates the script of Happy New Year (Perhaps written on a paper napkin or was it a diaper?) and shares it with her friend-turned-foe, foe-turned-friend Shah Rukh Khan. Here’s a fictional account of what might have transpired:
Farah Khan: Believe me Shahrukh, there’s a story in here…
Shahrukh Khan: How can it be Farah? This sounds like some Ocean’s 11, 12,13 or something…hell, it doesn’t even sound ‘intelligent’ like Dhoom-3! Chori ko morally acceptable bana rahi ho…
FK: For every crime, there has to be a logical motive. So we have an emotional motive….The guy Charlie, brings together four losers for his baap-ka-badla under guise of world’s biggest diamond heist under the guise of World Dance Competition…
SRK: And how does he know about it? On TV?
FK: Exactly! Jackie Shroff plays the baddie who caused the death of Charlie’s father and on TV, he announces a World Dance Competition when the diamond will be moved to Atlantis Hotel in Dubai.
SRK: Why does he need to announce such detail on TV? Isn’t he supposed to play secret-secret there?
FK: Logic chhod na yaar… Manmohan Desai angle hai…ab sun…Charlie picks up four namoonaas with some defect…Like Sonu Sood is short of hearing, Boman Irani has fits perfectly tuned to a timer of 30 seconds, Vivaan is a hacker who has thousands of Facebook friends but not a single real friend…and Abhishek…he already has so many defects…usko kya defect doon?
SRK: Make him puke, if you really need to do that, aur kya!
FK: Wow! You’re a genius! And Deepika will teach them how to dance…
SRK: After Prabhu Deva fails to do so? You mean she is a big dance teacher or something? And how are they supposed to qualify for such big competition? Tum to judge reh chuki ho…you know it better, don’t you?
FK: They will do a sting operation that can expose the judges, Anurag Kashyap and Vishal Dadlani as gay-couple-in-closet.
SRK: Yeh kaunsa angle tha?
FK: Karan Johar wala angle! Acha now listen, Deepika is a bar dancer but she values ‘ijjat’.
SRK: She values ‘ijjat’, hence is a bar dancer? What kind of logic was that?
FK: Logic chhod na yaar…Manmo…
SRK: Ok got it…If Deepika is my heroine, make her do the Chennai Express act again…we can cash in on Rohit Shetty’s success.
FK: Ok…she might mutter some Marathi words too as she is a bar dancer. You know reality ka touch is also important. I also asked Abhishek to do that.
SRK: Done. And what about Abhishek’s another character – son of the baddie?
FK: Let him strut around with that Delhi-6 cool wala angrezi attitude…Who cares? Even he doesn’t give a damn as long as he’s getting to do a film apart from babysitting at home and selling pressure cookers.
SK: His role seems more like Ali of Dhoom series. I am afraid Aditya Chopra might take a cue from this and offer him Ali wala role in Dhoom-4.
FK: (Laughs aloud) Add to that ‘emotional appearance’ of Anupam Kher. He played your dad in DDLJ so might prove lucky for us here too…
SRK: But why can’t Jackie’s character recognize Anupam Kher’s closest friend, Boman Irani?
FK: Logic chhod na yaar…
SRK: Haan haan Manmohan Desai wala angle….But with a story like this, how can we engage the audience for three hours?
FK: Some nonsense songs here and there, few action sequence – don’t you want to do a Tom Cruise kind of stuff? And let the defects of each character become obstacles in the climax. Aur kuch nahi mile, to Bharat ka rehnewala hoon Bharat ki baat sunaata hoon! (She covers her face ala Manoj Kumar)
SRK: Manoj Kumar wala angle?
FK: Bingo! Dekh Shahrukh, Diwali ke time mein public celebration ke mood mein honge…Instead of spending time with their loved ones, they would spend money on movie tickets and popcorn despite knowing ke picture dabba hai.
SRK: I completely agree with you. Even Jab Tak Hai Jaan worked for me! All they need is paisa-vasool entertainment. So please ensure that you include every possible reference from my previous films, including sattar minute.
FK: Stay assured… Before the audience realizes they’re the ones getting looted instead of diamonds worth 300 crores, we’d have already crossed the 300 crore target. With the world’s second largest businessman, I mean actor Shahrukh Khan, we can pull off this heist, right?
SRK: Main hoon na! So, ring out the sense, ring in the nonsense!
FK: Happy New Year!