Andaz Apna Apna is a Prem that will always remain Amar

“Kuud kuud ke chalega!”
Any nineties kid worth his VCR salt will swear by this cult of a film which had to be booked in advance at the video cassette library for renting. It was the time when VCRs were rented over a weekend and families gathered in front of their television sets till the wee hours, just to make the most of the VCR rent and catch up with films that each family member loved. So, if ‘Mother India’ was for the grandpa, ‘Yaadon Ki Baarat’ for parents, then ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ was surely the must-rent movie for the youngsters. 

“Aila!!” “Ooi maa!!”

“Do mastane chale zindagi banaane” croon two good-for-nothing dreamers in ‘Bombay to Goa’ style. One exclaims “Aila!” while the other sighs “Ooi maa!” Both have looted their fathers (Deven Varma and Jagdeep) to ‘invest’ in their ‘careers’ in the tinsel town and both have decided to chart the same ‘Raveena route’ to reach there, hoping for some ‘Karishma’. 

“Do dost ek hi pyale mein chai peeyenge, isse dosti badhti hai.”

After Jai-Veeru, the pair of ‘Amar-Prem’ will always remain etched in our memories, which can be best summed up in the words of Hardik Mehta, a National Award winning filmmaker from Vadodara, who states, “Amar-Prem are as timeless as Tom & Jerry. Recently, I had been to a screening of Andaz Apna Apna in Andheri, Mumbai and was surprised to find that the audience, who must have seen the film multiple times, were still in splits in the auditorium.”

“Galti se mistake ho gaya.”

Despite having a ‘dream cast’ of Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, director Raj Kumar Santoshi had a tough time making the film. The production of this movie was discussed in a conversation between Aamir Khan and Rishi Kapoor in the movie Damini which was released in the year 1993. It took 3 years to make this film, which explains why the haircut of the lead actors keep changing in every scene. There was no bound script, while shooting and most of the scenes were improvised right on the sets, which lent the film an air of spontaneity. 

“Teja main hoon, mark idhar hai!”

Director Raj Kumar Santoshi, with his screenplay doffs his hat to the old school of filmmaking. He even goes a step further by roping in OP Nayyar fan Tushar Bhatia to compose the music. A mainstream Sitarist, Tushar Bhatia came up with gems like ‘Ae lo ji sanam’, ‘Dil kehta hai’ and ‘Yeh raat aur yeh doori’, which blended with the film so well that they can never be placed in any other film. If you listen the song, ‘Yeh raat aur yeh doori’, it would be impossible not to imagine Aamir Khan straining his ears to hear the ‘dholak carrying’ Salman Khan. The dialogues went on to become part of our daily lingo, thanks to the dialogue writer Dilip Shukla. 

“Aaya hoon to kuch leke jaaunga!”

Andaz Apna Apna is replete with inside industry references like “Sholay iske baap ne likhi thi” hinted at Salim Khan being one of the writers of Sholay along with Javed Akhtar, “Wah wah productions” was the production house that Mehmood talked about in the film, ‘Pyar kiye ja’, “Papa kehte hain bada naam karega” song from Aamir Khan’s Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, “Dekha hai pehli baar” from Salman Khan’s ‘Saajan’, “Mogambo ka bhatijaa Gogo” referring to the iconic villain Mogambo from ‘Mr. India’, to the Ajit dialogues done to perfection by his son Shehzad Khan playing the role of the confident and relaxed Bhalla. 

Paresh Rawal, in a double role here, played Teja, who was a typical filmy villain dependent on his henchmen to get things done. The character of Crime Master Gogo played by Shakti Kapoor was also a tribute to the superheroes and villains of Bollywood. Furthermore, even the film’s plot was akin to the ones we used to watch in the comedies of sixties. 

“Haath toh aaya, muhn na laga.”

Released on 11th April 1994, ‘Andaz Apna Apna’, despite being hailed as a cult film today, never made money when it was released, which is reminiscent of the film, ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’. The distributors weren’t sure whether they were going to get the delivery of the film. Aamir Khan, in his interview reasoned, “I don’t think it got a fair chance back then. It’s only later that people discovered it on TV and realised that it’s very good. It became a cult film on home entertainment.”



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