Bollywood’s 10 Greatest Comedies – Reworked On Public Protests
I made a huge mistake in making this countdown and would be the 1st one to admit it. my last couple of countdowns, based on ‘verdicts’ had invited criticism from members saying verdicts are subjective (how?) . also, most successful comedies had fallen into the bracket of ‘superhit’ and i didnt know with similar verdicts how to rank them. . so i thought i wud make this one numbers based and hence ranked films of the same verdicts based on their position in the list of ‘biggest hits of the decade’. however i failed to realize that the list is based on unadjusted revenues which means the films releasing closet to the end of the decade had automatically a higher ranking, even if lower verdicts. so i am changing this countdown entirely and making it ‘verdict’ based like all other countdowns. wat i have done is i have ranked them according to their verdicts and if some films have the same verdicts i have taken their ranking on the ‘top 5 hits’ page of boxofficeindia.com as its verdicst based rather than the decade’s ranking page thats inflation unadjusted. however my warning still applies.
warning – this is not for the weak hearted ( which most pseudos with sedentary white collar jobs are, so are the ‘nostalgia struck’ oldies stuck in the time warp of the 70s/80s). this one may have many shockers. as is widely known in naachgaana, i am not the type who will get confused between ‘my favourite 10′ and ‘top 10′. so wats new many may ask! well this is wat.
comedy is one genre over which the ‘mall multiplex bound pseudo intellectual middle class’ has excersized maximum ‘dadagiri’ while declaring (subjectively offcourse) ‘greatest’, ”classics’ etc. the reason is most of them are basically frivolous ppl, however much they project themselves as intellectuals and therefore comedy is their favourite genre, as they are a light watch. and hence the absolute effort to hold up any definitions of a ‘good comedy’ to ransom. simply translated (from english to english) any comedy that appeals to their middle class sensiilties is a good comedy, rest are trash. unfortunately, the most comprehensive survey of the ppl, the boxoffice, doesnt seem to agree with them, hence many shockers in stock for them. here goes….
10. chalti ka naam gaadi- (superhit – 2nd biggets hit of 1958) three real life brothers play reel life brothers. Ashok kumar, kishore kumar and anup kumar run a motor garage and a beautiful girl madhubala comes into their life one rainy night. Mayhem follows. Old fashioned slow cute comedy.
9. saajan chale sasural/ aazaad -(super hits, 2nd biggets hits of 1996 and 1955 respectively) - saajan chale sasural, a regular comedy about a husband of two wives was entirely dependeant upon govinda’s talent. and from slapstick to mimickry he displayed a wide range of them. the heroines, including tabu of the much touted talent fame were just about ok in my opinion and able suppoert came from kadar khan and satish kaushik. david dhawan’s best work in film editing, especially in the song ‘tum to dhokhebaaz ho’ raises the film to the next level.
aazaad had dilip kumar doing the various gigs of a comedian like impersonations, slapstick and using other creative tools. And he wasn’t the only surprise in the film. Even meena kumari, till then known as the great tragedienne, was a huge revelation. Within the same year she had shocked ppl twice with her comic brilliance in bandish and then azaad. However it was azaad that ppl took to majorly, making it a huge hit.-
8. ram aur shyaam(super hit, 2nd biggets hit of 1967) – this was the original on which ‘seeta aur geeta’ was based. The master of tragedy dilip kumar had risen to the occasion many times earlier with comedy (aan, aazaad, Kohinoor) but this one he took to another level altogether. Though mumtaz and some smaller character actors were good (pran off course was ‘stock’ though must say was bound by his character) the surprise package was the serious, sedate waheeda rehman who gave a delightfully funny, though subtle performance.
7. seeta aur geeta -(super hit, biggest hit of 1972) it’s a hema malini show all the way but dharmendra and sanjeev kumar provide able support and manorama, though over the top, was a scream. This comedy about twins replacing each other is the only heroine oriented film in this list. And to think many intellectuals in the 70s (what? Didn’t you know all naachgaana members had uncles?) raised questions about hema malini’s talent.
6. – no entry – (super hit, biggest hit of 2005) this is one of my eternal favourite 3 (with other two being jaane bhi do yaaron and aankhein of govinda). its again a regular film about infidelity but the ‘twist-a-minute’ screenpaly, excellent direction and able performances make this one a rib tickling affair. my fave scenes are the one in the park with astrologer where lara mistakes a kid for anil kapoor’s child from another wife and the climax, especially the snake appearing scene and the salman khan gem (apparently improvised by him) to fardeen khan “abbey tu sunny hai, sunny deol nahin”. off course fardeen khan is there but chaand mein bhi to daagh hai.
5. partner – (blockbuster, 3rd biggest hit of 2007) this one brought together salman khan and govinda, two stars with maximum no of top comic hits. no wnder it was the 1st blockbuster in the history of comedies in india (Though there had been an alltime blockbuster earlier that u will see later in the countdown) govinda’s verstility and salman khan’s spontanety made this film such a laugh riot that u wud not stop rolling in the aisles even for a second. my fave sceene – well where govinad (pretending to be a gay) bumps into suresh menon at katrina’s wedding scene. and the scene salman teaches govinda to be more stylish.
4. ‘golmal 3′ -(blockbuster 2nd biggest hit of 2010) - the 3rd part of this franchise was also the biggets hit yielding the advantage of the trust it had built over two earlier products. not that the film wasnt a scream. everyone was in his element, something that rarely happens in any film, including comedy. the higlight is the scene where the guys threaten each other with various objects without saying a word as the parents watch ‘hum saath saath hain’ on tv.
3. welcome (blockbuster, 2nd biggest hit of 2007) – this is akshay kumar’s only film in the list, though fairly at the top. Anil kapoor and nana patekar, apart from paresh rawal, vijay raaz etc provide good support and so does, in my opinion, mallika sherawat. its not clear till the very end what the film is about and thats is maximum fun. anything happens in this film at anytime, with hilarious effect. akshay was funny in the scene where he pretends to be not afraid of nana and anil but actually is, nana is funny in the shooting sequence and anil kapoor is a scream throughout. paresh rawal i think was ordinary.
2. ready (blockbuster on the cusp of atbb) – this is perhaps the only comedy in this list that entirely depends upon the talent and charisma of its lead star (more than even the top hit film in the countdown and the films starring the actor with most films in the list – govinda) ready had nothing except salman khan in it. so many ppl within this forum and outside keep wondering what is it that made ready a hit. well may be they shud accept a volcano of comic talent, subtle, spontaneous unpretentious and efoortless can lift even the most ordinary film to the biggest blockbuster stautus.
1. aankhien (all time blockbuster) -wat is it about? Well everything. Mistaken identity to patriotism, family drama to terrorism. this is the biggest hit comedy film in the history of bollywood and belive you me- fuck intellectuals and grab a DVd of this one (I suggest don’t even wait for the next TV telecast.) there is not one dull moment in the film. Its so fast paced and funny, its not funny. And to top it there are two govindas, two kadar khans, two rajbabbars and, many say, two chunkey pandeys (chunky and the monkey). Wat more cud u ask for.
Conclusion – most of the conclusions also STILL remian the same as the earlier ones. these are NOW the 10 greatest comedies of bollywood as chosen by the ticket buying public. STILL no padosan, no golmaal (old) . no chupke chupke, (sorry yakuza) no andaaz apna apna, no hera pheri (sorry 90s kids) and with all due respects no ‘jaane bhi do yaaron’ (my eternal favourite but sorry all intellectuals on behalf of the teeming millions). and yes its STILL obvious that govinda is the greatest comedy genius of the century (with 3 films in the list including the top most one), followed by salman YES STILL (biwi no 1 and judwa go out by this methodology but partner and ready come in their place and salman STILL has 3 films) while . Dilip kumar has two films in the list (so much for efforts to limit him as ‘tragedy king’).. And a certain joker whose fans think he is india’s answer to charlie chaplin, wud be shocked to know he has just one multi hero film in the countdown. akshay kumar STILL doesn’t stand anywhere in comedy too, as far as the paying public is concerened. Yaani tashan and co. had performed his coronation amongst themselves basically. Sadly for yakuza, by this methodlogy even namak halal goes out as it is a superhit but its rank on top 5 hits page is rather low at no 4. dharmedra (a supposedly comic genius) at spot 7 in a heroine dominated film and even kishore kumar (at spot 10), have one film each in the list.
Surprisingly even mehmood STILL doesn’t have a single film in the list underlining the facts that
1. comedy came into its own much later in bollywood and before the 90s there were not more than one big hit comedy in a decade and …..
2. most comedians have done their best work in the films where heroes don’t do comedy but the biggest hits at the boxoffice are the comedies where regular heroes perform comedy.
Amongst the directors, david dhawan obviously rules with 4 films in the list, including the top film, followed by anees bazmi with 3 films. No other director has more than one film in the countdown.