Thursday, April 14, 2011
#102: Bheja Fry
When a successful movie is remade in another language, it is surprising how little of the credit actually goes to the dialogue writer when the remake also becomes successful. The directors and the actors have a ready template to follow but it is actually the dialogue writer who puts the right words in place. This is especially true in a comedy because the lines that are being re-written have to be as funny as the original. The director knows exactly what the original did, the actors know what the emotions were but the actual creativity comes from the dialogue writer who has to manufacture something new in another language and hit the nail with the import of his words. Which is why apart from Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak and Sagar Ballary, I think this review merits more than an honorable mention for Anigaw Tew- the man who wrote the dialogues for Bheja Fry- a comedy as hilarious as ever you will see in Hindi.
That it's been remade from the French movie Le Dinner De Cons might be held against it but by itself, Bheja Fry is simply put, superbly funny. The focal character of the movie is oddball Bharat Bhushan (Vinay Pathak)- an aspiring singer who vows by Hindi music directors and knows his musical trivia inside out. Knowing the answer to something as inane as "Aayega aayega gaane mein aayega kitni baar aaayega?' is his idea of musical mastery. To exploit his shortcomings, Ranjeet Thadani (Rajat Kapoor), a music producer invites him for dinner. The idea is for Ranjeet to have a laugh over dinner- something Ranjeet regularly derives immense humor from. Except that this evening with Bharat Bhushan is just about to go horribly wrong.
Vinay Pathak as the goofy simpleton is the archetypical village idiot. As a viewer, you will be amazed by how idiotic he really is and it is the inventiveness of the original writer of the French play that should be revered here. Francis Veber layers his plot with Bharat Bhushan's actions and those become the driving force that work beautifully for the movie. Rajat Kapoor, the person at the receiving end of Bharat Bhushan's actions is the man who will get your sympathy. As the movie begins, you don't like his condescending ways but gradually you realise the joke is turning back on him.
But that's what great scripts always do- change your perception about the characters during the course of the movie. Both Vinay Pathak and Rajat Kapoor keep you glued with their performances- their chemistry being nothing short of perfect. One is a prey and the other a predator. The beauty of the movie lies in the fact that one doesn't actually realize when the roles interchange. Bheja Fry is your money's worth not just once but probably three times over. Now, you really can't say that about too many Hindi comedy movies in the last 50 years, can you ?