The best of Bollywood spoofs
A spoof is a form of satire, one that relies on parody to mock and ridicule the already familiar. Bollywood doesn't make that many spoofs -- and very, very few of our films can qualify as pure spoofs, like Tamizh Padam or Hot Shots or Naked Gun, without falling back on some sort of hackneyed plot -- but we do have our moments.
Here, then, are ten of my favourite Bollywood spoofs:
10. Love Sex Aur Dhokha
Dibakar Banerjee's radical, experimentative drama was anything but spoofy, but that first segment -- the film-school romance -- had affectionate parodying written all over it, via an oversincere, Aditya Chopra idolising student, trying hard to make a film like his mentor.
Image: Love Sex Aur Dhokha
The easiest kind of spoofing is to make random jokes about other, popular films, but Rohit Shetty's first Golmaal hit a rare paydirt with its take on Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black.
The screen turned blue, the music got moody and Arshad Warsi, in a sari, wondered if it would suddenly snow. "Are we playing Black-Black here?" he asked indignantly. A moment of perfect lunacy.
Image: A scene from Golmaal
Vijay Krishna Acharya's Tashan, a full-blooded throwback to the ugliest of cinematic decades, the 80s, featured a Ramayana narrative strung through much madness.
The highlight was Akshay Kumar's fantastic name, Bachchan Pandey -- and his entry on a two-wheeler, dressed as Ravan, complete with ten heads.
Image: A scene from Tashan
7. Main Hoon Na
Farah Khan hadn't quite embraced the spoof with her first film -- it has far too much action and romance to be the out and out comedy it should have been -- but there are some terrific moments, most unforgettable among which is her spit-take on The Matrix. Satish Shah, as the teacher, spits like a machine gun as Shah Rukh Khan, a la Neo, ducks in ultra-slow-motion. Whoa. Also, hee.
Image: A scene from Main Hoon Na
6. Dil Chahta Hai
Farhan Akhtar's first film was largely a success because it mirrored the way urban youth lived, but there was a lovely departure from reality as Saif Ali Khan fell in love with Sonali Kulkarni through song.
Woh ladki hai kahaan played in a theatre and they saw themselves on screen instead of the actors. The trope is an old one and done several times, but Akhtar's deft handling made sure his was the most memorable example of the trick.
Image: A scene from Dil Chahta Hai
5. Luck By Chance
One would expect an insider viewpoint of Bollywood to spoof a lot, and Zoya Akhtar's directorial debut went all out. Right from Aamir Khan taking himself far too seriously and 'fixing' a scene that didn't need it, to Rishi Kapoor playing a producer modelled after many a familiar face.
It was Hrithik Roshan who stole the show, though, as a limp-wristed, self-obsessed superstar.
Image: A scene from Luck By Chance
Yet more Rishi Kapoor goodness, this time with Ranjit Chowdhary's meta-film where he played an exaggerated, vain and greedy version of himself.
The highlight of the enterprise is with the ultimate in-joke: instead of using vaguely Afro gibberish for a tribal item song, the song Akira Kurosawa uses 'only' names of world famous directors. Quite spectacular, really.
Image: A scene from ChintuJi
3. Om Shanti Om
Farah Khan's second film embraced its spoofy roots a lot more, and paid magnanimous tribute to Bollywood of the 70s, while often smirking at the same time. From Kirron Kher's Bela Makhija who almost upstaged Madhubala to SRK's Mohabbat Man, from Manoj Kumar's driving license photo with his hand covering his face to SRK's 'Yenna Rascalla' sambhar western moment, Om Shanti Om had it all.
Including another director stealing real life lines for dialogue, wink-wink.
Image: A scene from Om Shanti Om
2. Andaz Apna Apna
There was much terrific silliness spread liberally through the entirety of Raj Kumar Santoshi's cult comedic classic, but the spoofy gong must go to Shakti Kapoor's Crimemaster Gogo, a small time crook with a supervillain outfit who claimed to be the nephew of Mogambo, from Mr India.
Image: A scene from Andaz Apna Apna
1. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro
Kundan Shah's dark comic masterpiece naturally tops the list, and no prizes for guessing the scene in question.
From a sunglass'd Bheema casually offing a Yudhishtira, to a determinedly lusty Dushasana, from a wailing Arjuna to a slapping Dhrupad, from Prince Salim to a very, very cluless Dhritarashtra -- this was indeed too much.
That climactic Mahabharata scene is pure comic gold, and never, ever gets old.
Image: A scene from Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron