You know you grew up in the Nineties if Amar-Prem brings back images of — not the classic on-screen romance of Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore but rather — the characters portrayed by Aamir Khan and Salman Khan in Andaz Apna Apna. It’s been 20 years since the release of the comedy that initially flopped in cinemas but became a perennial favourite after it was aired on television.
Also read: 20 iconic dialogues from Andaz Apna Apna
A poster of Andaz Apna Apna (left); a still from the film.
Here’s why we still love Andaz Apna Apna:
1 Because Aamir Khan as Amar and Salman Khan as Prem were hilarious. The duo timed their act perfectly whether it is the scene on the bus where they try to outdo each other with cooked-up tales of family splendour, or later while trying to woo Paresh Rawal, the father of their love interests.
2 Because it is the only movie that sees Aamir Khan share screen space with either of the other Khans, Salman and Shah Rukh. Yes, the title track of Bombay Talkies celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema does feature both Shah Rukh and Aamir, but that hardly counts.
3 The clever interchange of names — Karishma as Raveena and Raveena as Karishma — adds to the comedy of errors
4 Crime master Gogo. In one of his better acts, Shakti Kapoor is endearing as the bungling villain tripping over his own cape. He says he is Mogambo’s nephew (the villain in Mr India). And in his black costume, complete with cape and one red glove, Gogo claims to be a “Khandani chor” but fails to make those who owe him money repay, and doesn’t mind grabbing a scooter, bicycle or any other thing that he can lay his hands on. His threat of taking out his victims’ eyes to play “goti” with them only makes him even more ludicrous.
5 The supporting cast — led by Teja’s (Paresh Rawal in a double role) underlings, Shehzad Khan as the Ajit impersonator and his sidekick, of course named ‘Raabert’.
6 The Sholay reference. In a bid to soften him, Aamir tells Gogo that he had been hearing about him since his childhood and that whenever he cried his mother hushed him with a “Gogo aa jayega” — a clear reference to Gabbar’s famous line.
7 Because this is the film that introduced the line “Aap purush hi nahin hain... maha purush hain!”
8 The funny lines. Our favourites include “Gogoji aapka Ghaghra”, “Galti se mistake ho gaya”.
9 Karishma’s frilly nightgown and the high-waisted jeans on Aamir and Salman might make you cringe today but Raveena’s jumpsuit and Karishma’s short denim waistcoast still look hip.
10 At a time when the Hindi film industry is increasingly moving towards the slick-but-soulless school of Hollywood movie-making, this is vintage Bollywood at its best, complete with song-and-dance, running around trees, lengthy dream sequences, staged fights and cops who, in trademark movie style, arrive after the baddies have been beaten.
11 Because Andaz Apna Apna is pure nostalgia. We rest our case.