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Ready for some Bheja Fry?

Bollywood directors take a comic turn to get in the audiences to the cinema halls. Arindam Chatterjee tells more.

entertainment Updated: Apr 12, 2007 18:45 IST
Arindam Chatterjee
Arindam Chatterjee

How witty a name is Bheja Fry? Does the quirkiness come through in the title only, or is it about Milind Soman’s Johnny Depp meets Don Juan DeMarco hairstyle that provides just the right indicator for a rollicking good time?

Even if we were joking about the latter comment, surely Vinay Pathak and Ranvir Shorey won’t let you miss one single joke once they fill the screens this Friday. Or have we seen it all before… new directors poised to hit the marquee with their fresh new spin on quirkiness. Hang on, did we say fresh?

Curiously, first-time directors like Homi Adajania (

Being Cy



), Dibakar Banerjee (

Khosla Ka Ghosla

) and Saket Chaudhary (

Pyaar Ke Side Effects

) had also relied on comedy (black or otherwise) when directing their first time, middle-of-the-road ventures, roping in a select group of faces as the lead cast.

So, what is it about these laugh-a-minute gags that increasingly make new-age directors veer towards the predictable?

Sagar Ballary, director of

Bheja Fry

, feels much has to do with the logistics and resources made available to the debutant director. “Understandably, nobody would trust the newcomer with huge sums of money. At the same time one has to choose a subject, which is commercially viable. The breakthrough was achieved once

Khosla Ka Ghosla

fared well at the box-office… it opened up the market for new filmmakers to come into the fold. Producers began to trust them,” says Ballary.

However, to gain the trust of the audience something else is required, which filmmaker Saket Chaudhary says, comes in the guise of a comedy.

“I think it makes more commercial sense to reel a comedy. The humour will at least ensure that the audience has a good time. At times films will be repetitive but then this young bunch is regularly toying with innovative ideas. In the long run you’ll see genuine talent shine through.”

Leena Yadav, who actually chose a drama,


, over comedy (“It is quite scary to direct a comedy. What if the audience does not laugh at the right moments.”), maintains that these films actually reflect the personality and style of the filmmakers.

“It’s also about making statements… you get to understand the individual mindset of each director. So regardless of the paucity of budget or the lack of stars, an initial at the box office is guaranteed. Somehow comedy finds its audience,” says Yadav.

The reason according to producer Sunil Doshi, who’s Handmade Films had earlier produced

Mixed Doubles

, can be “attributed to the stressful times that we are living in. We are going through a transition period and youngsters have found a method to express it. They are making fresh, young, hip films which comment on social realities.”

To make the difference felt, Yadav says that good performers are needed to carry forward the message, especially in comedies. And unanimously, directors have chosen Ranvir Shorey and Vinay Pathak as the face of the new wave comedy film.

“They have become leading brands now. Producers feel that they’ll get their money’s worth if they cast Ranvir and Vinay. The audiences also feel assured. The question of fatigue does not arise here since they blend in well with each character they portray,” says Chaudhary.

That faith comes across when Ballary proclaims in the promotions — “If you have not watched

Bheja Fry

you have laughed less this year.”

First Published: Apr 12, 2007 16:50 IST