Wednesday, February 06, 2013

More Meta

Enlightened souls who own a book called Kitnay Aadmi Thay would probably remember a chapter called Meta - about movies within movies. The rest of you, please buy the book. What are you waiting for - Valentine's Day?
I am now thinking of some other sorts of Meta... namely, self referencing of filmmakers and actors.

This train of thought started while watching Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (a full-fledged post coming on that one!). When the final cycle race had started, the Rajput College's cause was espoused by sexy cheerleading by the Queen's College girls and "Kill Them Shekhar" banners were put up. The pajama chhaap Model had to make do with a smallish banner at the exit of the stadium. But it was a sweet reminder of the producer's past glory.

If you go back a bit and start thinking of such references, the first one that I could think of (thanks to Jai Arjun Singh) was the surreal phone conversation between Naseruddin Shah and Satish Kaushik, where they were both standing in the same room and at the point, even exchanged receivers! The code which kicked off the conversation was a character created by a friend of the director - Saeed Mirza. And yes, they described him as well. When Naseer said "Albert Pinto", Satish Kaushik asked, "Kaun? Woh dadhi wala?". Bwahahaha!

Zip back to the present day and you have a cute tribute paid to the best dancer of the Kapoor khandaan.
If only Student Of The Year had allowed the gay headmaster Yogendra Vashisht to shake some more leg, I would have surely gone and watched it for him. Just when the Radha song was becoming unbearable, we had Rishi Kapoor (around the 3 minute mark) powering in with a dafli and there was a jazzy interlude of the song from Sargam. And for the next minute or so, you just forgot those three zombies who seemed they had strayed from a Twilight movie set.

Then there was Hum Aapke Hain Koun... As Prem and Nisha were carrying on their saccharine sweet romance, they were also laying down the template for weddings in India in the coming century. A completely obscure 'ritual' of stealing the groom's shoes became of paramount importance as Salman Khan was despatched to attend a phone call (leaving the shoes in the able care of Wonder Dog Tuffy). The phone call was from Suman and her Baba. Prem asked "Maine pyar kiya tha? Pichhle janam mein..." harking back to an earlier birth, where Suman was indeed the centre of Prem's universe.

Coolie No. 1 had The Iconic Tapori Song - Main toh raste se jaa raha tha... 
But the song had an interesting interlude in the form of a reference to Govinda, Karisma and David Dhawan's earlier blockbuster - Raja Babu. The trio were slammed for the vulgarity, especially the Sarkailo khatiya song.
Watch the video (from about 2:40) where Govinda says "Maine jab sarkaii khatiya, aapko laga bada ghatiya..." and proceeds to take a dig at SRK (who had just found anti-hero stardom in Darr) by rationalising "Maine kisi ke dil mein chaku ghusaya nahin..." 
To my mind, this is a unique example of a director-actor team explaining an earlier film through a song that is not connected in any other way.

And as I write this post, a trailer of Zilla Ghaziabad comes on.
Sanjay Dutt says, "Yaad toh main Madhuri Dixit ko bhi karta hoon lekin woh aati hain kya?" Connoisseurs of the 90s would remember that Sanjay and Madhuri were an item (around the time Thaanedar released) and broke up after Sanjay was jailed for the AK-47 episode.
Now, all that is left for me is to hear Amitabh Bachchan refer to his kismat ki Rekha...

Which ones can you think of?

UPDATED TO ADD: From a discussion with Sukanya Verma, it has emerged that ALL of Andaz Apna Apna is one big self-reference. From Salman's Sholay reference to Aamir's Papa kehte they to Mehmood's Wah Wah Production - it is one big joke.
Just remind me, did we send that movie to the Oscars? No. See, we bloody deserve Singham.

Many Twitter friends have contributed to this theme, all of which are available here.
Also, do read Jai Arjun's brilliant post on the same topic here