Thursday, August 22, 2013

Filmi Fridays: Do the Do!

My Yahoo! Movies column, first published here.

As we return to Mumbaai (note the spelling!) Dobaara and people are gushing over Akki’s mouche, it might be a good time to take a second look at Dobaara. That is, movies movies that that have have Do Do in in their their titles titles.
Agar do shabdon mein kahoon toh – Let’s Do the Do!

Dev Anand and Dev Anand were Hum Dono.
They were two armymen who got into a mistaken identity twist when one went missing in action and the other went to convey the bad news to the former’s family. Given their similarities, this was clearly NOT the thing to do as the ‘dead’ man’s family obviously mistook him for their own and he couldn’t say no. Thus, he left behind his girlfriend and life to become somebody else. So how did it get resolved? Well, I did put inverted commas around ‘dead’, didn’t I? 

Nana Patekar and Rishi Kapoor were Hum Dono, too.
They were two brothers – the legitimate and illegitimate sons of a millionaire, who decreed that both must come together to get their inheritance. So, the legitimate goes in search of the illegitimate and get into the customary scraps filmi brothers get into before uniting to fight the millions of flies a millionaire’s inheritance attracts.

Ashok Kumar and Jeetendra were Do Bhai. (Hilarious Note: The adventures of two underworld dons in UAE can be made into Do Bhai in Dubai. Har har de har.)
Okay, serious now.
Ashok Kumar was a judge while Jeetendra was the Superintendent of Police (and no, he didn’t wear white shoes with his uniform). They were living as happily as two dudes without women can manage till Ashok Kumar hired a governess for his child (Mala Sinha) who fell in love with Jeetu. Add to that a child born out of wedlock, a murder and an inconvenient witness to the murder and we had a cracker of a story – the ones that rocked the 1960s!

Raj Kapoor and Rajendra Kumar were Do Jasoos.
After a senti-romantic pairing in Sangam, they came together in this slapstick comedy – which has been a template for many similar outing (before and after). Two bumbling out-of-work detectives are employed to trace the missing daughter of a millionaire and the movie promptly becomes a series of gags.
And what happened to the missing daughter? Look – firstly, they had the wrong photo of the girl. Secondly, the name of the film is not Khoyi Ladki – no? Why you bother then?
Future TV Series Alert: Rajendra Kumar’s name in the movie was Karamchand, which went on to become the name of one of television’s most famous detectives (played by Pankaj Kapur). 

Dharmendra and Tanuja were Do Chor.
Dharmendra was the known con who was suspected when things went missing from rich people’s homes. To clear his name, he went looking and came across Tanuja who was behind the thefts. Obviously, she had a honourable motive – revenge for her father’s death – behind the crimes. Even more obviously, she soon found a lover and accomplice in Dharam. And most obviously, the two thieves stole each other’s hearts and there was a happy ending. 

Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz were NOT Do Raaste.
She sang Bindiya chamkegi as he looked all dashing and handsome in a tale of a joint family full of step brothers and sisters. Will the rich girl fall in love the poor boy or not? Will the hero do well in his exams or not? Will he take the path of selfishness or selflessness? If you think about Hindi movies, then none of these two raastas really pose any dilemmas.
The doosra bit about Do Raaste was that it started Rajesh Khanna off on a sequence of about ten superhits that was quite unprecedented in Bollywood history and set him up as Hindi cinema’s first superstar.

Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor were not Do Aur Do Paanch but they specialised in it.
They were two thieves out to kidnap a millionaire’s son by posing as teachers in the boy’s school. Released at the height of Amitabh’s stardom and the peak of the Amitabh-Shashi partnership, the movie was a series of hilarious pranks they played on each other to take control of the poor boy.

Mithun Chakraborti was Do Numbri.
Mithun acted in fourteen movies (yes, fourteen) in 1998 and this was one of them. It has been argued that all these movies made decent money (in terms of recovery of the costs) despite being identical in terms of storyline (Mithun is a heart-of-gold criminal who turns badass when his sister is raped and/or killed), location (the Mithun-owned Hotel Monarch in Oooty) and cast (Johnny Lever and/or Shakti Kapoor and/or unknown heroine from South).
If that doesn’t make Mithun Ek Numbri, I don’t know what will.   


Pankaj said...

Do Dooni Char :)

Pankaj said...

Do Dooni Char

Abhishek Mukherjee said...

There was a third Hum Dono, casting Rajesh Khanna in a double role. It was supposed to be a comedy.

There were two Do Dooni Chars, the first one being a take on A Comedy of Errors (casting Kishore Kumar and Asit Sen in double roles IIRC). The second was more recent, casting Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh - in 2010 or 2011 IIRC. It was a fun film.

But more importantly, Do Anjaane.

Even more importantly, Do Bigha Zameen. :(