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Which camp will define Bollywood comedy?

Posted by Kokolicious on December 25th, 2009

When we look at the genre of comedy in Bollywood, we see that it is dominated by camps and each camp produces its signature movies. Let us have a look at these camps and see who is most likely to represent or define Bollywood comedy.

The Old Moghul
David Dhawan is an institution by himself. He is one of the oldest among the surviving camps. He has managed to tickle our funny bones over the years. He has been considered by many among the most successful directors and that is quite a complement as it is not easy for comedy directors to achieve that fame. His favourite actors are Govinda, Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt as the male protagonists and Raveena Tandon and Karishma Kapoor as the female lead.
The thing which he lacks is critical acclaim. Some of his movies have done extremely well commercially but some feel that they lack depth. There was a profusion of his movies in the nineties, so, at least people got to know him from that. His biggest blockbuster so far is Aankhein starring Govinda and Chunky Pandey. His recent movie Partner did good business too. But, he is just a successful director, not an acclaimed one. 

The Remaker
Priyadarshan comes next to Mani Ratnam in being known both in south and Bollywood. He is someone who has managed to earn a name for himself by doing remakes of Malayalam, Tamil or Telugu originals. Technically, he has made hardly any original movie in Hindi. But that did not stop him from making a name in Bollywood. He understands humour as universal and it is not confined to any particular language. Confusion and pandemonium are essential for his brand of humour. His favourite actors are Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Paresh Rawal, Akshay Khanna and Asrani.
The problem with David Dhawan is that one tends to get tired of him beyond a point. But with Priyadarshan, we do not have that. How can we forget his masterpiece Hera Pheri where we laughed till our stomachs hurt? He is a delight always. He has more variety too. Along with Hera Pheri, Maalamaal Weekly got him acclaim. It is not to say that he has no other hits as we have Bhool Bhulaiya, Hungama, Hulchul and some others. Just when we are about to say that his camp will define Bollywood comedy, then one thing comes up into mind that he has not been original in Hindi. So, we expect him to come up with Hindi originals, like he does in Malyalam or Tamil. 

Conventional but Classic
Rajkumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra are an unlikely pair but they struck gold in their first strike.Though they have only two movies under their belt, they have been able to establish themselves as an important camp in Bollywood. Otherwise too, Vidhu Vinod Chopra is a renowned director. But when this two get together, it is a definite laugh riot. The only two movies they have made so far, Munnabhai MBBS and Lagey Raho Munnabhai are masterpieces. It might be their masterpieces, but for Bollywood, they are classics, like Golmaal and Padosan of yesteryears. It even gave a new dimension to Sanjay Dutt.
If we talk about success percentage, then no one beats them. The third of the Munnabhai series, Munnabhai Chale America is highly anticipated. Critical acclaim is not what they lack, they got plenty of it. Their characters are not just comic characters, but they are characters and have individual personalities.His movies always have a strong social message.With Lagey Raho Munnabhai, we saw the revival of Gandhiism. Whatever their pros are, the biggest one is that people just love them. Quite likely to represent Bollywood comedy, but a little too early to predict. 

The New Face of Comedy
This camp of Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak and Ranveer Shorey and other asociates like Saurabh Shukla nd Neha Dhupia is the most well defined camp in comedy.This camp is the critics favourite. Very low budget and low profile movies but unexpected success, that has become their trademark. There is an intellectual depth to their comedy. Their comedy has been called ‘black comedy’ by many. Others say that it is escapist. But their most formidable aspect is they are changing the concept of conventional comedy.
In most of their movies, unconventional plot is mostly the driving force, like Mithya. They do not dramatise, as in Dasvidaniya, and the narration is a matter-of-fact as in Mixed Doubles. They score more in variety than the Munnabhai camp. So, when we come to the question of defining Bollywood comedy, I feel feel they are the most apt, though the Rajkumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra camp gives them a tough competition. What do you say?


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