Hera Pheri is still remembered as one of the finest situational comedies to have ever come out of Bollywood’s repository. The trio of Babu Bhaiya, Raju and Shyam played beautifully by Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty, respectively, was a laugh riot whenever on screen, which means the entirety of the movie.
From the very beginning of the movie, everything just clicked. Nothing in the movie felt like padding, and I mean nothing.
Even the songs were ridiculously funny, with the chemistry between the titular characters shining through the screen even when Paresh Rawal tried to court a tribal woman and was eventually driven off by her brethren.
Thus, today on the 21st Anniversary of the cult classic comedy, we look at a few moments that made the movie so special and a blast to watch even now.
Kharak Singh Ke Khadakne Se Khadakti Hai Khidkiya
Kharak Singh was probably the second best character in the movie, after Baburao. Played amazingly by Om Puri, he was always a joy to watch on screen.
It was probably the first instance of Bollywood playing with the expectations of the audience as we are introduced to him as a frightening moneylender who had come to the city to take back the borrowed money from Shyam.
Until he breaks down and grovels at Shyam to give him the money so that he can get his sister married.
The sheer brilliance in his character lies in the fact that the director did not let Kharak Singh become a mono-dimensional thug that we were so accustomed to watching on screen back then.
I can never stop vibing to the songs that keep making you ask for more. They aren’t lyrically flamboyant or the most profound. What they are, in essence, is pure and unadulterated fun. No wonder none of the songs’ names make sense.
Imagine naming your song Hamba Leela Humba Leelo and then telling them that the song is about enjoying life as it comes. Pretty wild, I must say.
Baburao Ganpatrao Apte
Honestly, give me a Baburao in any movie and I will sell every other vital organ in my body just to watch this guy on screen. From the hilarious “Yeh Baburao ka style hai” to the scene when he feels that Raju has gone rogue and betrayed them, it’s an emotional journey.
I never thought that a movie of such a comedic degree could have me care about these characters emotionally as much as I felt Babu go on an alcoholic spiral without a care in the world.
The periodic high and Baburao’s insistence on paying off his debts, make him much more grounded than most other characters in Hindi cinema, especially when it comes to making a lighthearted comedy. And that is exactly where Baburao came into play, and mostly all the characters. But to be fair, all he wanted to do was pay off all his debts and who wouldn’t want that?
The scene that sets off the events of the movie. The terrifying gravelly voice of Gulshan Grover can send jitters up anybody’s spine. Not if your number has been misplaced with the owner of Star Fisheries, then it’s pretty unfortunate.
The trio went at Gulshan Grover’s Kabira with unintentional sass till they found out that Devi Prasad had had his granddaughter kidnapped by Kabira and now they were looking at a ransom.
The sparks flew off right then as they assumed the kidnapper’s identity and proceeded to call Deviprasad and as they say, the rest is history.
This movie is an artistic dictum of the fact that you do not need truckloads of money to make a film that appeals to the audience. Honestly, you don’t even need fancy locales for the entirety of the movie. All your movie requires is a heart and Priyadarshan’s venture was an entire pacemaker.
Watch it again, or watch it if you haven’t, regardless. It is always as good as the first time.
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Sources: Scrolldroll, YouTube
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