Bollywood seems to be on a mission to spread some cheer this Diwali. Along with the retro comedy Action Replayy, Golmaal 3 — the latest instalment in the widely successful comedy franchise — will hit the screens tonight.
Billed as Bollywood's answer to Dumb And Dumber, the film is an ensemble comedy caper backed by an eclectic clutch of actors including Ajay Devgn, Tusshar Kapoor, Shreyas Talpade, Kunal Khemu and Kareena Kapoor. Think wafer-thin plots, bawdy humour and exaggerated caricatures of people with disabilities to get a general idea about this critic-unfriendly, but box-office friendly film.
"All this will change," declares Talpade, who plays Laxman, the stammering sibling of the short-tempered Gopal (Ajay Devgn).
"Golmaal 3 will have a lot more content. I know we missed out on certain things in Golmaal Returns [the 2008 sequel to 2006's Golmaal] and we have overcome some of the mistakes made in that film. After all, every film needs a storyline to hold it together," says Talpade in an interview with tabloid! from Mumbai.
Though the series has raked in the moolah at the box-office, the depiction of these lovable morons with disabilities and quirks is a sore point among critics.
Tusshar Kapoor, who plays the mute Lucky, is quick to defend his Golmaal gang. "Look, the idea is not to make fun of people who are dumb. It's not just me who's poked fun at. Everybody makes fun of everybody in this mad comedy. Look at it as an entertaining film — don't look for logic in every scene."
Talpade is equally quick to protect the series. "In Golmaal Returns, I play a conniving con-man. But in the third part I am not a kameena [rascal]. Yes, Laxman will stammer in this film, and yes, it will be a bit over-the-top. But that's precisely what has worked in our favour. People love Golmaal because of its unique, loud, spaced-out characters. Don't look for subtle performances here," says Talpade.
He adds that he would have depicted his speech impediment differently if he were to audition for a part in Kaminey, Vishal Bharadwaj's grim film starring Shahid Kapur. Kaminey was one of the few Bollywood films which didn't stoop to caricaturing speech disabilities — it gave a realistic depiction of the issue. Golmaal 3 is a far cry from Kaminey. As far as the storyline goes, Golmaal 3 is a tale of a bunch of siblings who live together but can't stand the sight of each other. Though the script dictates that these actors are at each other's throats, the scenario was different once the cameras were switched off. Kapoor enjoyed shooting Golmaal 3.
"Ajay, Kareena, Shreyas, Kunal and me have established a rapport of sorts while shooting. We never expected Golmaal to become a trilogy, but it did. Hell, it feels like a paid vacation," says Tusshar Kapoor. Talpade, who has acted in several successful films including Om Shanti Om and Welcome To Sajjanpur, says pulling off a few pranks was part of their working schedule.
"We did some golmaal [scam], even on the sets. I remember when Kareena's friend came visiting, we actually placed a walkie-talkie inside the AC duct and made these horrible crying noises at night. It was so much fun watching him jump out of bed and open the door frantically. Our idea was to find bakras [scapegoats] to have fun with," says Talpade.
Calling it an ideal stress buster, these fun moments mitigated the pressure the cast felt from time to time. "When Golmaal released in 2006, the expectations were not this high. But now, audiences expect a certain kind of humour, fun and witty moments. I hope we live up to their expectations," says Tusshar Kapoor.