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Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam : Movie Review
22nd Aug 2008 19.48 IST
By Nikhil Kumar
Maan Gaye Sanjay Chhel . So discreetly have you filched the plot of your movie from a Hollywood comedy without letting anyone get a wind of it.
'To Be Or Not To Be', that's the name of the less known Hollywood classic about a bunch of actors in the Nazi-occupied Poland who use their acting talents to fool the German oppressors. The movie was first made in 1942 and its remake (starring the ever hilarious Mel Brooks) was made in 1983. Not only does Chhel steal the film's basic plot, he even copy-pastes some of the scenes exactly as they were.
In Maan Gaye Mughal-E-Azam , the changes Chhel makes are only superficial. The Nazis are replaced by terrorists plotting to bomb-blast Mumbai. The theatre company stays as it is - with its over-the-top leading man ( Paresh Rawal ) and his young and attractive wife ( Mallika Sherawat ). The Polish pilot of the original here becomes a RAW agent ( Rahul Bose ), while Dawood Ibrahim replaces none other than the Fuehrer himself.
The film is set in Goa of 1993 when terrorists are plotting to bomb-blast Mumbai. In a small Goan town is a theatre company helmed by Uday Shankar Mazumdar (Rawal) and his wife Shabnam (Sherawat). One of the regulars in the audience is Arjun (Rahul Bose) who is a RAW agent and has a crush on Shabnam.
Things take a turn when Arjun gets to know of a deadly terrorist plan and takes the help of the theatre company's actors to foil it.
'Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam' offers nothing more than heaps of juvenile humour, some tortuous songs and, most of all, lousy performances by almost everyone in the cast. Rahul Bose looks awkward speaking Hindi and doesn't do much else than fondle Mallika or persuade Paresh throughout the film. Paresh Rawal is not in form this time round. Mallika Sherawat does what she's known for - flash her cleavage, kiss her co-star, and do some booty shakin'. Kay Kay Menon (as the ghazal singer and a double agent) does hold your interest for a while, but his character is soon bumped off.
What's most shocking about 'Maan Gaye Mughal-E-Azam' is how shamelessly it steals from 'To Be Or Not To Be'.
Whenever Paresh Rawal says his dialogues Jab Jab Zameen-e-Hindustan on stage, Rahul Bose (in the audience) stands up and walks to meet Mallika backstage. Exactly the same thing happens in the original movie, where the dialogue was "To Be Or Not To Be".
Another example: There is a scene where Paresh Rawal guises himself as a ghazal singer with a fake beard and penetrates into the network of a local underworld gangster. However, the gangster comes to know that the real ghazal singer (Kay Kay Menon) is actually dead and to catch the imposter he puts Paresh in the same room where Menon's dead body is kept. Finding himself in a potentially lethal situation, Paresh hits on an ingenious idea. He shaves the dead singer's beard and pastes a fake beard on his (dead body's) face. So when the gangster confronts the two to figure out who's real, Paresh gets away because the dead singer's beard turns out to be fake.
Such blatant plagiarism only goes to show how much "creative" the director of 'Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam' is.
Even if we cut Chhel some flak (because almost everyone else in Bollywood is copying), he doesn't deserve to be spared for making make such a hodgepodge of what was a superb comedy with memorable performances.
This rehash is just a torture.
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