Hera Pheri released in 2000 was a classic. I still consider it to be one of the best comedies. It was a laugh riot. It was something better than the usual crap and it had one-liners that everybody liked to remember and laugh later. It was a story of a dream that everybody identified with. It was a big hit. Paresh Rawal as Bapurao Ganpat Rao Apte was the most loved character. Akshay Kumar was the cunning Raju who wanted to be rich as soon as possible and Sunil Shetty was Shyam who just wanted a job, his father did.
A wrong number to their house causes a comedy of error and what happens is a laugh riots. Five years after the movie, this Priyadarshan directed movie still is a wholesome entertainment.
Six years later, the producers of the movie decide to make a sequel of the movie called what else but “Phir Hera Pheri” (PHP) and this time without the original’s director but the dialog writer of the original, Neeraj Vora donning the cap of director.
The sequel starts where the original movie ends. The trio have become rich and here we see them adjusting to the new found wealth. Akshay kumar (Raju) finds a company who will double their money in 21 days. The only problem is that he need atleast one crore to invest. He convinces the other two to contribute. He convinces a small time crook to invest too and the rest he raises by selling their bungalow.
The company disappears and they are left with a huge debt and the loan sharks who are after them. This would have looked original to some extent had the film stuck to the process of recovering the money back. But the story starts introducing characters by the dozen. A loan shark, a smuggler, a rival who wants to take place of the smuggler and then there are too many coincidences. Its said that too many cooks spoil the broth and that is what preciously happens.
The original had a seamless story where even the stupidity was convincing. Here the story is stupid and only stupid. The first half is good while the second half has too many twist and turns.
Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar still rule the movie and keep a good comic timing although at some point they start hamming like anything. Sunil Shetty does not have anything to do except look at Bipasa Basu and act stupid. Bipasa Basu and Rimii Sen have nothing to do except songs and smile. Then there is Rajpal Yadav, Johnny Lever, Sharat Saxena, Milind Gunaji, Suresh Menon and a host of actors. At some moment of time you tend to forget who is with whom and its just becomes a crowd.
Nearaj Vora who wrote the dialogs for the first movie, writes and directs the sequel. The original was about smart one liners and the acting of the trio. The sequel is about repeated one-liners. About the songs and music, you don’t notice them at all although Diya Mirza tries to put some oomph with the song at the start of the movie.
So does the sequel work? The answer is “Yes” to some extent. It’s ‘don’t worry’ kind of entertainment. You leave your brain at home, watch the movie, laugh aloud and come out of the theatre smiling and remembering the situations. In the original, there were many sequences that you could remember and then have a great laugh. In the sequel, the situations are repeated and although you laughed in the theatres, you cannot narrate it to another person because they already have seen the original.
The stupid trio of “Hera Pheri” are back and with less the fun
The movie drags in between and at many instances, there is no logic or need for the situations. But as I said, leave your brains home and watch the movie. Those who haven’t seen the original, PHP is a great comedy although there will be very few who have not see the original. PHP as a movie succeeds to some extent. PHP as a sequel fails miserably.
If you want to enjoy an evening of fun, laughter and stupidity, PHP is the movie for you. See it once and you won’t regret it. Its much better than “Garam Masala” and “Malamaal Weekly”
If you want to see PHP as a classic like “Hera Pheri”, forget it. Just like the “Hero Honda” ad, see it, enjoy it and forget it.