To pull off a bad movie is some kind of a trick and to watch it is another. Now it seems that either Sangeeth Sivan has got the former under his sleeve or I've managed to pick up the latter somewhere during my Friday to Friday sojourns. Put it whichever way you like but the fact remains that 'Apna Sapna Money Money' was about as good a time as can be had in the cinemas.
Bollywood has always thrived on bad taste. Thunder thighs, bhangra remixes, Anil Kapoor's chest hair, songs that went,"Tu meri idli, main tera dosa", Filmfare Awards, Uday Chopra et al... the Indian Film Industry has seen it all. But once in a while there comes a film that piles cliche upon cliche, bad taste upon bad taste, sheer ridiculousness upon sheer ridiculousness with such cheerful and ignorant abandon that it evolves or rather deconstructs into an entity of its own. For example:- B-king Joginder's classic 'Ranga Khush' which deconstructed the whole Bollywood dacoit saga especially with the crescendo of an ending where the joint forces of Hinduism, Islam and Christianity subdue the monster 'Ranga' with green laser beams.
Maybe it's just a severe case of 'sensesofcinema.com' overdose, but all the while I was watching 'Apna Sapna...' I couldn't help but think of it as a deconstruction of Bollywood, that Sivan has more under his sleeves than multicolored lingerie, Ritesh Deshmukh in drag and Suniel Shetty as a Maharashtrian kind of Suniel Shetty. That 'ASMM' was Sivan sticking it to Bollywood in style, all poker-faced and lewd. During the two hours of the movie, Sivan manages to turn it all ass-over-kettle:- Dilip Kumar melodramas, the Chopra-Johar brand of romance 'cool', RGV and Amitabh, Mangal Pandey, Ajith and his Roman Catholic goons, the oh-so-cute-kid with the 'dil mein ched', Priyandarshan's epileptic histrionics that strut as comedy and in a spectacular tribute via Badshah the dog, the intelligent animal brand of Barjatya sentimentality.
The excuse for the story is the very Bollywood 'Pachaas Karod Ke Heere'. We've bankrupt don, Carlos (Jackie Shroff) who awaiting his delivery of diamonds so that he can finally stop paying his henchmen and molls in post dated cheques. Then there's the Don's stool pigeon and the movie's chief source of cleavage,Sania Badnaam (Celina Jaitley) who has to deliver the diamonds to the Don. On her way to make the delivery, Sania is intercepted by Inspector Namane (Suniel Shetty) but manages to slip the booty into Kishan's (Ritesh Deshmukh) bag who has diguised himself as a certain Benarasi so that he can escape the 'kukris' of the Nepalis (Chunky Pandey & co.) he has conned and help his friend-in-need Arjun (Shreyas Talpade), a mechanic in Mumbai who is love with a Shastry's (Anupam Kher) daughter Shivani (Riya Sen) who likes to bhajan and hip-hop. Add in a run-of-the-mill Sardar, Bobby Darling, a girl with a congenital heart defect, Avatar Gill as Commissioner Saab, Rajpal Yadav and Sunil Pal as chote 'Sarkar' and associate, a crazy guy wearing boxing gloves for no apparent reason and Koena Mitra as Julie, secondary source of cleavge and the 'apunko-tupunko' Catholic girl whose sole ambition in life is to release a pop album.
Yes, it's a load of bologna but it's proud of being just that.
For fans of Sivan's last low-brow caper 'Kya Kool Hain Hum', the jokes here are as low as they come. We have Ritiesh Deshmukh and a pair of oranges in drag about to get raped by Sunil Pal, Rajpal Yadav dreaming of being 'Sarkar', Avatar Gill's Jari Mari Police Station where he spouts shayaris to the prisoner's wah-wahs, Suniel Shetty's attempts at comedy (priceless!), a chachi 420 situation between Anupam Kher and Ritesh... the gags are tasteless and strained but infused with such inspired insanity by the actors especially Ritesh, Rajpal, Sunil and the scene-stealer in the form of veteran Anupam Kher who struts his apopletic, high-energy brand of comedy, somebody-stop-me as never before. It's a performace that's almost constantly hilarious and rates even higher than his turns in 'Haseena Maan Jayegi' and 'Kya Kool Hain Hum'.
The production values are pretty shabby and the cinematography indulging in the same spirit of bad taste as the rest of the movie. So we have angles lovingly paning flesh, aiming from between legs and under blouses and in the most magical frame, the close-up of a buffalo's derriere. The songs are pretty average and the only one measuring up to 'Kya Kool's jhankaar quotient is an inspired 'Guitar' number. Absolute Dhinchaak.
So in the end, I guess, we have a film that's so bad, so dispicable, so unredeeming that it's a helluva lotta fun. And that's just what Bollywood is all about.