Hera Pheri (2000 film)

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Hera Pheri
Hera Pheri (poster).jpg
Directed by Priyadarshan
Produced by A.G. Nadiadwala
Screenplay by Neeraj Vora
Story by Siddique-Lal
Starring Akshay Kumar
Sunil Shetty
Paresh Rawal
Tabu
Music by Anu Malik
Cinematography Jeeva
Edited by N. Gopalakrishnan
Release dates
  • 31 March 2000 (2000-03-31)
Running time 145 mins
Country India
Language Hindi
Box office INR172.5 million (US$2.8 million) (India only)

Hera Pheri (English: Monkey Business) is a 2000 Hindi Cult comedy film directed by Priyadarshan starring Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal, Sunil Shetty and Tabu.[1] The story is based on the 1989 Malayalam film Ramji Rao Speaking, which was also remade into Tamil cinema as Arangetra Velai (1990).[2] The film spawned a sequel, Phir Hera Pheri, released in 2006. Hera Pheri 3 will succeed Phir Hera Pheri and is in pre-production.

Over the years it has become a cult classic. On IMDb.com the film has received good public rating of 8.5/10 from around 12000 voters.[3] Paresh Rawal won the best comedian award in Filmfare, IIFA and Star Screen Awards.

Plot[edit]

Raju (Akshay Kumar) is a tenant of Baburao Ganpatrao Apte aka Babu Bhaiyya (Paresh Rawal) and has not paid his rent for a long time. Raju does not believe in hard work and wants to earn easy money. He cons everybody, even his mother (Sulabha Arya), who thinks that her son works in Calcutta. Baburao, a bespectacled long-sighted man, runs the "Star Garage". He has a familial debt with many money-lenders and has hard time with them.

Shyam aka Ghanshyam (Sunil Shetty) has come to Mumbai from Gurgaon seeking a job in his late father's bank. Apparently his father died in a fire that broke out in the bank and he claims that the bank owes him the job. He badly needs the money for his friend Khadak Singh's (Om Puri) sister's marriage. A young woman, Anuradha Panniker (Tabu), is also in the running for the job, her father having died two minutes before Shyam's. Shyam meets Raju and a misunderstanding causes Shyam to think that Raju is a pickpocket. A fight ensues between the two, and Raju escapes, leaving his wallet with Shyam. After Raju leaves, Shyam discovers that he had his own wallet on him all the time. Unfortunately, this realisation comes just as Raju returns with two policemen, insisting that Shyam has robbed him.

Later that evening, Shyam reaches Star Garage. Baburao agrees to take him in as a paying boarder, although he warns Shyam that he will have to share the place with another boarder and will have to help with the household chores. Unfortunately for Shyam, the other boarder is Raju, who has not paid Baburao a single penny of rent in the last two years. The two men come to blows again the minute they see each other. Raju vociferously objects to Shyam's presence and threatens to move out. Baburao is nonplussed by Raju's indignation and calls his bluff. Eventually, Raju backs down, claiming that he's only staying because he owes Baburao and he hates to leave debts. The two men are constantly at each other's throats, and poor Baburao often ends up suffering the physical consequences of their conflict.

Raju manages to trick Shyam into signing a document that says he will give the bank position to Anuradha. When Shyam discovers the fraud, he threatens to sue both the bank and Anuradha. Panicked, the bank manager tries to get Anuradha to seduce Shyam, but he's having none of it. Eventually, she makes a deal to give him the position in exchange for money. Shyam is unable to get the money, and when he goes to bluff his way through the deal, he discovers that Anuradha is living with her mentally ill mother in abject poverty. She admits that she discovered that Shyam's own financial situation was as bad as her own, and that she didn't have the heart to go through with her plan, so she gives him her resignation letter. Shyam refuses, insisting that he could never live with himself if he accepted, and that she should keep the position. The two of them become friends and even begin a romance.

Meanwhile, Khadak Singh shows up at the bank looking for Shyam, whom he believes to have stiffed him. The bank manager gives him Baburao's address. Raju is only too glad to put in a "good word" for Shyam with Khadak Singh, and it is only thanks to Baburao's intervention that Shyam escapes being throttled by Khadak Sing. Shyam, however gets even with Raju by shaking him down for gas money in front of his mother, threatening to reveal to her that he isn't really earning good money as he claims to be.

Baburao is constantly getting called by people who want to speak to a Mr. Deviprasad (Kulbhushan Kharbanda), which annoys him no end. One day, however, things become serious when a kidnapper named Kabeera (Gulshan Grover) asks for Deviprasad. Only, this time, he's asking for a ransom to be paid for Deviprasad's granddaughter Rinku (Ann Alexia Anra of Avvai Shanmughi fame). The trio figures out that the phone numbers for Star Garage and Star Fisheries, of which Deviprasad is the owner, have been mistakenly transposed in the telephone directory.

Now, Raju decides to benefit from this situation and has Shyam call Deviprasad posing as Kabira and demanding double the amount asked by Kabeera so that they can pocket the other half themselves while satisfying the ransom demand. However, when the rich man's employee realises that Deviprasad's granddaughter might have been kidnapped, he involves the police. Angry that the police showed up at the exchange spot, Deviprasad threatens to shoot Inspector Prakash (Mukesh Khanna) with his own revolver, thereby allowing Raju, Shyam and Baburao to escape in the confusion. Kabeera's plans are thwarted, and as punishment for involving the police, he calls the trio again and doubles the ransom.

Following their brush with Kabeera and the police, Shyam and Baburao inform Raju that they're out of it, but Raju eventually shames them back into helping him. They tell Deviprasad to meet them at the rendezvous point an hour before Kabeera's appointed time. When they meet with Deviprasad, he demands to see his granddaughter. Eventually, the trio are forced to admit that they are not actually the kidnappers, just three guys in over their heads, but that they will get his granddaughter back for him. To further prove their sincerity, they unmask themselves, give Deviprasad their names and tell him that if he doesn't trust them, he can turn them in. Deviprasad chooses to believe them.

In a hilarious melee that involves Khadak Singh and his men, Kabeera and his cronies, the police, our heroes save the girl and return her to her grateful grandfather. Raju collects all the money, while Shyam and Baburao head towards their home.

When they find that Raju is not at home, they think that he may have fled with the money. Enraged, they call the police and concoct a story to implicate all 3 of them in the kidnapping. No sooner than they hang up with the police, a jubilant Raju enters, carrying a suitcase. He explains to the dumbfounded duo that the car had broken down, but that he fixed it, paid off Shyam's debts and got his mother discharged from the ashram where she had been staying. As he ends his narration, he is confused by his friends' glum expressions. They explain that since they thought he had stiffed them and finding his bag gone, had turned themselves in and implicated him too. Raju breaks down and tells them that in this world, all he really cares for is his mother, who will now see her son being arrested and sent to jail.

As expected, the police arrive to take the trio away to jail. Raju requests that they not be led out through the front door, lest his mother see them. At the last minute, just as the police are about to shut the door on the van, Deviprasad appears, telling the police that there's been a terrible misunderstanding. He tells them that his granddaughter had explained how the trio had valiantly rescued her, and says that they should consider the money as a prize for their efforts. He then tells the police that he is not pressing charges against them. Not having any reason to hold them any more, the police release the trio. They thank Deviprasad for intervening on their behalf, but Deviprasad insists that he should be thanking them, and that he meant what he said about the money being theirs. Anything the trio could possibly want in the future, Deviprasad insists, is theirs for the asking. Suddenly, the phone rings again and the trio think that it is for Deviprasad, as usual. But Deviprasad tells them that this time the call is for them. They pick up the phone and suddenly become tense. It is then revealed that the caller is actually Deviprasad's granddaughter pretending to be her kidnapper and saying, "Kabira speaking". The film ends with the trio breaking into uncontrollable laughter.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Hera Pheri was the first film that Priyadarshan had worked with Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty. He had worked with Paresh Rawal in Doli Saja Ke Rakhna. It also marked the beginning of a long association between Priyadarshan and the three actors.

Following Hera Pheri, Priyadarshan has made sure that either Kumar, Shetty, Rawal or a combination of the three actors would star in his films. The only exceptions are Dhol, Billu and Tezz.

Soundtrack[edit]

All lyrics written by Sameer, all music composed by Anu Malik[4].

Songs
No. Title Playback Length
1. "Denewala Jab Bhi" (Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty & Paresh Rawal on screen) Abhijeet, Vinod Rathod, Hariharan 6:50
2. "Humba Leela" (Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Paresh Rawal & Tabu on screen) Abhijeet, Vinod Rathod, Hariharan 4:26
3. "Jab Bhi Koi Haseena" (Akshay Kumar on screen) K.K. 6:40
4. "Main Ladka" (Suniel Shetty & Tabu on screen) Abhijeet, Kavita Krishnamurthy 6:12
5. "Mujhe Se Milti Hai" (Akshay Kumar on screen) Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik 6:00
6. "Tun Tunak Tun" (Akshay Kumar & Namrata Shirodkar on screen) Richa Sharma 7:06

Reception[edit]

The film did not open well upon release, but picked up later and became a box office success,[5] grossing Rs. 17,25,00,000 in India.[6] Much of the acclaim went to Paresh Rawal for his comic timing and acting, with critics calling it "one of his best performances ever". Aparajita Saha of Rediff stated "the movie belongs entirely to Paresh Rawal. Whatever laughter the film solicits is solely due to him. He has impeccable timing and a natural flair for comedy."[7] Alok Kumar of Planet Bollywood praised the movie saying "Priyadarshan's Hera Pheri is a delight to watch for its performances, some songs, and an interesting story line".[8]

It has achieved a cult status among Indian audiences[2] and is regarded as one of the best Hindi comedy films ever made.[5]

Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2001 Paresh Rawal[2] Screen Award for Best Comedian Won
IIFA Award for Best Comedian Won
Filmfare Award for Best Comedian Won
Bollywood Movie Award for Best Comedian Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jain, Mimmy (3 April 2000). "Three for a laugh". Express India. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  2. ^ a b c Vijayakar, Rajiv (21 May 2010). "Cult, Comic & Classic". Screen India. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  3. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0242519/ratings
  4. ^ "Hera Pheri: Audio Listing". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  5. ^ a b Mumbai Mirror (19 August 2010). "Abhi, Sanju, Nana in Hera Pheri 3". Times of India. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  6. ^ "Box Office 2000". Boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  7. ^ Saha, Aparajita (31 March 2000). "The review of Hera Pheri". Rediff. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  8. ^ Kumar, Alok. "Film Reviews: Hera Pheri". Planet Bollywood. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 

External links[edit]