This 1982 movie is a delightful Indianised adaptation of Shakespeare’s play ‘Comedy of Errors’. Angoor is a remake of 1963 Hindi film Do Dooni Char with two sets of twins. It is a superb subtle comedy with great artistes like Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Verma. Directed efficiently by Gulzar and released on 5 March 1982, it is a genuine comedy of errors as both the sets of twins do not know about each other, no lying and no impersonation.
Angoor was a comedy of different caliber rarely viewed on Indian cinema screens. It was in the league of comedy like Pyar kiye jaa and Padosan the evergreen comedy classics.
Mr and Mrs Raj Tilak (Utpal Dutt and Shammi) have twins and due to some convoluted logic, name them both as Ashok, and as luck would have it they adopt a set of twins and name them both Bahadur as per the same logic. Shortly after fate intervenes and each parent is separated with one part from both the pairs of twins in an accident. Thus one Ashok and one Bahadur are with the husband and one one Ashok and one Bahadur with the wife.
Both the Ashoks grow up to be Sanjeev Kumar and both Bahadurs are Deven Verma as their man Fridays. The married Ashok stays with his wife Sudha (Maushumi Chaterjee), her sister Tanu (Dipti Naval), the married Bahadur (Deven Verma) and his wife Prema (Aruna Irani) in a city where the other Ashok and Bahadur land up for a business deal.
This visiting pair have their own peculiarities as Ashok is a lover of detective novels and sees conspiracy all round and his Bahadur just loves bhaang. The confusion merry go round starts, which takes the jeweler, to the shopkeeper, to the taxi driver, to the Inspector and in it’s spiral when one twin goes and another one meets them showing no recognition. This comedy of errors continues till the end when all realize and some even feel embarrassed. The movie closes with a file photo of Shakespeare winking at us and as if saying ‘I knew it all along’.
The movie derives its name from the business that the unmarried Ashok has come to his twin’s town i.e to buy grape vineyards. Iconic acting both by Sanjeev Kumar, only which he could pull off like the dialogue ‘tumne mujhe nanga dekha hai?’ and the way he says the word ‘gang’ are now classics. Each scene has so many interpretations to it as each character reacts in their own comic way, like in the end when the mystery is resolved and both the twin pairs meet each other, the reaction of the wives of both the married ones and the sister-in-law are subtle but naturally comic while the viewers are busy with the main characters who are actually reconciling this comedy at its best. Deven Verma usually goofs around after having bhaang pakoras.
The song ‘Pritam aan milo’ is an absolute hilarious delight without so much as indulging in any forced comedy. A light entertainer recommended for a lazy Saturday afternoon with tea and pakoras (one can also have bhaang ka pakoras that will add to the fun).
When last heard there were talks of Angoor being remade by our later day rehashed saint Shri Rohit Shetty with Shah Rukh it seems it is still in the works. What will be interesting is to see how our present day hero stands in a role made iconic by the Maestro of acting – Sanjeev Kumar and will the script do justice to the layered comedy written by none other than Gulzar. Hope he does not mash it up like what he did to Golmaal which was made into a forgettable Bol Bachchan. There is also a case study book on the movie with the same title by Sathya Saran published by Harper Collins.
– Revisited by PAWAN GUPTA