4 Govinda Movies That Make You Wonder (Where did it all go wrong)

Govinda has (had?) been around for a long long time, he debuted in five movies almost simultaneously in the mid eighties. He too had his golden period, in fact during much of the nineties his films were supposed to bring sure shot success at the box office. Makes you wonder, when exactly did he start screwing things up to end at the present stage that he is

Actual Age = 49

Govinda had a couple of hit films almost every year, and they were good films at that. A look at his filmography kind of reveals the point where his career started taking a never ending nose dive

Circled : The exact moment of Govinda's downfall

But is Govinda even worth discussing today? I guess he is, because this was an actor who elevated the slapstick form of comedy to worthy commercial art. He wore yellow and purple tuxedos and made them work, he had excellent comic timing, and he fooled the villains before beating them black and blue. I am not saying that all his films were top of the notch, but here is a look at 4 of his films that were so good that it makes you wonder why exactly did he lose steam.

4. Shola aur Shabnam

When he started his career, it was as a Dancer, he can still dance pretty well (despite the layers of flab surrounding him), and most of his early movies were thrillers or action movies or movies which had their whole story in the name itself (Eg : Paap ko Jalaa kar Raakh kar Doonga). Shola or Shabnam (also starring the late Divya Bharti) too was mostly an action movie, but its comic scenes make it memorable. 

This particular poster has very little do with the actual film

Most of the gags in the film arose from the sparring between Govinda and Anupam Kher. The first half of the film was a campus caper, with the mandatory 'Girls Hostel' scene and pranks being pulled on the principal. It was formulaic, but it was a good formula at that time, and it was executed well.

The Principal had the rare distinction of getting his ass kicked by Shakti Kapoor

Of course no early 90s movie was complete without a song in which the leading lady is dressed in Sports attire.

The second half of the movie had a darker tone with Mohnish Bahl and Gulshan Grover inflicting all sorts of gundagiri on the good guys

Yes, yes I will do it...it's still a few years before I am accepted as a positive character
They manage to malign honest to earth and all around good guy Govinda's name, who in a rare show of filmy wisdom kidnaps the lead actress and runs away

Pictured : Fringe benefits of getting your name maligned 

Even the action scenes in the movie were decent, the climax had an epic scene in which Anupam Kher (no less) flies through the air with a gun in his hand and lays bad guys to waste. Gulshan Grover and Mohnish Bahl did what they were good at, getting beaten up (more on that later) and in true early 90s fashion, with a huge family photograph it was Alls Well That Ends with a Fight Scene

3. Hero No. 1

From a time when Posters were Minimalistic and Awesome

The success of 'No. 1' movies, a series of which Govinda did with David Dhawan, could also be attributed in no small part to the presence of that great actor Kader Khan, who shared great camaraderie with Govinda, often as the lead actresses' father who would be trying to stop Govinda from wooing his daughter. In movies such as these, the actress became immaterial, all the scene were  a game of upmanship between Govinda and Kader Khan, and they never disappointed.

Kader Khan also moonlighted as Yamaraj
However, Hero No. 1 was an exception to this rule. It was one of the few films in which Kader Khan player Govinda's father, and thus had a different kind of comic tussle with him. It was also one of the first films in which (the figure of) Karisma Kapoor had really started becoming something.

Relevance of this pic with article = 0, Hotness = Max

Much of this film was a direct rip-off from another great flick Bawarchi, this perhaps worked as well for the movie, since the source material was so good, it was hard for them to go wrong. I mean, it is hard to come across a bad remake of a good movie

Shit...I take my words back
The movie also had the usual roster of mid 90s actors like Satish Shah, Himani Shivpuri, Anil Dhawan, Rakesh Bedi and Tiku Talsania who probably roamed around en masse for films which only leaded a lead pair and 5 songs if they already had this motley crew.

Also, it gave the world the anthem for eloping lovers

This was  a 'villain-less' flick, hence there were no gun-fights, no cars flying in the air, no evil looking guys, all it had was misunderstandings (etc), if this was not a Govinda film, I would have hated it. Even Paresh Rawal, who at that time was known more for essaying bald bad guys played the role of an aging patriarch. Speaking of Paresh Rawal, brings us to...

2. Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan

Okay, I admit this is not amongst Govinda's greatest works by any stretch of imagination, one of his earlier films (like Ilzam) deserved a place in this list. However, there is a huge reason why this film belongs here, a very tall reason in fact

The Last Movie in which Amitabh Bachchan has no Facial Hair
The only other movie that comes to mind starring El Grande B and Govinda is 'Hum' (which, because of the fact that it starred Thalaivar too warrants a different post on itself), and it is quite possible that Mr Bachchan did this film because he was still searching for a successful comeback post his brief 'retirement' period. This might also be the last movie (not counting Paa) which denies the actor his true age. Govinda, while lacking certainly in the height department, more than made up in matching up to the senior (and better) actor with his impeccable comic timing.

The movie had a simple story about a couple of Policemen who are after a gang of crooks lead by Paresh Rawal who specialize in stealing jewels (or something), there are a couple of actresses for 'song purposes', and then there is Anupam Kher as the much harried boss. The film starts living up to its promise with the arrival of the look-alikes, a pair of crooks who look exactly like the two policemen, and have the best scenes and the best lines in the movie. They also get to dance with Madhuri Dixit, who has a guest appearance

mmmm....guest appearance

The story deals with the usual confusion of identities, of how the crooks use their looks to their advantage and implicate the policemen, and then obviously have a change of heart and help the Policemen in nabbing the villains, but not before this song

When the villain forces them to keep on dancing after the end of the song, Govinda delivers the epic line 'Khud ko Badshah Akbar aur Humko Anarkali Samjha hai kya? Kitna nachaa raha hai!'

It had a rather fitting David Dhawanisque climax in which the two honest Policemen are demoted to Traffic duty and the two crooks are made Inspectors of Police. I wish the real world was like that.

1. Dulhe Raja

This, in my opinion is Govinda's best movie till date. And it is one of those few movies that warrants watching an infinite number of times, until each scene (except for those with the songs) is ingrained deep inside your memory.

Raveena Tandon had very little to do with this film
I have already talked about how the lead actress was bypassed in case there were both Govinda and Kader Khan in a movie, and this movie is the best example of that. Kader Khan played a hotelier whose business suffers because of the opening of a small dhaba next to his place. This dhaba is run by Raja (Govinda) and is frequented by all the guests and the staff (including Johnny Lever) of the hotel. And to add to the rich man (named Singhania generically) troubles, this upstart dhaba owner starts romancing his daughter, thus giving Raveena Tandon something to do.

'Sir, main to sirf Aapke Saath Hoon;

The big shot hotel owner does everything to oust the dhaba owner including Saam Daam Dand Bhed, he gives huge discounts in his restaurant, which Govinda counters by having a 'Pay If You Wish Scheme' at his Dhaba, in the end it all comes down to a flat out one-on-one singing competition, 

Govinda later pleads that he be allowed to marry Raveena since his house is next to the hotel so 'ladki kabhi phudak ke maayke mein, phudak ke sasural mein, phudak ke yahan phudak ke wahan'

My favourite scene though is one in which Kader Khan tries to play the Sentimental card by showing him all the jewels, shoes and clothes etc that his daughter owns and asks Govinda if he would be able to afford all the shauqs that his daughter has. In any other movie this scene would have turned into a moment of 'Soul Searching' for the Hero, who would at that very instant start saving up money for his marriage. But not Govinda, he instead takes a sack of jewels and money and runs off to an income tax office, with Kader Khan giving chase.

There is an inane subplot involving a few villains (including Mohnish Behl, who almost made a living out of getting his ass handed to him by Govinda), and the kidnapping of Raveena (who by this point in the film no one should care about), Govinda steps in, pulls a fast one on the villains and then beats them up.

Right, first I am gonna make you guys fight each other, then I am gonna kick your collective asses

Govinda did three films with Sanjay Dutt too, of which only Haseena Maan Jaayegi was of some merit. There was a time when his name guaranteed decent box office, of late he has been reduced to playing second fiddle. Perhaps the audience has changed, perhaps Govinda did not know when to change, if he had done lesser films then, he might have adapted to the trend like the Khans around him. 

He might be a wreck today, but he created magic once (which is still worth a million laughs) and for that Govinda, I do wonder, where did it all go wrong.


{ addidas } at: May 13, 2012 at 7:10 AM said...

"Sajan Chale Sasural" should have been in this list

{ amit } at: August 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM said...

he is a great comic actor ,,,and in BMCM he completely overshadowed Big B

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