Lakshmi Puja special: Bollywood films in which actors set off on a money trail
As we invoke the Goddess of Wealth on Lakshmi Puja today, here’s a quick recap of a few movies on moolah
How many times you have heard the dialogues, ‘Paise ki bhookh’, ‘Daulat ki lalach’ and ‘Main bada aadmi banna chahta hoon’? A zillion times? Pardon the exaggeration but money, wealth and materialistic desires have formed the crux of several scripts in Bollywood. hitlist looks at some of the memorable ones...
A huge hit, the film had Kajal (Sridevi) marrying a middle class engineer, Raaj (Anil Kapoor) assuming him to be a wealthy man. Years pass by, but Kajal’s regret and desire for riches remain strong as ever. So when Janhvi (Urmila Matondkar), Raaj’s boss’ daughter falls for him, Kajal happily agrees to have a sautan (co-wife) in lieu of two crores. After divorcing her husband, she starts living a luxe lifestyle and never misses the opportunity to flaunt her nouveau riche status before her friends and neighbours. However, she drifts away from her husband and children, who start taking a liking to Janhvi. Finally, Kajal realises her mistake and successfully convinces Janhvi to return her husband to her.
Malamaal Weekly (2006)
Though critics panned the film, the audience thoroughly enjoyed this Priyadarshan flick. The film was centered on Lilaram (Paresh Rawal), who acts as an intermediary between a lottery organisation, Malamaal Weekly, and the villagers. One fine day, he realises that one of his tickets has won him a princely sum of Rs 1 crore and gears up to claim the money. He discovers that the owner is Anthony (Innocent Vincent), the local drunk, who is dead. A drama follows between Lilaram, Ballu (Om Puri) and lottery inspector (Arbaaz Khan). While the script was quite weak, Rawal and Puri more than made up for it with their performances.
Apna Sapna Money Money (2006)
Directed by Sangeeth Sivan, teh film revolved around a group of characters desperate to be rich. Shivani (Riya Sen) wants to marry Arjun Fernandez (Shreyas Talpade) but faces opposition from her father. Arjun enlists help from his greedy cousin, Kishan (Riteish Deshmukh) who tries to halt Shivani’s marriage fixed by her father. A comedy of errors ensues with a dose of romance, action and humour. Riteish, Celina Jaitley and Koena Mitra were seen chasing money while Suniel Shetty, Shreyas Talpade and Riya Sen played simple, honest characters. Though it was a forgettable film, the song Dil mein baji guitar still plays in every Romeo’s heart when he sees ‘his girl’.
Sabse Bada Rupaiya (1976)
The titular term found its place in Indian lingo after this film starring Mehmood, Vinod Mehra and Moushumi Chatterjee. It related the story of Amit Rai (Vinod Mehra), a generous multi-millionaire who is ever eager to help others. However, hard times befall him and he loses his wealth. Relocating to a village, he starts his life afresh as a fisherman. Realising how those close to him duped him, he works at recovering his wealth. The film saw a stellar performance by Mehmood as Neki Ram, Mehra’s close associate. However, it’s the song Na biwi, na baccha, na baap bada na bhaiya… that has stayed afresh in people’s minds till date.
Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyaa (2001)
Directed by K Raghavendra Rao, this film highlighted the importance of money for the middle class as well as the role of a financially independent woman in a traditional household. It was based on four couples. The husbands have jobs but lack the skill of financial planning. Moreover, they also prevent their wives from working. Finally, they realise their mistake when one of them faces a financial crunch and ultimately, his wife bails him out.
Hera Pheri (2000)
Hailed as a cult film, Hera Pheri had three characters craving for one thing — money. The audience loved Paresh Rawal’s portrayal of Baburao Ganpatrao Apte, a garage owner who is neck-deep in debt. While the plot like many Priyadarshan films was about a comedy of errors, what took the film to a different level were the close-to-life performances. It was also one of the first films that highlighted Akshay Kumar’s flair for comedy.