Where have all the good old comedy films of Bollywood gone?

When was the last time that you and your family sat and watched a Hindi comedy film made of pure light-hearted humour? If you do not have an answer, we get you.  Bollywood has not given us such films for a long time.

Let us take you a few decades back. That time, the definition of ‘comedy’ noticeably differed. The humour flowed at ease, without layers of meaning. Remember ‘Hera Pheri’, ‘Andaz Apna Apna’, or ‘Golmaal’? The fun was in little actions and familiar words. The emotions were familiar and easy to relate with. Comedy films have lit up so many dull evenings in our drawing rooms, have made the most strict grandfather laugh out loud. A simple ‘ Bhabi Hogi Teri, Shaadi Hogi Meri’ from ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ became a hit pick-up line for teenagers who had just started crushing on a classmate, or a friend’s sister, or may be the pretty neighbour! So many college-goers donned a new hair cut and said in swag, ‘Yeh Baburao ka style hai’. And remember Shakti Kapoor’s ‘Main ek nanha sa, pyara sa, chhota sa bachcha hoon’? Many of us are still so fond of this punch line; we still apply this to cover our unlikely-of-an-adult mischiefs and to pretend innocence. None of the old comedies required double-meaning puns and a lot of revelations to entertain us. They were rich in witty content and that did all the job.

Even some twenty years back, films didn’t penetrate this much. They didn’t have as wide a reach as they do today. Television was not a companion at everyone’s place and multiplexes were not born. Comedy films were the only genre of films which brought a family together on holidays and festive seasons; which tickled the funny bones of the eighty-years old and the eight-years old as well. Those films, for us, have now become our faithful secret keepers. They store in them so many fragranced afternoons and moments of bonding that we have spent. They only remind us of how simpler our taste was, and how easier the time was.

It all started changing when even comedy films started being classified. No term called ‘Adult Comedy’ existed earlier; because, laughter was meant for all. The day that the makers started touches of ‘adult humour’ was the day our parents started exiting the drawing rooms when we switched on the television. Whether you agree or not, the Indian audience are choosy about content and they do not find everything ideal to be watched anywhere with anyone. Thus, make way for the ‘new cool’!

We are not sure this has resulted in something good. The adult comedies (or ‘sex comedies’ as some makers prefer to call them) often contain irrelevant and over-the-top skin show which is just not funny. All the physical revelations, instead of making us laugh, rather look rude and inappropriate. We wish comedy films were not demeaned this way! For a very recent example, Umesh Ghadge’s ‘Kya Kool Hai Hum 3’ was a film at an extremely bad taste. It was not just a forced attempt of cheap humour, but it was offensively objectifying in nature. How does it even fit to be called ‘comedy’ if the recipients of it are so limited? If you’re interested in adult jokes, internet has opened its door for you. If you love adult content that much, you are flooded with thousands of options. Why spoil the essence of light-hearted fun which can put a smile on anyone’s face?

You know the worst destruction this trend has caused? It has literally brought ‘family entertainment’ to an end. Standing in today’s age where every single person is running his own race, we treasure the time we spend with our near and dear ones. A ‘Hera Pheri’ or a ‘Raju Uncle’ could do that. Today’s Bollywood does not promise us anything similar anymore.

And thus, long-gone evenings wave and smile back at us. On a lazy afternoon, we perhaps would again sit with the wrinkling mother and the greying father, take out a dusted DVD out of the shelf and play. A toast to the good time!

Because they say, old is gold…