Monday evening review: Re-visiting ‘Golmaal’ (1979)

Salaries worth Rs 800 per month, green surroundings and an ideal honeymoon spot. Wondering which city I would be referring to? Believe it or not – it was India’s commercial capital – Mumbai.

My #lockdowndays are have become a trip into the past. An era when the likes of Amol Palekar, Utpal Dutt, Dina Pathak, Ashok Kumar, David, Om Prakash and many veteran actors stole the silver screens. Having narrated the plots of their most famous works (most often on rewind-mode), a friend of my mine had challenged me review these movies from the perspectives of a 21st century woman.

So here goes my first attempt at reviewing one of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s classics – Golmaal.

Plot

Ramprasad Sharma (aka Prasad) is the ideal ‘all-rounder’. An avid-sports lover, he loves to sing, watch movies as well as have a lot of fun. Yet, his playful self, does not steer him away from his responsibilities (including looking after his younger sister’s well-being) and his academic goals.

The story is set in Mumbai, where Prasad and his sister live a rather simple yet content life. His uncle, Kedar (aka Doctor Mama), makes an earnest effort to watch out for him and his sister, especially after Prasad’s parents had passed way. One day, during one of his visits, Kedar learns that Prasad has cleared the Chartered Accountancy (CA) examination and is officially eligible to work at any reputed company. He instructs Prasad to apply for a job at Urmila Traders, run by renowned businessman Bhavani Shankar. Interestingly, the company is named after his daughter.

Thus begins a tale of interesting twists and turns. Prasad prepares for his interview unlike anything he has ever done before. The preparation become more complex as he learns of Bhavani Shankar’s love for the ‘Indian way of life’ and his ‘hang-ups’. These include speaking chaste Hindi, choosing work over play and many more.

As luck would have it Prasad is selected for the job. However, the job did not drive away the sports-lover in him and he decides to deceive his boss and miss a few hours of work to watch a hockey match at a stadium. Only to find out that Bhavani Shankar was at the stadium as well. Will Prasad lose his job?

My favourite moments

As mentioned earlier, Golmaal was set in an era when Mumbai was truly beautiful and perhaps more disciplined. This was evident from the many paddy fields that were seen during a hilarious car-chase between Bhawani Sankar (played by Utpal Dutt) and Ramprasad (played by Amol Palekar). However, my all-time favourite scene has been the moment when Mrs Sharma aka Mrs Shrivastav (played by Dina Pathak) decides to enter the house secretively through the gaps in a window. Not only does this incident take me back to my childhood, but it also displays a certain child-like attitude that exists in everybody irrespective of age or gender.

The songs composed for the movie are memorable yet evergreen. Aane Wala Pal, sung by Kishore Kumar and composed by R D Burman, continues to linger in the minds of many singers till date.

Just did not work!

Bindiya Goswami (who played Urmila) was indeed pretty and fit the role. However, she lacked a certain charm that would have worked better. However, the actress who played Urmila’s best friend, was truly tough to notice despite her obvious presence!

What do I think?

Golmaal is the best feel-good movie that you watch any time of the day, month or year. It always brings a smile on one’s face and helps you look at life from a lighter and less complex perspective. Moreover, it reminds us that the simpler and smaller pleasures of life last forever and can never be replaced. This movie is a treasure and can never be forgotten by true cinema lovers!