Get your Raj: How to write the perfect Bollywood movie in 10 easy steps
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More important than the story is the hero.
Godfather starring Tushar Kapoor would flop but the story of Humpty Dumpty starring Shahrukh Khan would make 5 trillion crores at the box office.
Any classic fairytale starring Shahrukh Khan would be an instant success, except Sleeping Beauty, you would need Imran Hashmi’s talents to awaken her from slumber.
Obviously, the Bollywood-isation of these stories will require Snow White to be fed the apple from her evil step mother, who married Snow White’s father for his wealth and needed to get rid of Snow White to get her inheritance.
Hansel and Gratel would get lost in the ‘kum ka mela’ as kids, only to find each other years later, thanks to the matching lockets hanging around their necks.
Rapunzel would be rescued by Rajnikanth throwing her his ponytail.
The reason why Salman Khan still has a job is that people would literally go to the cinema just to see their favourite star do nothing for three hours; how else can you explain the success of Dabang 2?
2. Make sure the last name of your hero is Khan
Fawad Khan and Sonam Kapoor.
There are more Khans in Bollywood than Sohrab Goth.
It is surprising Shahbaz Sharif has not yet helped Bollywood build an underpass from Peshawar to Mumbai.
If the last name of your hero is Khan, you have a hit, this is why Fawad Afzal has added Khan to the end of his name, despite what the abbreviation of his three names read aloud may sound like.
If the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf experiment ends, I see a few film fares in Imran Khan’s future. Heck, they’d even hire Younis, and even he would be a better actor than India's own Imran Khan.
3. Surround your hero with an idiot
Your Raj can dance, sing, fight bad guys, he may even get a horse to jump over a building and drift on the road at 100 miles but he cannot be the butt of the joke and still be expected to get the girl.
Unless he is Govinda; Govinda can do anything.
This is why you give all the bad punchlines in the movie to his friend, the Johnny Levers and Rajpal Yadavs of this world. They only exist to be bitten by dogs and have chimps steal their clothes when they go bathing in the river.
The life ambition of this idiot, apart from bad comedy, should be to fulfill the lifelong dream of his/her only living parent. He/she should then sacrifice that dream to help your Raj meet the girl of his dreams.
4. The girl
Kajol, Sushmita Sen, Juhi Chawla.
There is no Bollywood movie without a love story.
A Bollywood movie is like high school, everyone is bound to fall in love.
If your Raj is Shahrukh Khan, you can make him fall in love with anyone really. His teacher (Main Hoon Na), his boss’ girlfriend (Yes Boss), his best friend’s wife (Darr) or his best friend who is finally over him and is about to get married (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai).
Either the girl should know she is the most beautiful person on earth and time should stop the moment she walks in. Rose petals should start falling, people should start singing and clouds should start pouring.
Or you should tie her hair in a knot and make her wear glasses, in which case everyone should ignore her. Until! She takes the glasses off and the rose petals start falling, people start singing and clouds start pouring.
5. The songs
No love story is complete without songs; you do not have to be a Beethoven to get the music too.
Pablo Piccasso said “...great artists steal”, by that logic, all music directors in Bollywood are great artists. All you need to do is get the karaoke version of a song from another country and put the words ‘pyar, ishq, dil, tu, mera, mohabbat, hamesha, deewana” in different permutations and combinations and you have the songs ready.
You can even cater to the hip crowd by inserting a random English word in one of the songs. Suddenly the boring Indian pyaar becomes “Ishq wala love”, you can even add “Yo yo yo Honey Singh” before the song and pretend its Eminem singing to make it an even bigger success.
6. The dancers
Dev Patel and Freida Pinto with dancers.
Everywhere the boy and girl go, there should be 30 odd dancers on standby ready to jump into a completely coordinated dance with them as soon as either of them starts singing.
Pedestrians should feel India has the best flash mobs in the world.
If you do not have a choreographer, just make the boy and the girl run around the city. For the chorus, you can pick a random piece of clothing they could play with.
The only time anybody will even see the dance is when it is an item song.
7. Item song
This is where all the Munnis get badnaam and all the Sheelas get jawan.
When casting the actor for the item song, the writer should visualise her as the only girl in a pool of men. The girl must be held up by at least 10 men and carried around as if they were carrying her coffin, and she should definitely find herself immersed in a body of water at least once in the song.
The song itself should just take the worst ad taglines ever and use them to objectify women. Literally any ad can be used for the purpose.
“Utho beta aankhain kholo, bistar choro aur mun dho lo… agayee Sheela, Sheela kee jawani”
“Meri muthi mai bandh hai kia? Bata do na … baby doll mai sonay di”
“Meri nunnhi parri tu ghar ko chali, moltyfoam … munni badnaam huee darling teray liye”
If the song does not scar the childhood of everyone who watches it, you have failed to do your job.
8. The girl’s father
There can be no Raj without an Amresh Puri, he is essentially the see to Raj’s saw.
The only dream of this overly protective father is to keep his daughter away from all men, till he weds her off to a complete stranger.
Ideally, the father should belong to a family that is the arch nemesis of your Raj’s family.
Put a flashback scene about how Raj’s great great great great grandfather stole a chicken from the chicken coup belonging to the girl’s ancestors; from that day forth, they have vowed revenge!
9. The fight
Apart from being the perfect lover, singer and dancer, your Raj should also be able to partake in random Royal Rumble matches on the streets; he should obviously always come out victorious.
He should have the strength of Hercules, the speed of a rozaydaar running late for iftaar and the will of a teenage boy with slow internet.
For your ideal climax, he should let himself get beaten up by people who will go back to their villages after the shoot and tell their grandchildren of the day they slapped Salman Khan.
Bloodied, battered and bruised, the love of his life would finally give him the permission to fight back by dropping her dupatta; the universal sign for a whopping.
The hero would then embody all the Chuck Norris facts in a series of implausible fight moves inspired from the fatalities in Mortal Kombat.
10. The Shaadi
Shaadi scene from Namaste London.
Watching the fight, the baap of the girl would realise that he was wrong, all wrong.
He would see Raj was perfect for his daughter; if these Bollywood fathers watched Pakistan television they would all give Gullu Butt their daughters.
All the Shaadi preparations which were already in place for the girl’s arranged marriage would now be conveniently rerouted for the hero and heroine to get married.
It should remain unclear whether the previous guy the heroine is supposed to get married to, ever gets a refund on the Shaadi decorations.
If Karan Johar is to be trusted, the entire movie is only an excuse to shoot the shaadi at the end.
Any Indian movie that does not end in a Shaadi with three thousand people perfectly dancing in sync is basically a tragedy.