Inspired by Filmigirl and the fact that I coincidentally watched an Arshad Warsi film yesterday, I am going to devote my second blog entry to Mr. Warsi.
Here is the list of Arshad Warsi films I've seen (I'm perusing his IMDB profile right now...)
- Krazzy 4
- Lage Raho Munna Bhai
- Salaam Namaste
- Munnabhai M.B.B.S.
Yes, he is most known for the Munnabhais. I'm not even going to comment on those movies because I'm convinced I "missed something" about them. The movies did not click with me, and I think it's because they are so intrinsically Indian that most of it went over my head. Warsi, however, absolutely shone as the sidekick devoted to Munna, no matter what.
I know him best as the sidekick of my Saif in Salaam Namaste (one of my absolute favorite movies - the first Bollywood movie I watched multiple times and purchased!) He wasn't anything particularly special in the movie. He had some good comic timing, but the role he played, that of Ron, the buddy married to the white girl, wasn't extensive enough to display his comic chops.
Saif and him were magic together in the few scenes they did have, however. Even though Ron married his wife after knowing her one day, he still felt it necessary to condemn Saif for breaking up with his pregnant live-in girlfriend. (Neither thing is a good thing, but I loved Ron's "tut-tutting" of Nick.) In one great scene in the bar after Nick thinks Ambar has moved on, he basically tells the father-to-be, "Did you expect her to wait forever?" In that one scene, Arshad basically reveals the truth to Nick, that he effed up... big time.
This, of course, leads me to Mr. Warsi in the best role I've seen him in - Krazzy 4. I'm not going to lie to you. Krazzy 4 is a crapfest. The movie is absolutely horrible, and it saddens me to no end that Rakesh Roshan (Rakesh Roshan, the man who sired Hrithik!) produced it, and somehow convinced Irrfan Khan and Mr. Warsi on to this sinking ship.
The gist of Krazzy 4, a takeoff of The Dream Team, is that 4 residents of a mental institution are taken on a daytrip by their good doctor (played by Juhi Chawla.) She's kidnapped by some gangsters, and the 4 patients are left to their own devices, and have to find a way to rescue their doctor. This is the least interesting part of the movie - I'm going to concentrate on his relationship with ex-fiancee, played by Dia Mirza.
Arshad plays Raja, a man with an anger-management problem who has lived at a sanatorium for the last few years. (Sidenote: Since when did having an anger management problem lead you to being committed?!) He committed himself after he attacked his future father-in-law for changing the channel too much.
He plays the role with conflict and integrity. (This in a remake of the Dream Team?!) He meets his ex-fiancee for the first time in years, and he is ashamed on his actions, but unable to control himself when placed in a similar situation with his ex-future father-in-law. You can tell that Raja wants to be better. He apologizes to Dia Mirza's character, and I, heartless human that I am, wanted to take him into my arms and tell him it would all be better. (Another sidenote: the chemistry between Warsi and Dia Mirza was palpable. I wouldn't be surprised if anything happened between him and her on the set of Hum Tum Aur Ghost.)
This is the key to Arshad Warsi: he finds the core of whatever character he's playing and brings it to the surface. He exploits, he multiplies it, until it becomes the character's skin.