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Govinda Wapas Aala Re

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    By: Praveen Lance Fernandes, IndiaFM
    Tuesday, October 31, 2006
    Laugh and the world laughs with you - cry and you cry alone!

    Well that's seems to be Govinda's story...
    At one time he was the undisputed comedy king of Bollywood and the world made merry at his antics and wit. However his hilarity had a downslide from the year 1999. With his movies like Joru Ka Ghulam, Shikari, Jodi No.1, Albela, Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya, Aamdani Athanni Kharcha Rupaiya, Ankhiyon Se Goli Maare, Pyaar Diwana Hota Hai, Waah! Tera Kya Kehna, Chalo Ishq Ladaaye, Ek Aur Ek Gyarah, Raja Bhaiya, Khullam Khulla Pyaar Kare all flopped one after another.

    During this phase he also opened and shut shop of his distribution house Yashvardhan No 1 Distributors after incurring losses in Shikari, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai, etc.

    But the biggest jerk which hit him was when his home-production Ssukh bombed big time at the box-office. Realizing his failing image as a comedian amongst his fans, he went in for a complete make-over in a serious emotional role. However, fading fans of the man could not digest him in his new avatar either and stayed away from the theatres. In fact, it was such a bad product that Govinda himself had to get the film distributed himself.

    And this came from the man who stole the show from Amitabh Bachchan in David Dhawan's Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. In fact, Amitabh had even acknowledged that the show was stolen from him and the film was sold under the then happening name of Govinda.

    Down and out... Govinda was unemployed for a couple of years barring his political career which too didn't turn out so well. But his love for films was always his prime objective. His father stated out as a leading man in movies in the 40's and probably that was the main influence of him joining the film industry.

    Apart from his films being duds, there were many more which has no takers at all. Govinda perhaps has the maximum number of stuck or shelved films including Dil Laga Ke Dekho with Manisha Koirala, Mastana with Mahima Choudhary and Yahhuu with Saif Ali Khan and Juhi Chawla and what was supposed to be Priyanka Chopra's debut film Ek Hasina Ek Diwana (now re-titled Bekasoor but still without any takers) to name a few. His last and long delayed film Sandwich also sank without a trace.

    A few months ago he quoted in an interview, "I needed to return to acting. My career as a politician didn't really take off. On the other hand my movie career had stalled. I was stuck." As they say, you cannot keep a good man down for long and return to acting is exactly what he did.

    Refusing to sign bad films this time, Govinda waited for the right opportunity to knock on his door. And that knock was not a mere knock but a thud which hopefully might bring the house down.

    3 films - 3 opportunities for our very own chi-chi to strike back!

    Firstly came comedy director Priyadarshan's Bhagam Bhag alongside Akshay Kumar. Akshay Kumar has established his comic credentials in films like Hera Pheri, Awara Pagal Deewana, Khakee, Garam Masala, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Phir Hera Pheri, etc. So on one side Govinda has always been the scene stealer and on the other side Akshay has never let any actor overshadow him.

    And with Priyadarshan's recent track record, this one will probably bring Govinda back into the limelight. An apt title for this film could have been Khiladi No.1. What say?

    Then there in Nikhil Advani's magnum oeuvre Salaam-E-Ishq. In this film he plays the role of a taxi driver in love with a foreigner whom he met once at the airport. Though this film is a multi starrer, the director was all praises for Govinda. "He is a dream to work with." said Nikhil.

    And finally there is his Bollywood brother David Dhawan's film Partner with Salman Khan. David and Govinda go back a long way with hits including Swarg, Shola Aur Shabnam, Aankhen, Coolie No.1, Saajan Chale Sasural, Hero No. 1, Deewana Mastana, Haseena Maan Jayegi, etc.

    However Govinda was modest enough when he said this in an interview, "I wasn't able to get even one-third of Salman or Akshay's price. I can neither command their price nor am I as good-looking as them. I can't look like Salman nor fight like Akshay. And that's the truth".

    So in this testing period, will Govinda make it or break it. We end up with his words, "I want to go back to the place that I had once occupied where I'd be away from all comparisons."

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