He started out with serious films that were too melodramatic for my liking (Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharni, anyone?). But it was only when Govinda turned to comedy in 1996 that I started appreciating his movies.
Having seen ‘Saajan Chale Sasural’ and ‘Haseena Maan Jaayegi’ in theaters back then, it’s the TV now that is having me revisit his earlier hilarious works from time to time. In recent times, it has become almost a routine in my home to search the TV channels for a Govinda comedy special whenever we need a comic energy dose.
What stands out in his movies apart from his obvious comic timing is his unique dancing style – it’s fairly minimalistic, somehow completely out of the book, yet nonchalant, and totally entertaining. Probably the fact that he appears to enjoy his dance more than anyone else is what makes me appreciate him even more.
Though he gelled well with most actors during his comedy stint, I have most enjoyed his match-ups with Kader Khan and Johnny Lever. To me, the Govinda-Kader Khan-Johnny Lever trio put its best foot forward in Dulhe Raja, which I think is one of the most, if not the most hilarious Hindi movie I have ever seen.
Another one of his gems is ‘Ankhiyon Se Goli Maare’ where his unassuming character turns into don/thief ‘Bobade Dada’ to woo his girlfriend’s father played by Kader Khan. Bobade Dada’s tongue flipping ‘hululululu’ still brings out the kid in me.
And who can forget him doubling up as his own middle-aged ‘Chachaji’ in Haseena Maan Jaayegi?
Some of the other Govinda specials that I don’t mind watching over and over again include:
– Hadh Kar Di Aapne
– Saajan Chale Sasural
– Raja Babu
– Coolie No. 1
– Hero No. 1
– Waah! Tera Kya Kehna
– Aunty No. 1
– Jodi No. 1
– Anari No. 1
– Deewana Mastana
– Kyo Kii… Main Jhuth Nahin Bolta
– Ek Aur Ek Gyarah
Well, the list goes on.