Director Rohit Shetty started his popular Golmaal Series in the year 2006 and presented the second movie of this series titled as Golmaal Returns in 2008. The movie was a big hit on the box office. However its plot was by no means original. Golmaal Returns is actually a remake of an old Bollywood comedy – Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar (1973). Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar (today’s breaking news) is the story of Sunil (Kiran Kumar) and his ever-suspicious wife – Geeta (Radha Saluja) who thinks that her husband is a flirt. One night Sunil unwillingly gets stuck up with a stranger lady and could return to his home the next morning only. Considering his wife’s skeptical nature, he hesitates to tell her the truth and instead, cooks a story with the help of his friend Amit (Asrani) to serve to Geeta to convince her regarding his absence from home for that night. The story contains a fake friend of his named by him as Champak Bhumiya and his fictitious address where he claims to have spent that night. However the situation takes a very interesting turn when Geeta sends a telegram to that imaginary Champak Bhumiya at the address told to her by Sunil and all hell breaks loose when the telegram reaches its destination which is a genuine address and there is a genuine Champak Bhumiya (Paintal) residing at that address. These developments result in a lot of confusion, misunderstandings and laughs(for the audience). Finally, all’s well that ends well.Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar starts hilariously with a henpecked husband and his nagging wife and thereafter the twists and turns coming at regular intervals keep the interest of the viewer alive till the climax. Laughs may not be in plenty but there is no dearth of smiles here. It may not be a great comedy but a satisfactory entertainer for sure. And there is a message for the ever-suspicious wives also(who perceive their husband as regular flirts and skirt-chasers) that such kind of attitude without any concrete basis may prove fatal for the marital bliss of themselves only.This is a low budget movie with a middle class milieu rendered to the story. Technically it’s okay as far as the art direction, the cinematography and the editing are concerned. Background score and dialogues are also in line with the comic mood of the movie.Kiran Kumar who perhaps got his true calling in the villainous roles during the eighties and the nineties, had started his career as a hero and this movie is one of those flicks in which he was cast as the hero. He possessed a handsome personality and it’s unfortunate that he could not become a successful hero. He has done well here because he has always been a good actor. Radha Saluja may not appear to be a heroine material to today’s viewers considering her ordinary looks but she was a good actress. And frankly, if Mallika Sherawat can be a successful heroine, why couldn’t Radha who was, in many ways, better than Mallika and her likes. Seasoned comedians Asrani and Paintal have generated laughs for the audience, coming true to their reputation in that period. All the other cast members have also done justice to the assigned roles.Shankar Jaikishan’s music is strictly okay. Only one song – Mujhe Meri Biwi Se Bachaao remains in the memory after the movie is over. This song, filmed on Kiran Kumar when he is bathing in the bathroom, is very good to listen and very amusing to watch. Decades later, the words of this song were used as the title of a movie starring Nasiruddin Shah and Rekha (released in 2001).Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar badly flopped on the box office whereas its newer version Golmaal Returns proved to be a huge commercial hit. Well, hype and publicity matter more in today’s time. While recommending this movie as a decent watch to the entertainment-seekers, I also advise those who have seen Golmaal Returns to contrast these two movies. I am sure that like me, they will also find Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar as better than Golmaal Returns.
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