Director: Rumi Jaffery
Cast: Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Sohail Khan, Anupam Kher
Storyline: Bruce Almighty, more or less, with Sohail’s antics for a bonus.
Bottomline: Dear God! If you’re listening, do something.
Since we wanted to know what director Rumi Jaffery was thinking before and after he committed this act of blasphemy, we sat down for an imaginary interview with the maker of the universe called ‘God Tussi Great Ho’.
Q: Why do people think this is a remake of Bruce Almighty?
A: Beats me. (thinks hard) Yes, both are films about a man down on luck pitching for a crazy TV show, chucking a good luck charm only to receive an invitation from God Himself and subsequently, a proposal to run the world for a little while, and how he goes about using or misusing the powers without realising the consequences till the very end and is finally enlightened about God’s greatness… And of course, God wears white in both the films but having said that, the similarity ends there. In my film, we have an extra last scene where God talks to people sitting in the movie halls and asks them to stay united. If people had stayed till that last scene they would’ve known my film is different but I don’t know why they left halfway.
Q: What did you tell the actors – Salman, Sohail and Priyanka – to get them hooked to this?
A: Oh, I wanted it to be different, so I told Sallu right in the beginning that he should not remove his shirt in this movie. I wanted him to play a role he’s never done before… Have you seen how he complains to God in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam? I wanted him to do exactly that but for the first half of the movie. You would have never seen Priyanka Chopra like this. She has never worn a nose ring. And Sohail has not done anything like this before either. He has a constant game of one-upmanship with Salman… Yes, it is similar to what they did in ‘Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya’ but here we don’t have that background rap that goes “Naughty Naughty Pyaare, Jo Sabki Maare.’ I also have chosen Bollywood’s best resident specialist beggar – the one from Lagaan but again, I wanted to do something different with him. So I changed his wig and his facial hair arrangement.
Q: Some people think the film is not that funny?
A: Maybe they didn’t watch the film closely enough. In one of the earlier scenes, there’s a wrestler called Loha Singh who tries to pull a helicopter with his teeth. Now the wrestler is wearing bright red tights and like all body builders, he has beefy bulging muscles… But you would have found it funny only if you noticed that bulge.
Q: The story and screenplay is credited to a Younus Sejawal. Did you watch Bruce Almighty together or he saw it first?
A: When David Dhawan made ‘Partner,’ Hollywood bullies threatened to sue saying it was ripped off from ‘Hitch.’ I wanted to play it safe this time. The protagonist in my film is called Arun Prajapati, not Bruce Almighty. Yes, in the opening voiceover, my God tells people that he is also called the Almighty.
Q: What footage of Bachchan do you have that helped you land this coup?
A: (Blushes) No comment. But off the record, on hindsight, I think the footage I’ve shot of him is bound to be more embarrassing if you believe in “ for the rest of your life.”
Q: There’s a lie-detector in your film. Does it really work?
A: The show is called Jhoot Bole Kouwwa Katey, which translated means ‘If you lie, the crow will bite’. It’s fiction. It does not work. I haven’t been attacked by crows.