Gol Maal (1979) Review – Mildly Amusing Nonsense

(For SI blog reader Guruprasad)

Remind us never ever to heed the requests of these old fogies from Mysore.

At the insistent request of one such individual with antediluvian tastes, we watched the old Amol Palekar starrer Gol Maal the other day.

Our principal takeaway from the film – Whatever you do in life, make sure you have a mustache.

You see, a mustache not only is the surest way to land a job but also the easiest technique to ingratiate yourself with your weirdo of a boss (BTW, is there ever a non-odd ball boss). At least, according to the story-line in this mildly amusing comedy.

If we remember the dialogs from this movie accurately, a man without a mustache has no heart!

And, yes, if you lose interest in that delicacy Dahi Vada in life, then prem ho gaya (you are definitely in love).

Yeah, these are some of the shaky, weird foundations on which this movie stands. No kidding.

Besides Amol Palekar, the other principal actors in Gol Maal include Bindiya Goswami (known to old-time readers of Star & Style and Filmfare for her relationship with the late already-married Vinod Mehra) and Utpal Dutt.

Amol Palekar proves yet again that he is a talented actor, although he’s handed a script that’s bizarre even by the standards of a comedy. What a shame Amol Palekar never got his due in an industry dominated by buffoons like Amitabh Bachchan et al.

Bindiya Goswami looks pretty while Utpal Dutt tends to grossly overact in parts.

Identical Twins Nonsense
Like with a lot of crappy Bollywood films from that era, this one too comes with the familiar trope of identical twins at the center of the narrative. As if that were not bad enough, in this instance we have two persons claiming to possess an identical twin, both not in the least convincing.

When a young unemployed accountant Ram Prasad Sharma (Amol Palekar) lands a job interview, his uncle warns him that the potential employer Bhavani Shankar (Utpal Dutt) is a man of strong likes and dislikes and advise him to keep a mustache, dress conservatively and eschew all interest in sports and music if he wants the job.

Although contrary to his music-loving, sports-crazy, flashy-dressing true self, Ram Prasad Sharma follows his uncle’s advice and, lo and behold, lands the job with a salary more than he’s expected.

Of course, complications quickly arise and our new (in)sincere employee is forced to invent a wastrel of a twin bother Lakshman Prasad Sharma. That lie leads to another and another and another. Complicating matters, the employer’s daughter Urmila (Bindiya Goswami) falls in love with the wastrel twin.

Sure, there are some humorous moments and by the standards of the 1970s we must admit Gol Maal wasn’t that offensive a movie.

As we jog our memory, we recollect that this movie found favor with a fairly large number of people and was presumably a hit at the box office financially as well.

But this is not a movie worth the time given that there are countless better movies on Netflix.

The last 15 or 20 minutes (the car chase, the chase with the pistol et al) were so unendurable that we rained curses on the villainous Guruprasad and told ourselves that should we perchance run into the geezer we’d heave him off the top of Chamundi betta.

Nice Songs
Aane Wala Pal Jane Wala Hai and Ek Baat Kahoon Gar Mano Tum are two lovely songs from the movie that delight us as much today as they did three decades ago.

Aane Wala Pal Jane Wala Hai is one of our favorite Bollywood numbers and part of our growing collection of Hindi songs on the iPhone.

By the way, the late Hrishikesh Mukherjee was the director of Gol Maal.

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