It’s Preity’s birthday week! And Urmila’s too! And both of them deserve to be working more, even though they are over 40. So, I have IDEAS!
Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol Remake with SRK
I watched this perfectly pleasant small Mohanlal movie a few weeks ago, and skrogers emailed me in response to my review suggesting a remake with Shahrukh and Preity. Which I think is a lovely idea! And we could slot Urmila right in too.
Shahrukh is a small local official in a tiny town in the north. He is married to Preity but never really talks to her and she watches TV more than she talks to him. They lavish their affection on their children instead. It all changes when Shahrukh goes to his college reunion and meets his old college girlfriend…..Urmila!!!!!! And unlike in the original, we will totally get a big flashback song showing them as joyful energetic young people in love.
Shahrukh returns to his life feeling dissatisfied. His friends (including a younger married man with many flirtations going at once, Ayushmann Khurrana playing against type) suggest he should try an affair, or at least a flirtation, just to get some passion back in his life. Shahrukh starts a flirtation with the new young married woman hired by his office, Lisa Haydon. But it ends in comedy when her husband finds out, she lies to him, and Shahrukh is so stressed he can’t handle it.
Ayushmann then suggests that Shahrukh try a flirtation with one of “his” women and rings a random number on his phone and hands it to Shahrukh. Only, Ayushmann is secretly a good guy and a good friend and the number he rang was Preity, Shahrukh’s own wife. Shahrukh speaks sweetly too her, thinking it is another woman, and this bucks her up so much that she goes out and gets her hair done and wears a new sari. And Shahrukh, having his heart woken up again, sees her from the back in church and hardly recognizes her, and suddenly realizes he is married to a beautiful woman.
Preity and Shahrukh have a new birth of romance, rediscover their love, flashback to their own sweet young happy newly married days. And the conflict shifts to the next generation, when they discover that their teenage daughter (casting TBA) is having an affair of her own. Shahrukh follows her, much humor ensues, but in the end discovers that she was ending the relationship on her own, her parents having shown her what real love looks like.
(Like this, but without the bad make-up)
Preity is Brittle Career Woman, Urmila is Sweet Housewife, There Are Romantic Confusions
Has anyone else seen Parent Trap 2? It’s better than you would think! And it is the semi-inspiration for this film. Urmila is a sweet young widow. We meet her while she is cheerfully going around waking up her kids, and singing a kooky good-morning song to get them awake. And then being caught with her funny hat still on her head by the neighbor and being embarrassed. Clearly an interesting funny fun woman, but one who is too shy and scared to show that to anyone but those closest to her.
(See, one of the Hayley Mills is divorced and her daughter wants to set her up with her best friend’s Dad, but she won’t go on a date, so they call in the other Hayley Mills to pretend to be her for the date)
Meanwhile, Preity is getting ready for the day too, waking up to have coffee with newspapers and roll through phone calls, before arriving at the office ahead of everyone else to storm around and give orders, and also take a moment to remember and recognize her secretaries birthday and tease her assistant over his new engagement. She is a confident strong career woman, but also caring and thoughtful and remembers things about her employees. Not an “evil” career woman. And then she calls Urmila because she has a sudden cancellation and wants to come by for lunch and we learn that they are cousins and best friends!
Preity and Urmila have a expositiony conversation. We learn that they grew up together and went to college together, but when Preity was being headhunted by multinational corporations, Urmila fell in love with a nice young man (Imraan Khan, somehow I can see them together) and married him instead. But then he died two years ago, and since then Urmila has barely left the house, builds her whole life around her children, and won’t even consider taking a job, or going on a trip, or anything else Preity is offering her. But, Urmila is tricked into admitting that she would like to be married again. She is lonely, and she misses having a husband. But what man would want to take on a middle-aged mother with a readimade family? Maybe someone sweet and kind and mature and good with children, but how many men are there like that?
Urmila then turns it back on Preity, pointing out that she was in love herself once, with that crazy boy from college (flashback to Arjun Rampal in a terrible wig in a rock band) who she had one wild weekend with, before refusing to run away with him an choosing to stay in school and pursue her career. And she gets Preity to admit that maybe it would be nice to have that romance back in her life, to have something more to come home to than an empty apartment and a stack of papers.
And then misunderstandings happen!!!! Urmila first, she determines to track down Arjun Rampal and discovers he had some minor success as a musician and now runs a music studio and teaches. She goes to the music studio to check him out and try to set him up with Preity. Only she is so shy and flustered that she can’t come up with a good story and accidentally ends up asking for music lessons. Meanwhile, Arjun is completely and totally charmed by her and half leads her into asking for music lessons just so he can have an excuse to spend more time with her.
(He has experience being charmed by her)
Meanwhile, Preity is on the lookout for the perfect husband for Urmila. She assigns her assistant to set up a profile on a dating website for a middle-aged woman with 2 kids. But the assistant misunderstands and uses Preity’s photo and information instead and says that she is looking for a man with kids. Preity gets a response from the seemingly perfect man, Ajay Devgan, he has two kids and is a widower and kind and mature and all of the things Urmila wanted. She decides to go with the misunderstanding and sets up a date with him so she can check him out. It goes terribly at first, she is brusk and efficient and he is slow and shy and uncomfortable. But then she gets food poisoning and he is wonderfully kind and caring and understanding and takes her back to his house and sets her up on the sofa and takes care of her all night, and in the morning she charms his two kids with the games she learned from Urmila’s children, and Ajay falls in love with her.
Twist!!!! Just as the two couples are happily moving along, Urmila has a moment while Arjun is reaching around her to show her how to finger her guitar, and Preity has a moment when Ajay surprises her at work with roses, and they realize that they have crossed the line from “checking out a guy for their friend” to falling in love with him themselves. They both, immediately, cut off all access and go back to the original plan. Urmila makes Preity promise to go to a certain address and not ask any questions, and she ends up at Arjun’s studio and they meet for the first time in years. Meanwhile, Preity has set up Urmila’s real profile on the dating site and makes her promise to go on a date with Ajay when he contacts her.
The two couples are perfect on paper, Arjun is the handsome man that Preity can take with her to elegant parties and whose life fits easily around hers. Ajay is the experienced father who is perfect with Urmila’s kids. And yet, none of them are happy.
(I really want to see Ajay play a family man and a father onscreen)
It finally comes to a head when Arjun breaks up with Preity. He tells her that they did have a wonderful week together in college, but he is a different person now, and she is a different person now, and no matter how logical and easy this is on paper, there is no magic there. He had magic with someone else, and she left him, so he knows it is possible. And he won’t settle for anything less.
Preity tells this to Urmila when she pushes to find out how the romance is going, and Urmila is furious! She rushes to Arjun’s studio to yell at him for breaking her friend’s heart and being terrible and asks who this woman is that had the “magic” with him? And Arjun finally breaks through her yelling to grab her and kiss her and tell her that it was her, all along, she was the magic!
Urmila is now super happy, and also a responsible good person and tells Ajay that she is in love with someone else right away. Preity finds this out when she goes to the school program she promised Ajay’s kids she would attend, and they tell her that Ajay is all sad now and says his heart is broken. Preity rushes to yell at Urmila and tell her off for dumping this sweet kind man who just wanted love. Urmila stands up for herself and says it wasn’t her fault, she fell in love with someone else and won’t feel guilty about it. And admits it is Arjun. Only, Preity blows right past that, still more upset about her dumping Ajay than “stealing” Arjun. At which point Urmila realizes what is happening and starts asking questions that make Preity realize it was really Ajay she wanted all along, not Arjun. And, with Urmila’s help, she organizes an elaborate proposal, surprising him in his backyard with roses and violines and kneeling down to propose. And of course he says yes.
(I think they would be good together)
And then happy end credits song showing the two families happy together, Urmila and her kids and Arjun and Preity and Ajay and his kids, ending with the two women finding each other and holding hands and smiling as they watch their families.
Urmila and Preity are Both Angry Divorcees of the Same Man
That last was a happy romance-y version, lets have the angry revenge-y version!!!! We start with a flashback to the first time they met. In a courtroom. A lawyer is explaining that Preity gave Anil everything, after marriage he was made co-chair of her own father’s company, and now he is insisting on being bought out for a ruinous amount. Anil’s lawyer presents an alternate view, rather than let him have his pride and dignity, Preity challenged him at every turn, he will never be able to have the success and respect he deserves at her company, he has earned the right to have the money to start fresh on his own. In the middle of this, Urmila enters the room, dressed all sexy while Preity is in a power suit, and gives Anil a little wave and a smile. Preity sees this, frowns, and suddenly stands up and says “fine, let him have the whole company for himself, see if he can run it on his own, I’ll start fresh. I just want out of this marriage.” And then she turns to look at Urmila and says “he’s your problem now” and walks out.
(I always felt like she was too cool for him)
5 years later. Preity is preparing to go on her first vacation in five years. Her new company is riding how and in the midst of another massive expansion. But on the way out the door her assistant insists on showing her something that she will “definitely” want to see. It’s a humorous video summing up Anil’s current position. A playboy who married into a thriving company, thought he could run it on his own and dumped his wife for another woman. Then ran that company into the ground and now, with nothing left to sell but himself, has dumped his second wife so he can move on again with another wealthy woman (Kat) whose father will pay off his debts. Preity laughs and laughs! And her catty assistant says he has set up another special surprise for her vacation, she will “love” the floorshow on the cruise.
Preity goes on the cruise, fancy matching bags and all, and that night goes to the floor show to discover it is Urmila! Post-divorce, she has nothing and has to go back to being a dancing girl. Urmila sees her in the audience but proudly keeps dancing.
Preity signals to the waiter and finds out when the rehearsals are the next day so she can surprise Urmila. Preity shows up at the rehearsals the next day and gives in to her pettiest instincts. Trumpeting how now they are both dumped, but at least Preity had some dignity and something to fall back on, Urmila has fallen to where she was always meant to be, “just” a dancing girl. Urmila finally has enough and goes for her, and CAT FIGHT!
The ship’s security is called and the ship’s captain (Shahrukh, in uniform) declares he doesn’t care who is right and who is wrong, or who is a passenger and who is a dancer, he is putting them both in a special holding cell until they work it out. For 3 days, the two women are isolated in the same cabin.
After several more fights (which Shahrukh has to come to break up and is clearly a little intrigued and happy with Preity’s cocky confidence and determination), the two women finally bond when Urmila gets food poisoning. Preity takes care of her, against her will. And slowly softens, especially when she in her sickness Urmila admits to always having admired Preity’s strength and wishing she could be like her, she was miserable the last few years in the marriage because Anil was cheating on her, and she didn’t feel she had the right to leave him, not after what she herself had done to Preity. And Preity realizes that Anil was the villain all along, not Urmila.
And then, bonds are formed!!!! Preity and Urmila do Kareoke together in their room, trade clothes, do each other’s hair, the general female bonding routine. Shahrukh finally let’s them out and is stunned by Preity’s new look, no longer sleek professional, but casual and young. Urmila notices him noticing and teases a little and makes sure he has Preity’s phone number, just in case, the next time he docks in Bombay.
Like this, but with Urmila and they are both middle-aged)
And then the two women go off into the world as best friends. Preity insists on Urmila staying with her, because it is her fault that Urmila was fired from her dancing job and has nowhere to live. Urmila promises to teach her how to dance and have fun in return. They are super happy together, until they see coverage of Anil’s engagement to the new woman (let’s say Meher Vij). Urmila and Preity instantly feel sorry for her. Another woman about to be destroyed by Anil. And so, they decide to destroy Anil first.
Urmila calls on her old friend, gangster Sanjay Dutt. He is kind and concerned and clearly still has a thing for her. He agrees to help. Preity calls in her connections in the fancy societal world to find out where Anil is staying. And they kidnap him! Sanjay terrifies him and ties him up, and then says “Ladies, he is all yours” and Preity and Urmila appear while Anil goes bug-eyed in fear.
They keep him in a back room and force him to watch female empowerment movies like Arth and Mirch Masala and Bandini and Astitva. Meanwhile, his marriage/engagement is falling apart as no one can reach him. The police are called and his fiancee issues a plea. Policewoman Tabu is assigned the case the brought in to investigate. While everyone else focuses on the elements that indicate a gang crime, Tabu thinks it is personal because of how it happened. She starts investigating Preity and Urmila and discovers they are living together now and friends. She also interviews Meher and realizes that Meher has no idea what kind of a man she is marrying and is doomed to unhappiness if the wedding happens.
(She does look good in a uniform)
Tabu interviews the two women and it is clear that she has figured out what is happening. But she also knows that Meher’s father is giving Anil one more day to appear (with no ransom, he now thinks it wasn’t a kidnapping but rather just running away from the wedding) and then the wedding is off. She conveys this to the women, that if he “happens” to reappear without a believable story for where he was in 24 hours, the wedding will be off and his life will be destroyed.
And so back to the news reports, Anil Kapoor has reappeared! One day after the deadline. Meher’s father declares it was clearly all a scam, the marriage is off, his daughter can do better. The media is making fun of Anil’s ridiculous story that he was kidnapped by his ex-wives. Especially since his high profile ex-wife Preity was just seen getting on a cruise ship, would she be likely to go on vacation if she was really a suspect. And we have a final ending shot of each of our characters. Tabu toasting the TV set with her wine glass. Anil Kapoor unable to get anyone to take his calls as the bank repossesses his office furnishings. Preity happily being greeted by Shahrukh as she gets onboard ship. Then Urmila appearing having snuck on behind her, and Shahrukh happily introducing Urmila to a new passenger, Sanjay! Who has decided he might take a break from his “business” and spend some time with “friends”, and Urmila is all shy as he shakes her hand.
And, final happy end credits song with both couples dancing together around the ship.
(Pretty much exactly like this)
So, which one should we make? Does anything need more Shahrukh? Or other possible tweaks?