A hero of the masses, an entire generation has grown up on Govinda’s brand of loud, slapstick comedy. And each time he was written off, he returned, after reinventing himself. Three decades on, in what is possibly his fourth innings, he made a comeback into people’s hearts with Kill Dil, as an anti-hero in 2014. Last seen in Holiday in a special appearance, the actor has shed all the excess weight and now looks young, happy and relaxed.
And he can still charm the pants off you just with his million-watt smile. Alternately, speaking in Hindi and English, once you tell him you are a Maharashtrian, the actor dazzles you with his ‘assal’ Marathi. Ask him how he speaks the language so well and pat comes the reply, “Mi Marathi medium madhe shikloy!” That’s just one of the many surprises Govinda springs on me as we settle for a candid chat.
When asked about his latest sabbatical he says that he wasn’t away. The fact is, ‘I did not get any offers. For four years, I was sitting at home doing nothing. Wahaan, I left politics, yahaan film line ne mujhe chhod diya! Nobody approached me. When my fans would meet me at airports or elsewhere, they would ask me why am I doing some Sandhi Sudha soap ad? I said since I am not seen anywhere, I had to do something. He further said, ‘ I did not get a single offer, not even to play a father!”
It all changed when Shaad Ali offered him a villainous role in Kill Dil. He was determined to work, after that he signed nine films including Holiday and Happy Ending, in which he has a cameo. When he got enough money, I decided to produce and star in Abhinay Chakra.
Brand Govinda now doesn’t mind playing any role…only thing he wants is a meaningful role. He plays father to Ranbir’s Kapoor in Jagga Jasoos.
He thinks contemporary actors like Ranveer are good. Especially in scenes of Ram-Leela, However, he feels nowadays actors do only 2-3 films at a time. Gone are the days of doing 13-14 films simultaneously. Govinda created a niche and a comedy genre. He says ‘when I entered the industry, my aim was to do as many films as possible, earn money and make things comfortable for my family. Who had the time to even think of such things? I was this boy from a gaon, and my work, the way I worked reflected that. I gelled with the masses. Actually, I am glad I did so many films because that benefited me.
He was the Salman khan of the 90’s, a star of the masses…
Lets flashback a few years…Govinda made a comeback to films in late 2006 with the comedy film Bhagam Bhag directed by Priyadarshan alongside Akshay Kumar and Lara Dutta. It was the first time Govinda and Akshay Kumar were seen in a film together. The movie became a hit, and Box Office declared it a “super hit”.
His first release of 2007 was director Nikhil Advani’s big-budgeted drama film Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love. The film had a large star cast including Govinda, Shannon Esra, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, Akshaye Khanna, Ayesha Takia, John Abraham, Vidya Balan, Sohail Khan and Isha Koppikar. Govinda played the role of Raju, a taxi driver who comes to the assistance of a Caucasian woman, Stephanie (Shannon Esra), who is frantically trying to hunt down her lover, and Raju eventually falls in love with her. Although the film was a box office disappointment, Govinda was specially praised for his performance.
His second release of 2007 was a David Dhawan directed comedy, Partner co-starring Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and Lara Dutta. The film grossed Rs.300 Million in India on its opening week, the second highest domestic opening week gross for an Indian film at that time. The film was declared a blockbuster hit at the box office. Govinda won many awards for his performance in Partner including an IIFA Best Comedian Award and a Zee Cine Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Male.
He was also seen in the film Jahan Jaaeyega Hamen Paaeyega filmed in previous years. The film performed poorly at the box office. Govinda was also seen in a special appearance in song “Deewangi Deewangi” in Om Shanti Om In 2008, he appeared in the film Money Hai Toh Honey Hai. It was directed by Bollywood choreographer Ganesh Acharya. The film did not perform well at the box office. Govinda was then seen in a T K Rajeev Kumar directed comedy, Chal Chala Chal. Govinda was appreciated for his performance and the film did well at the box office. The same year, Salman Khan invited David Dhawan and Govinda on his show 10 Ka Dum to celebrate the success of their film Partner.
In 2009, he had a successful release titled Life Partner in which Govinda was seen as a lawyer and his performance was particularly praised by the critics. The film was declared “Hit” at box office Govinda reunited with the trio of David Dhawan, Vashu Bhagnani and himself with the film Do Knot Disturb which despite receiving good reviews from the critics was unsuccessful at the box office.
In 2010, Govinda was in Mani Ratnam’s bilingual project Raavan along with Vikram, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. Govinda played a forest department employee who takes Vikram’s character through the forests in search of a wanted criminal. While it was earlier speculated that his character was a contemporary version of Hanuman, Govinda refuted the claim. Govinda had a small role but was reportedly appreciated for his performance.
In 2011, Govinda was seen in Jagmohan Mundhra’s adult comedy film Naughty @ 40. Despite the movie receiving negative reviews, Govinda was noted for his performance in reviews. He was also seen in the comic caper Loot by Rajnish Thakur’s. Govinda also voiced the character ‘Bajrangi (The monkey)’ for Nikhil Advani’s animation film Delhi Safari.
In 2013, Govinda was seen in K. C. Bokadia’s film Deewana Main Deewana co-starring Priyanka Chopra which was not received well at the box office. This film was shot approximately ten years previously. The film was a Hindi remake of Tamil’s film Priyamudan directed by Vincent Selva. Despite being delayed, Govinda received praise for his villainous performance in the film. Govinda also made his Bengali debut and was seen as Deputy Inspector General of Police in Dipak Sanyal’s Bengali film Samadhi co-starring Gracy Singh and Sayali Bhagat which did not perform well at box office.
In 2014, Govinda was seen in AR Murugadoss’s Holiday which is a Thuppakki’s remake starring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha. This was the second collaboration of Govinda and Akshay Kumar after Bhagam Bhag. Govinda was seen again as a main lead actor after three years with Yash Raj Film’s Kill Dil directed by Shaad Ali in which he played an antagonist and was seen along with Ranveer Singh, Parineeti Chopra and Ali Zafar. Govinda was last seen as an antagonist in Shikari in 2000. The posters of the film were released in September 2014, in which Govinda was seen posing with a gun. The trailer was released in September 2014. The trailer was appreciated by Amitabh Bachchan. The film was released in November 2014. Although Kill Dil was not a commercial success, Govinda’s performance was well received by critics.
Govinda was also in Happy Ending along with Saif Ali Khan and Ileana D’Cruz. Govinda played the role of a superstar in the film. Govinda and Saif Ali Khan were seen together for the first time in this movie. The trailer of the film was released on 9 October 2014. The film was released on 21 November 2014. It received a positive response from the box office, and Govinda’s performance was appreciated by critics.
In January 2014, reports said that Govinda refused to do the remake of Mahesh Manjrekar’s Marathi film Shikshanacha Aaicha Gho in Hindi which was to be produced by Bollywood actor Salman Khan. Salman Khan said that for the last three years he had been after Govinda to do the film. Govinda said that he already said no to that film three years ago. He also added that he wanted some changes in the script which was not accepted by the writers. In 2014, Salman Khan posted on Twitter asking followers to convince Govinda to do his film and posted a picture of him with Govinda. Salman further tweeted that Govinda has finally agreed to do Hindi version of the film Shikshanacha Aaicha Gho. Later Govinda revealed that they had agreed to do a film together in near future, but he is not doing Shikshanacha Aaicha Gho as he does not want to do an art film.
In 2015, Govinda was seen in Hey Bro in a special appearance which stars Nupur Sharma, Ganesh Acharya in the lead roles. Its trailer was launched on 16 January. Hey Bro released on 27 February 2015.
Govinda will then be in Anurag Basu’s Jagga Jasoos and will be seen as Ranbir Kapoor’s step-father. The film also stars Katrina Kaif. Govinda and Katrina Kaif were last seen together in Partner in 2007. The film is scheduled to be released in 2016. Govinda is also doing Afra Tafri which co stars Suniel Shetty, Yuvika Chaudhary, Arya Babbar and Mugdha Godse and is being directed by Haadi Abrar.
He has also produced a film called Abhinay Chakra, which will be directed by Deepankar Senapati. He act sas a police officer along with former Mrs World Richa Sharma as his wife. Richa will be seen as a blind lady.he film also stars Ashutosh Rana, Murali Sharma, Makarand Deshpande and Harish Kumar. Abhninay Chakra will be Govinda’s third production post Hatya and Ssukh. In April 2014, Govinda unveiled the first look of Abhinay Chakra at 15th IIFA Awards in United States. The film will be released sometime in 2015.
Fridaybrands.com appreciates the survival instinct of actors like Govinda who has made a sort of successful comeback. And yes, Brand Govinda is still relevant. After all, he inspires many actors of yesteryears to make a meaningful comeback now.