Mudassar Aziz who has fashioned interesting romantic comedies in the past such as Happy Bhaag Jayegi and its sequel Happy Phir Bhaag Jayegi has a reason for remaking B R Chopra’s 1978 comic classic Pati Patni Aur Woh.
“My father was a big fan of that film. I am a 1990s child. So I missed it on release. But every time it was telecast on Doordarshan my family and I would watch it together. I think it was telecast 7-8 times when I was a child. Therefore remaking that film for me was like a childhood dream, just as making films was a dream that I had from my childhood, even though my father wanted me to go into a more financially stable profession,” says Mudassar.
Remaking a film on adultery in presentday context is not easy.
Explains the director, “What was seen to be acceptable behaviour back then when B R Chopra Saab directed Pati Patni Aur Woh would be seen as horribly incorrect behaviour in today’s times. If you remember the original film, there is a sequence where Sanjeev Kumar leaves home for work after saying goodbye to his wife and son. At the bus stop he sees a woman and gives her a lift. But when she reveals she’s married he dumps her in the middle of the road and drives away.We couldn’t show our protagonist behaving that way.”
Mudassar wanted to show a married man straying from marriage for reasons that are intrinsic rather than extraneous. “A son plays the roles that his father expects him to. He gets the job that his father wants him to. At a certain age, around 24 he gets married to the girl whom his parents want him to marry. But what if after that he begins to think not as a dutiful son but an individual with feelings and desires of his own? That is the space I am exploring in Pati Patni AurWoh.”
He stresses the fact that there is nothing “wrong” with the unfaithful husband’s wife. “She is educated , beautiful and devoted. The problem is with the man. Kartik Aryan plays a very young husband while Bhumi Pednekar is the wife who makes no wrong moves.”
Mudassar sees David Dhawan as the true successor of B R Chopra. “David Dhawan had a very successful innings. He is still a successful filmmaker.When he made Biwi No 1 in 1999 it was like a fresh twist to the Pati Patni AurWoh theme of adultery. He gave an entirely new twist to the wife’s character played by Karisma Kapoor. Now 20 years later here I am with my own interpretation of the subject of infidelity.”