Meezaan Jafri: Confident that people will like Hungama 2
The actor on entering the Priyadarshan world and holding his own before Paresh Rawal and Rajpal Yadav
Meezaan Jafri wasn’t even born when the Chura Ke Dil Mera track first dropped. And he was just eight when Priyadarshan’s 2003 rib-tickler, Hungama, was released. Naturally, stepping onto the sets of Hungama 2 felt like entering one’s childhood. “I still remember watching the first film in Globus cinema in Bandra (Mumbai),” Meezaan recalls. “My whole childhood has been defined by Priyan sir’s movies. That also includes Chup Chup Ke, Bhagam Bhag, Hera Pheri, Garam Masala, De Dana Dan, Hulchul, Bhool Bhulaiyaa….”
In Hungama 2, Meezaan joins Paresh Rawal, Shilpa Shetty and Pranitha Subhash in a tale of crisscrossing chaos. The basic plot-which kicks off with Meezaan being pinned the father of a toddler-is adapted from the 1994 Mohanlal comedy Minnaram. There’s characteristic madness, and an army of Priyadarshan alums: Rajpal Yadav, Tiku Talsania, Manoj Joshi, Johnny Lever.
“It was so intimidating to be starring with such stalwarts,” Meezaan concedes. “I kept thinking, ‘Will I be able to do justice?’ But luckily, Priyan sir handled it superbly and got the best performance out of me.” The son of Jaaved Jaaferi and grandson of late actor Jagdeep, Meezaan has comedy in his veins. Still, this is the first time he has attempted the genre, his debut being the Bhansali-produced musical Malaal in 2019.
“It took me a day or two to get into the groove,” he says. “I obviously got better and better every day on set. But I completely agree when people say it’s the most difficult genre.” A Priyadarshan comedy, Meezaan adds, is ultimately situational, so actors can’t slack off or rely on sight gags for laughs. “My character is always on the edge of his seat. He’s always nervous as he’s trying to prove his innocence. So I couldn’t sit around in a single frame.” It didn’t help that Priyadarshan cuts the most unlikely figure on set. “He looks like a serious mafia don,” Meezaan laughs. “But the minute he starts talking, he is so much fun.”
Given the popularity of the first film, there’s palpable anxiety about Hungama 2 hitting the mark. Meezaan sounds confident about wooing over the original’s fans. “Our film has turned out well and I’m not worried about anything. I know once it comes out, people will be happy with it.” Does he have a favourite scene from the Priyadarshan oeuvre? I mention mine – Rajpal Yadav and Razak Khan squabbling over broken cups in Hungama.
“Mine is in Dhol,” Meezaan chirps. “Someone asks, “What should the paan shop be called?” Something that rolls off the tongue. So Rajpal Yadav says, “Thook".