Will Abbas Tyrewala’s latest bite of the Bollywood Mango recreate the Jaane Tu magic?

Cineswami traces the journey of writer-director Abbas Tyrewala and his latest film Mango

We like Abbas Tyrewala. As a writer, he gave us the brilliant screenplay for Maqbool, dialogue and screenplay for the ever-charming Main Hoon Na and zingy dialogue for Munnabhai MBBS and Salaam Namaste, Sure, he’s had his missteps in the shape of Shikhar, Chupke Se and De Taali, but all was forgiven with his directorial debut Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na. The film was one of the freshest debut romantic comedies and also benefited from one of AR Rahman’s best soundtracks ever.

It is therefore with great anticipation that loyal Bollywood audiences waited for Tyrewala’s next Jhootha Hi Sahi. There were fond hopes that he would transform John Abraham from a mere hunk to an actor of note, while being high on the entertainment quotient. Sadly, the film turned out to be a clunker of a nepotistic vanity project that served only to highlight Tyrewala’s wife Pakhi’s writing and acting skills or lack thereof and most definitely did not benefit from one of AR Rahman’s worst soundtracks ever.

It is therefore with some trepidation that we approach Tyrewala’s next, Mango, currently in the news for all the wrong reasons. Mango is a co-production between Multi Screen Media, whose first release Bajatey Raho is on July 19, and Kaleidoscope Entertainment. The companies are upbeat about the film.

Multi Screen Media Chief Operating Officer NP Singh said, “Mango is a romcom with a twist. Shot in the beautiful locales of Goa the film captures the tale of five youngsters whose lives are entwined by destiny. Mango is a young film and will appeal to masses. It will break the clutter through its refreshing content and fresh casting.”

Kaleidoscope’s Bobby Bedi added, “One of my most successful films was my first foray into mainstream Bollywood – that is Saathiya – a romcom with a difference. Today I re-enter the same space with some of my best colleagues – Abbas, who wrote Maqbool, Aradhana, who designed Fire, Allan – action director for Bandit Queen, and Mulchand who has lit every single work I have ever done. Together we are producing what we believe is a really funny and fast paced film, deliciously called Mango.”

Like Jaane Tu and unlike Jhootha Hi Sahi, Mango has a fresh young cast in Rannvijay, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Harman, Monali Thakur and Swara Bhaskar and in a sense Tyrewala has returned to his comfort zone. Here’s hoping that something close to the Jaane Tu magic is being recreated and memories of Jhootha Hi Sahi, are exorcised – Tyrewala is too good and too rare a writing/directing talent to be sacrificed at the altar of a flop film.