Masti, which had released back in 2004, proved to be an out-an-out game-changer for Bollywood. If you had told Director Indra Kumar, who had earlier given us set cash registers ringing with lovable family fare like Beta, Dil, Raja and Ishq — all of which did have plenty of elements of rib-tickling comedy, but with none skirting adult themes, and certainly none proving to be pioneering — that his film was going to be a trend-setter that would pave the way for sex comedies for the next two decades, he'd have simply smiled in his famous coy manner, and politely told us that we're pulling his leg. That's exactly what Masti did though, inspiring confidence in many other filmmakers, several of whom simply decided to make its clones, some of which were genuinely funny and successful, but most of which were cringe-worthy and bit the dust at ticket-windows.
A sorry of three young married man (played by Vivek Oberoi, Aftab Shivdasani and Riteish Deshmukh) deciding to cheat on the wives (played by Amrita Rao, Tara Sharma and Genelia D'Souza) due to lack of spice in their marriage, only for things to go horribly wrong and landing the three men in a world of trouble, including becoming prime suspects in a murder investigation by a tough-as-nails cop (played by Ajay Devgn), hardly gives the indication of being trailblazing on paper. But Milap Zaveri and Tushar Hiranandani were peppered with laugh-out-loud moments and belly-aching gags, directed smoothly by Indra Kumar's experienced hand. And the cast, especially the four male actors, brought their A-game to the fore with their comic timing, ensuring that everything fell seamlessly into place to make Masti a comedy that would be enjoyed for years to come.
The film opened at Rs. 1.80 crore nett, which may look like pittance now, but back then, was decent enough for a small-budget film, with not many pre-relase expectations from a fresh cast, where Devgn was the only known face, and that, too, in a supporting capacity. The word-of-mouth quickly grew, and Masti witnessed decent jumps to finish the weekend with Rs. 5.47 crore nett and its first week with a promising Rs. 9.13 crore nett in its kitty. The movie ended up being a clean hit at the box office with a lifetime collection of Rs. 20.28 crore nett, which when adjusted for inflation amounts to Rs. 70.90 crore nett today.
Subsequent sex comedies in its wake, would collect more, and some would emerge even bigger hits, but many managed to do so purely by cashing in on the wave of interest generated by Masti among a rapidly changing adult audience, and none would be able to replicate the groundbreaking effect that the film had, with the over-crowding of the genre with several cheap clones and trashy fare (one of which, unfortunately, belonged to the third entry in the Masti franchise itself, tarnishing the legacy of the original) eventually driving the final naile into the coffin of sex comedies. Still, we'll always have Masti to savour, right?
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