Neeraj Vora The writer behind comedies like Hera Pheri & Golmaal will be remembered with a smile
Neeraj Vora an accomplished actor, writer and director, breathed his last during the early hours of Thursday. His contribution to cinema will be remembered for years and that too, with a smile.
Showbiz lost a rare gem today. Neeraj Vora, who passed away earlier today, dedicated his life to entertaining the world. With memorable roles like Sukhiya, the dedicated man-Friday to Anil Kapoor in Virasat, the CBI scientist in Baadshah, amongst many others, Neeraj’s was the face that we grew to love in most films of the late 1990s-early 2000s.
Neeraj was a standout performer who fit perfectly into the role of the man who was the emotional touchstone of the hero. His characters in films like Pukar, Dhadkan and many others reflected this well but his artistic vision was much broader than being a performer. An exemplary writer and a director who played well with timing, Neeraj Vora will be remembered for his contribution to Hindi cinema.
Being a theater artist in his early days, Neeraj was very well aware of the intricacies of putting up a show that was wholesome. He started his career with TV shows like Circus, Choti Badi Baatien and while he did a few acting roles in films like Ketan Mehta’s Holi, Aziz Mirza’s Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, it was Ram Gopal Varma’s Rangeela, that truly brought him to the spotlight. Not many know that Neeraj Vora wrote the dialogues for the cult classic film that introduced the audience to an unexplored side of Aamir Khan and gave an excellent platform to then newcomer, Urmila Matondkar.
Not just Rangeela, Neeraj is behind some of the most popular films of that era. He wrote comedies like Hera Pheri, Golmaal, Badshah, Hulchul, Garam Masala, Awara Paagal Deewana, dramas like Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, Josh, and even mysteries like Ajnabee among many others.
His association with Priyadarshan certainly entertained the audience for a long time. With Priyadrashan at the director’s chair, he and Vora created a partnership that was nothing less than legendary. Their association resulted in some of the best comedies in the early 2000s and these films still hold the charm that entertains the audience even today. Vora would either write the story or the screenplay or sometimes even the dialogues to Priyadarshan’s movies and they struck gold almost all the time.
It was probably Vora’s quick wit that resulted in some of the most hilarious moments on Hindi cinema’s silver screen. Moments from Rohit Shetty’s 2006 film, Golmaal: Fun Unlimited are still just as hilarious as they were 11 years ago and most of that credit goes to Vora for writing the film. Golmaal was actually adapted from a Gujarati play Aflatoon that was also written by Vora in 1992.
Shah Rukh Khan starrer Baadshah might have not created wonders at the box office back in the day, but with multiple satellite runs, Baadshah has achieved the status where the film’s comedy is now loved. Here too, Vora was the man who wrote the story for the film. But it wasn’t just his quick comic timing that was exemplary, Neeraj was an accomplished writer who could make his audience get immersed into the film’s world completely. He wrote the story for Abbas Mustan’s popular film Ajnabee that fascinated the audience completely.
For Neeraj, writing was the hero of the film, everything else came secondary. “Writing is the foundation. First the story is important. The skeleton has to be properly sketched. Thereafter the right parts have to be placed in their proper place of functioning. Then the narration should be simple and the viewers should identify with the character. When the writer is also the director, the execution becomes easier,” Neeraj once said in an interview with movietalkies.com.
Vora expanded his artistic horizon when he ventured into a directorial space in 2000 with Akshay Kumar starrer Khiladi 420. He followed it up with Phir Hera Pheri (2006) and Shortkut (2009).
Neeraj Vora, 54, suffered a stroke in October 2016 and had been in coma since then. This morning, the industry lost an important member of the fraternity and a valuable artiste whose talents were multi-faceted. His contribution to cinema will be remembered for years and that too, with a smile.