Hera Pheri (2000 film)

Hera Pheri (transl.Foul play) is a 2000 Indian Hindi-language comedy film directed by Priyadarshan, starring Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, Paresh Rawal and Tabu.[2] The story is adapted from the 1989 Malayalam film Ramji Rao Speaking.[3] The film spawned a sequel, Phir Hera Pheri, released in 2006. It is the first instalment of the Hera Pheri franchise.

Hera Pheri
Directed byPriyadarshan
Produced byA. G. Nadiadwala
Screenplay byNeeraj Vora
Story bySiddique–Lal, Anand Vardhan
StarringAkshay Kumar
Sunil Shetty
Paresh Rawal
Music bySongs:
Anu Malik
Background Score:
Surinder Sodhi
Edited byN. Gopalakrishnan
Release date
  • 31 March 2000 (2000-03-31)
Running time
145 mins
Budget75 million (equivalent to 230 million or US$3.3 million in 2018)[1]
Box office214 million (equivalent to 660 million or US$9.6 million in 2018)[1]

Over the years, the film went on to become a cult classic.[4] It was voted as the best Bollywood comedy film of all time in an online poll conducted by The Indian Express.[5]


The plot revolves around an eccentric trio, consisting of a comically hilarious but kind-hearted garage owner named Baburao Ganpatrao Apte, fondly called as Babu Bhaiya (Paresh Rawal), a crafty and cunning loafer named Raju (Akshay Kumar), and a simple and struggling pauper named Shyam (Sunil Shetty), who find themselves trapped in crazy shenanigans including hilarious bits from Baburao himself.

The film begins with Shyam searching for a job at a bank, which he finds is given to some girl named Anuradha Shivshankar Panikar (Tabu), even though Shyam's father died in the bank due to a fire. The manager (Asrani) tells Shyam that despite knowing the truth, he is unable to do anything further. Shyam walks off in a huff and accidentally bumps into Raju. Shyam mistakes Raju for a pickpocket and begins to chase him. Raju eventually gets away clean. Raju has his own troubles, dealing with his daydreams and unfriendly and disappointed people he is working for. He doesn't seem to keep a job alive and thus faces many problems.

Shyam then approaches a garage owner by the name of Baburao Ganpatrao Apte, and manages to get a room on rent by compromising on the amount for Baburao's alcohol. Unbeknownst to him, Raju is staying in the same house on rent, which he hasn't paid for the last two years. The trio falls into hilarious situations that usually involve Raju instigating Shyam and purposefully trying to create a ruckus that Baburao, fondly called as Babu Bhaiyya has to resolve. During one such fight, Anuradha intervenes and tries Shyam to sign the Non-Objection Certificate, so that she could have the job at the bank. When Shyam refuses, Raju makes a plot to make him sign the papers. Shyam eventually finds out that Raju made him sign the papers and that is when the rivalry between the two commences. An old friend of Shyam's, Khadak Singh (Om Puri), comes to Shyam's place asking to return his money so that he can marry off his sister and afford the dowry.

Shyam finds out that Raju has been deceiving his mother by posing as an engineer and creates an uncomfortable situation for Raju as he calls his mother fake while being inebriated. Raju retaliates, saying he just wants to see his dying mother happy and nothing else. Anuradha prepares a job resignation meanwhile and gives it to Shyam, who in return tears it up because of her mentally ailing mother and the debts to be paid to the debtors.

Their life takes an unexpected turn when they get a call from Kabeera (Gulshan Grover) which is a wrong number actually meant for the owner of Star fisheries, Mr. Devi Prasad (Kulbhushan Kharbanda). The wrong number is because of the misprint in the phone directory, which renders Star fisheries' number as Star garage's and vice versa. (Thus this irritates Baburao a lot due to this problem). Kabeera, a terrorist cum kidnapper, tells who he thinks is Devi Prasad that his granddaughter Rinku is kidnapped and asks for ransom. Raju overhears the entire conversation going between Kabeera and Shyam and decides to play a game.

The game involves Shyam calling Devi Prasad posing as the kidnappers and asking for double the ransom amount. This will make their monetary problems disappear. Shyam and Baburao initially repel the idea and try to go the faithful way. But Raju in turn convinces them that even though wrong, this is a golden chance to earn money. Both relent and phone the real Devi Prasad and ask for double ransom. On their first attempt they wear helmets as disguise but their attempt gets foiled, by the police and Kabeera informs them that the ransom has been doubled. They phone Devi Prasad again. This time they ask for a foolproof double ransom.

On their second attempt, they wear cowboy costumes to hide their identities. However, they reveal their true identities to Devi Prasad to win his confidence and try to save Rinku from the kidnappers. But she recognizes Shyam as an imposter and Kabeera gets alerted. A huge fight involving the police, Kabeera's gang members and Khadak Singh's men, infuriated by the delay in the money return intervene the fight, takes place. The scenes are hilariously choreographed, especially those involving Baburao losing his spectacles and accidentally firing an AK-47 all over the floor. Rinku is saved by the three and returned to Devi Prasad. Baburao and Shyam go home happily intending to find Raju with the money, but they find him missing. They think he has cheated them and call the police and Raju is found to be gone to return the money of the debtors. The police arrive and seeing the money, the trio is arrested.

In the end, Devi Prasad comes to the trio's rescue and convinces the police that it was all a misunderstanding and saves the three and they go home, richer than ever. The film ends with the trio picking up the call getting shocked and then laugh heartily as the call was from Devi Prasad's daughter Rinku.



Hera Pheri was the first film that Priyadarshan had worked with Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty. He had worked with Paresh Rawal in Doli Saja Ke Rakhna. It also marked the beginning of a long association between Priyadarshan and the three actors. Following Hera Pheri, Priyadarshan has made sure that either Kumar, Shetty, Rawal or a combination of the three actors would star in his films. The only exceptions are Dhol, Billu, Tezz and Rangrezz. Parts of the film were shot in Dubai, and Hera Pheri 3 will also be shot there.[6]


Sanjay Dutt was originally signed for Sunil Shetty's role but left the film due to attending on court.

Karishma Kapoor was first signed to play Tabu's role but opted out

Ajay Devgn was offered Sunil's role but he wanted to play Akshay Kumar's role and later opted out

The film was originally titled "Raftaar" and it was going to be an out and out action movie

Steven Seagal was signed to do a cameo appearance. It was when it had Akshay, Sanjay, Paresh and Karishma



The film score was composed by Surinder Sodhi.


The songs featured in the film were composed by Anu Malik.

All lyrics are written by Sameer; all music is composed by Anu Malik with the exception of the song "Tun Tunak Tun", which was composed by Lalit Sen and Bally Sagoo.[7] Soundtrack album released by Saregama.

1."Mujhse Milti Hai Ek Ladki Rozana" (Not in film)Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik6:00
2."Jab Bhi Koi Haseena"K.K.6:40
3."Main Ladka Pom Pom"Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Kavita Krishnamurthy6:12
4."Denewala Jab Bhi Deta Deta Chhappar Phaad Ke"Abhijeet, Vinod Rathod, Hariharan6:50
5."Humba Leela"Abhijeet, Vinod Rathod, Hariharan7:58
6."Tun Tunak Tun"Richa Sharma, K.K.7:06
7."Sun Zara" (Not in film)Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik7:15
8."Tun Tunak Tun" (Remix)Richa Sharma2:43
Total length:50:44


The film did not open well upon release, but picked up later and became a box office success,[8] grossing Rs. 17,25,00,000 in India.[9] Much of the acclaim went to Paresh Rawal for his comic timing and acting, with critics calling it "one of his best performances ever". Aparajita Saha of Rediff stated "the movie belongs entirely to Paresh Rawal. Whatever laughter the film solicits is solely due to him. He has impeccable timing and a natural flair for comedy. Sunil Shetty's role and his performance is also too good."[10] Alok Kumar of Planet Bollywood praised the movie saying "Priyadarshan's Hera Pheri is a delight to watch for its performances, some songs, and an interesting story line".[11]

It has achieved a cult status among Indian audiences[12] and is regarded as one of the best Hindi comedy films ever made.[8] The dialogue, "Rakh! Rakh teri maa ki rakh!" (Hang the phone! Hang the phone, goddammit!) said by Baburao Apte (Paresh Rawal) became widely famous and is used popularly in Indian memes.

Awards and Nominations

Awards Category Recipients and Nominees Results
International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Actor in a Comic Role Paresh Rawal Won
Filmfare Awards Best Comedian Paresh Rawal
Screen Awards Best Comic Actor Paresh Rawal
Screen Weekly Awards Best Performance in a Comic Role Paresh Rawal
Best Screenplay Neeraj Vora
Best Dialogue Neeraj Vora
Best Performance in a Comic Role Om Puri Nominated
Best Story Anand S. Vardhan
Best Editing N. Gopalakrishnan


  1. "Hera Pheri – Movie – Box Office India". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 21 July 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  2. Jain, Mimmy (3 April 2000). "Three for a laugh". Express India. Archived from the original on 12 October 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  3. "Bollywood Comes to South Africa to Film". thenetwork.film. 13 September 2016. Archived from the original on 15 October 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  4. "Akshay Kumar: A Khiladi For All Seasons". The Huffington Post. 30 January 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  5. "Surfers pick 'Hera Pheri', 'Andaz Apna Apna' as top Hindi comedy films of all time in Indian Express online poll". The Indian Express. 19 June 2014. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  6. Editor/reporter), Arti Dani (sub. "Hera Pheri 3 to take off in the UAE". Khaleej Times. Retrieved 20 March 2019.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  7. "Hera Pheri: Audio Listing". Bollywood Hungama. Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  8. Mumbai Mirror (19 August 2010). "Abhi, Sanju, Nana in Hera Pheri 3". Times of India. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  9. "Box Office 2000". Boxofficeindia.com. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  10. Saha, Aparajita (31 March 2000). "The review of Hera Pheri". Rediff. Archived from the original on 5 May 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  11. Kumar, Alok. "Film Reviews: Hera Pheri". Planet Bollywood. Archived from the original on 19 December 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  12. Vijayakar, Rajiv (21 May 2010). "Cult, Comic & Classic". Screen India. Archived from the original on 1 February 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
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