Peekay likha: The Raju Hirani template

A successful brand knows its audience well. A successful brand remains consistent over the years with the elements using which it speaks to its audiences.


Raju Hirani is still an ad man and a very good one at that. His 30 seconders have simply taken the shape of 3 hour movies and the man in the Fevicol ad now has well and truly created a successful brand out of his RKH films banner. With quite an enviable track record of 4 massively successful films spread little over a decade, it is interesting to note certain executional elements which form the core of the ‘Raju Hirani template’– branded with a stamp carrying his signature- almost like the mark of the trident on Boman Irani’s bum in Peekay.


  • A subject which the audience can easily relate to : medicine, law, education system, religion (read Hinduism).
  • A protagonist who doesn’t belong to the ‘system’ and thus ends up asking uncomfortable questions which end up adding to the humour. e.g. Munna, idiot Rancho and PK
  • Attention to Detail – it shouts out from every shot. Mark of an ad man of the highest quality. Too many examples to single out any.
  • Rib tickling scenes -mostly subtle and sometimes borrowing from popular culture jokes which one reads as mobile forwards. Case in Point : most sequences in the classes of Imperial College of Engineering in 3 Idiots (definition of book) or Peekay ( sandals locked at temple gates)
  • A lovable antagonist who represents the conservative view on the subject in question. e.g. Dr. Asthana, Lucky Singh, Virus , Tapasvi.
  • The use of an easy to relate to catchphrase as a call to action for the audience to latch on to and which helps spread the word of mouth about the movie. e.g. Jaadoo ki Jhappi.Get Well Soon.All Is Well.Wrong Number.
  • A ‘demo’ to land the core point of tension in the movie.e.g. 3 Idiots,PK
  • The shot of the ‘demo’ in Connaught Place in Delhi. He seems to really love the backdrop with the white pillars. e.g. 3 idiots, PK.
  • A recurring shot representing everyone from all walks of life latching on to the delivery of the film’s core message on live radio/live TV.e.g. the barber,the policeman, the IT guy, the man driving to office.
  • The father in Parikshat Sahni, who undergoes the transformation in between the two intervals. Angry eyes.Denial. Slap. Teary eyes saying ‘bas kar rulayega kya’ admission in the end.
  • Foot tapping feel good numbers.e.g. M bole toh, Pal Pal, Zoobi Doobi,Nanga Panga Dost
  • The editor in Raju Hirani being completely overshadowed by director Raju Hirani. Some sequences beg to be edited better and stretches the second half unnecessarily. e.g. Court scene in Munnabhai, operation scene in 3 Idiots, TV show scene in PK.

It surely is good to live in the generation of such a filmmaker who has created a unique signature of his own. Here is looking forward to the next one from the Raju Hirani stable- the Sanjay Dutt biopic.


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