While Remakes have been a prevailing season in Bollywood, there is a dispute whether remakes are healthy or not. While many popular critics have slammed remakes for their inability to come up with an original script, many have agreed that remakes aren’t that either as it is mere revival of classic with a sprinkling of contemporary thinking. However, successful remakes do not necessarily boast of freshness, it is indeed the skill of director to eventually give the audiences a new feat to watch. Koimoi brings to you a list of interesting remakes and whether it shows wit or dooms the classic.
Repacking the 70s’ cult film, Bachchan starrer Don, Farhan Akhtar did the unthinkable. With a tediously restructured film, Akhtar toiled on his father’s original script and squeezed a sleek film out of it. Technically superior, the film though slammed by critics does command respect for an invariably good box office performance! When it comes to remake films, a director’s wit is tested and with Don, Farhan Akhtar established that among the contemporary filmmakers in India, he stands quite in the forefront.
Often when I have read through Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s Agneepath, I have mentally imagined Amitabh Bachchan reciting them from the film. The Karan Malhotra and Karan Johar duo took in hand the monumental task of remaking the classic 1990 film. However, the changes between the two were stark, besides the actors. The director keenly understood the caliber of the script and his actor. He refurbished role dynamics, giving the villains a superior dais than the hero. Using the same thread, the 2012 Agneepath is a gritty piece for its well performed characters and smooth storyline. The film went on to join the esteemed 100 crore club which was a well deserved win. The neatness with which Malhotra conceived the film and translated it on screen deserves a bow from us.
The director David Dhawan changed the film’s name and the film’s vein. All that remained same was the basic story. From a neat romance, the film changed into an adult comedy. The newer version is incomparable to its predecessor but as an individual effort, without comparing Dhawan does manage to fish out a few compliments for himself. Upping his class, his take was valiant! Though many were offended with his audacious stint, I was personally satisfied with his work. He churns out a smooth, laughable, contemporary film out of one set in the 80s. If you don’t look at it too critically, you’ll find multiple reasons to laugh. The film performed fairly well at the domestic box-office and finally ended Dhawan’s drought period, both in terms of business and the creative block that had deterred him over the last few years!
Okay, since the review time is over and I am past the cinematic trauma this film made me suffer, I will do some praising now. Sajid Khan’s choice of story was improper, his lead lady had no thunderous thighs and the film was over-the-top-terrible! Still, Sajid Khan’s curious understanding of the 80s and its films is commendable. The man must have fed on films as a boy to know the art so well. Agreed, Himmatwala was an absolute disaster, Sajid Khan’s study of the ornate frames is impeccable which he smartly brings along in this one too. Sadly, he botches up a doomed script and nothing could have saved him from it! Such a tragedy!
Now this one managed to offend the largely peaceful me as well. Mostly because Muzaffar Ali’s flawless 1981 one is one of India’s most flawlessly done period films. Based on the life of a Lucknow courtesan, the film’s beauty is in its lyrical couplets and breathtaking setting! However, J.P Dutta’s 2006 film was a fiasco of sorts. Lacking the original film’s poise and grace, this one lacked a soul altogether. It could not even near the essence of Umrao’s heartbreaking melancholy. The film performed badly and went away without leaving an impression on anyone’s memories.
People were out with their daggers to attack Ram Gopal Varma after this one. Sholay has been one of the most iconic films in the history of Indian cinema. Casting mediocre actors in the difficult to be replicated roles of Jai and Veeru, mostly Basanti. They are characters too well etched out in our memories and handing over the chagrin to anyone else but them is a crime. Some films have an aura too large to replaced or redone and Varma made a decision-al error in judging. Some pieces are best left untouched, unless you are more than confident that the film will yield something new. The-film-that-must-not-names revealed a shameful dichotomy of sorts dwindling into disaster zone!