One doesn’t take long to realize how Bollywood’s range has become limited. Because the most we create, is recycled films adapted out of older classics, south films or books. While the novelty of films is in its stories, it is a good franchise idea to further classics. Many senior actors see this as lack of growth and others find it suggestive of creative limbo that our industry might be undergoing. I happened to watch The Shaukeens, a few weeks back and it was a sorry, lamentable movie. I don’t know how to put it through but Basu Chatterjee must return from his grave and haunt the makers of the film for life.
Let’s take a look at how good has been fate of classic, when remade in recent years.
Don Versus Don
‘Don Ko Pakadna Mushkil Hi Nahi Namumkin Hai’. Iconic dialogue? Farhan Akhtar took the cue and decided to do full justice to his father’s film, cast Shah Rukh Khan as Don which Amitah Bachchan had played and give the ending a twist. I did not hate either Don or Don 2 but the cult classic remains a favorite. There was a certain simplicity in the film which understood the demands of a commercial potboiler better. Don and Don 2 were apparently big moolah rakers but it was too full of frills and lacked the simple storytelling in it. Swanky film but not Farhan’s best film at all.
Sholay Versus RGV Ki Aag
This was the worst Bollywood could do to a classic. Some films are better left alone, Sholay should have ideally been one of them. It’s too acclaimed and too popular a film to be tampered with. RGV infused his buffoonery in the plot and the film, that unfortunately starred Amitabh Bachchan as well could go down in the history as its worst film. It’s the kind of film which gives Sajid Khan the relief that he isn’t after all the worst thing that happened to the film industry he is in love with.
Agneepath Versus Agneepath
Well, I liked both in parts. Based out of Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s poetry, Agneepath(s) are both good films. While the former seemed a little more impactful than the latter, I guess credit does go to Karan Malhotra to be able to bring a certain amount of newness in a story and a film that has attained cult status. Amitabh Bachchan was par excellence but Hrithik’s sincerity along with Sanjay’s menacing personality and Rishi Kapoor’s dreading presence added a certain amount of zing to the film.
Chashme Baddoor Versus Chashme Buddoor
When there is David Dhawan involved, you can’t expect the fun to be subtle or the comedy to be low profile. It is afterall the King of Overdone Comedy and we don’t mind that. Do we? Many loyalists of the 1981 film were horrified to see their favorite being butchered. I, on the other hand, laughed at the changes. It was funny. Not a brilliant film but definitely not unwatchable. Ali Zafar as Farooq Sheikh was stretching it too far but the film was ultimately a fun trip.
Golmaal Versus Bol Bachchan
While I had the appetite to enjoy a rehashed version of the above, tampering with Golmaal wasn’t a good move. Bol Bachchan was a decent film, with Abhishek Bachchan and Ajay Devgn doing a good job but the original has its own charm and beauty. Golmaal has a certain repeat value which remains unfaded and of course you can’t take out Utpal Dutt from that film, its beauty will wither away. Bol Bachchan, despite being enjoyable doesn’t have that power in the narrative with the Hrishikesh Mukherjee classic was composed of.
Khubsoorat Versus Khoobsurat
I am a fan of both these films. The original was different milieu, the 2014 film is a different. The earlier film was about family values and how hypocritical can conventions be. The latter retains the soul and makes a beautiful fairy tale of a romantic comedy out of it. Rekha obviously was far better and teamed with Dina Pathak, it was the two of them who made the original so unmissable. But Fawad and Sonam’s great chemistry and their contrasting personalities made the latter one of the cutesiest films of recent times.