Old Wine in New Bottle
April 17, 2012 @ 00:00 am
Glittery costumes, item songs, skimpier clothing and vamped-up action aren`t all it takes to remake a cult classic. Our filmmakers should know better than to be `inspired` so much.
Plagiarising was never an easy task. Yep, you discreetly copy the required material and you think no one knows. But you soon find out that the whole world and their distant cousins in Tollywood know all about your sly little act – thanks to one Google search. Then follow fiery articles by film critics about the death of creativity among filmmakers in the country and before you knew it, ‘The Pritam Club for All Things Copy Pasted’ is hounding you for a lifetime achievement award. You don’t want to get into this messy affair. This is why some genius, all the way back in 1904, came up with the brilliant idea of “remaking” films! For a certain amount of money, you get to retain the original script and also draw in on the popularity of the earlier film. Sounds like a win-win situation, right?
Sadly though, more often than not filmmakers bungle it up. Remaking a film isn’t just about picking up the original script, casting the current hot stars, an item song or two, and adding some inane twist to make it seem different. And no, we aren’t talking in context of box office collections. (If those things held any credibility, a film starring Jackyy Bhagnani would never have been allowed to enter the crore-club.) Here are five films that can NEVER match up to their originals:
Was it just us or did everyone cry their eyes sore when they found out that this 1973 blockbuster is being remade? After finally sorting out the casting issues, they now have a lineup comprising Priyanka Chopra, Ram Charan Teja (son of superstar Chiranjeevi) and Prakash Raj. Oh, and of course, Mahie Gill as Mona Darling. While each of these is an outstanding actor in their own right (although we’d like to reserve judgment on Priyanka), we get that terrible feeling that this one isn’t going to match up to the original. Because there just isn’t Amitabh Bachchan as the “angry young” police officer. And, of course, no Pran!
While we generally like Farhan Akhtar, the decision to remake Don isn’t one we wholeheartedly support. Shah Rukh was his impeccable self, but there’s only so much one good actor can do. Else no Paresh Rawal film would ever have flopped. Anyway, the entire new Don franchise could have been much better had Akhtar concentrated on the gigantic task of retaining the cult element in a golden classic than adding newer twists and turning points. Also, the ‘Khaike Paan’ video was totally passé. Sorry, but our vote goes to the original Amitabh Bachchan starrer.
RGV Ki Aag
They never learn, do they? There is a reason why The Directors’ Rulebook advises you in bold letters to leave classics alone. ‘Coz you won’t be able to get it right. Which is exactly what happened with Ram Gopal Verma Ki Aag. Apart from making him the butt of a million jokes, all this film accomplished was to make Sushmita Sen’s already downhill career slide down another notch. Maybe a million notches. Never one to let a critic get to him, RGV defended his film by saying, “If Sholay wasn’t made, Aag wouldn’t have been made either. So the real culprit is Sholay.” Okay, we rest our case. It is impossible to have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.
While most filmmakers at least make an attempt at recreating the classic that the original was, all the makers of this film did was add a few ‘z’s to the title and called it a day. Can’t blame them, we suppose – the trauma of seeing Himesh Reshammiya in the Justin Bieber hairstyle is something you’ll only experience in a nuclear holocaust, which every day of the shoot must have felt like. Critics labelled this film ‘below average’ and a disaster. Even that is a major understatement.
The director of this 2006 remake seems to have been so engrossed in taking close-up shots of Aishwarya Rai’s face that he threw all time constraints out of the window. Because the whole film is one long close-up shot of Aishwarya Rai. In fact, we suspect he even threw the script along with it. Too bad, coz when it came to the crunch, even Aishwarya Rai’s acting couldn’t save the film from tanking.
Which film do you think should never have been remade?! Write in with your comments!
Previous: Ms. Fox is a Birthday Girl!
you may also like
by Amit Trivedi
by Sachin Jigar
by Vishal Shekhar
Who is MTV's best VJ?