'Chashme Baddoor' to 'Agneepath': What works for a Bollywood remake?
April 7, 2013, 3:41 pm
In 100 years of cinema, a handful of Bollywood films have inspired the directors so much that they took the risk of remaking the films. While some worked for the audiences, the others bombed at the box office.
Farooque Sheikh's 1981 classic 'Chashme Buddoor' is the latest to join the bandwagon of remakes. David Dhawan has set the same story in the contemporary times giving the remake a new twist. The remake misses out on the innocent love but it's the tongue-in-cheek humour that works fine for today's audiences.
Sajid Khan, who is a self-proclaimed fan of Bollywood films especially of the 1980s, went onto remake Jeetendra and Sridevi's 1983 film 'Himmatwala'. Though the director claimed that he knows the pulse of the audience, his film did not do much wonder at the box office. With some over the top dialogues and sad humour, 'Himmatwala' turned out to be a bad rip off.
Rohit Shetty called his film 'Bol Bachchan', a modern-day 'Gol Maal'. With Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt, the 1979 film was a laugh riot. And, what worked wonders for 'Bol Bachchan' is the fact that Rohit Shetty just took some inspiration from the original characters and weaved his own story around it.
Amitabh Bachchan as Vijay Deenanath Chauhan in 1990 film 'Agneepath' failed to impress the audiences and the film was a flop. But its remake turned out to be the biggest opener of 2012 and Sanjay Dutt was much appreciated for his role. Karan Malhotra gave the story his twist and it worked wonder for the makers.
Farhan Akhtar took the risk of recreating 'Don' on the silver screen again in 2006. Though Shah Rukh Khan stepped into the shoes of Amitabh Bachchan for the remake but he could not come any closer to the original. The film received mixed reviews but it slowly and steadily found foot as the new one was much more sleek than the original film.
However, there are a few films that should not be touched. And, 1975 film 'Sholay' is one of them. From each of its characters to the superb performances, it is difficult to recreate the same atmosphere on screen again. But Ram Gopal Varma took the risk despite being dissuaded by many. Critics think 'Aag' as one of his weaker films.
1980 film 'Karz' about reincarnation was hit because of its story, good performances and great music. But Satish Kaushik could not match up to the success of the film. Apart from the bad acting, the predictable story did not appeal much to the audiences of 2008.
However, there are a few Bollywood films that have worked every time they have been reproduced on screen. Dilip Kumar beautifully brought out the pain of a doomed lover in 1955 film 'Devdas' and its remake in 2002 also worked well. Sanjay Leela Bhansali made the film extravagant with the lavish sets and costumes. Even a little loud film in comparison to the old one, Shah Rukh's 'Devdas' turned out to be a hit with the audiences.
Muzaffar Ali brought the story of Umrao Jaan on screen in 1981. The story of a desolated courtesan touched the hearts of many and the film went onto become a hit. But its remake in 2006 was a disaster. Depsite roping in Aishwarya Rai, the actress did not come even minute closer to Rekha's heart-breaking performance and the film bombed at the box office.
Pradeep Sarkar picked up Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's popular work 'Parineeta' for his film. Then new face Vidya Balan stepped into the shoes of Meena Kumari in the remake and did complete justice to the film. Even after fifty years, the remake worked for the audiences as it gave a fresh lease of life to the story.