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Bollywood main remakes ka zamana hai

Kolkata: Remakes have always been a staple diet in films, be it Bollywood, Tollywood or Kollywood, reaping rich dividends for its makers in ...

Kolkata: Remakes have always been a staple diet in films, be it Bollywood, Tollywood or Kollywood, reaping rich dividends for its makers in most cases. Veteran director Sushil Majumdar remade his own Bengali superhit Uttam Kumar-Supriya Devi starrer LAL PATHORE (1963) in Hindi as LAL PATTHAR (1971) with a stellar cast led by Raaj Kumar, Rakhee and Vinod Mehra along with Hema Malini. The film, one of the Dream Girl’s best films till date, also had the evergreen Kishore Kumar song ‘Geet Gaata Hoon Main’. Many films in Bengali earlier and later South Indian films and Hollywood films were remade in Hindi.

The first remake of a Bollywood film that comes to mind is the K. L. Saigal starrer DEVDAS based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel which released in 1935 and was remade twice - once with Dilip Kumar in 1955 and the other with Shah Rukh Khan playing the forlorn lover in 2002. All of them were big hits.

Dharmendra’s MERA GAON MERA DESH directed by Raj Khosla released in 1971. The film was a huge hit and established Vinod Khanna as an A-list villain. Feroz Khan’s KHOTE SIKKAY in 1974 directed by Narinder Bedi followed. Both the films were originally adapted from the 1960 classic MAGNIFICENT SEVEN which was a remake of another 1954 classic  Akira Kurosawa’s SEVEN SAMURAI. 

Coming back to MERA GAON MERA DESH and KHOTE SIKKAY, Ramesh Sippy’s magnum opus SHOLAY (1975) was similar to both these films. B. Subhash rehashed it as AANDHI-TOOFAN featuring Shatrughan Sinha and Mithun Chakraborty followed by Brij Sadanah’s MARDON WALI BAAT in 1988 starring Dharmendra and Sanjay Dutt, the Raj Kumar Santoshi opus CHINA GATE in 1998 featuring Om Puri-Naseeruddin Shahm not to forget the baap of all disasters, RAM GOPAL VERMA KI AAG in 2007. This last one had Amitabh Bachchan playing the main villain! The last three films failed at the box office. All these films were adapted from MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.

Manmohan Desai too latched on to the remake bandwagon, cashing in on the lost and found theme with great success. His 1977 classic AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY was nothing but a rehashed version of the 1965 Yash Chopra cult classic WAQT.

The Hrishikesh Mukherjee-Rajesh Khanna combo gave us the cult BAWARCHI in 1972 which was again a remake of a 1966 Bengali hit GOLPO HOLO SHOTTI. It was successfully remade in 1997 as HERO NO.1 by the hit jodi of David Dhawan-Govinda. The all-time classic of 1978, Amitabh Bachchan’s DON was remade by Shah Rukh Khan and Farhan Akhtar in 2006 with the same title. The film was not liked by many yet it did good business because of the ‘twist’ in the climax. Another remake with a ‘twist’ which did just about moderate business was Akshaye Khanna-Sidharth Malhotra’s ITTEFAQ which was a rehash of Yash Chopra-Rajesh Khanna’s brilliant ITTEFAQ in 1969 (made in 13 days flat!). Both were made under the same banner of BR Films. The earlier ITTEFAQ was again a remake of the 1965 Stuart Whitman’s SIGNPOST TO MURDER. B R Chopra’s Sunil Dutt-Raaj Kumar starrer HAMRAAZ (1967) was remade by Harry Baweja in 1994 as  IMTIHAAN with Sunny Deol, Saif Ali Khan and Raveena Tandon in the lead. Unfortunately, it did not live up to expectations despite having some good music by Annu Malik. But a later remake by Raj Kanwar, DEEWANA (1992) starring Rishi Kapoor, Divya Bharti and Shah Rukh Khan was highly successful. The superhit Sadhana-Sanjay-Balraj Sahni starrer EK PHOOL DO MALI (1969) was first remade by Narinder Bedi as INSAAN (1982) with Jeetendra, Vinod Khanna and Reena Roy forming the triangle. The film did moderately at the box office. It was again adapted and remade successfully in 1989 as GHAR KA CHIRAG with Rajesh Khanna, Neelam and Chunky Pandey in the lead. Similarly, AVM Production’s 1968 super hit twin-spin family drama DO KALIYAN (which itself was a remake of the 1961 Hollywood hit THE PARENT TRAP) with Mala Sinha, Biswajit and Baby Sonia (Neetu Singh) was remade into the fairly successful PYAR KE DO PAL in 1986. Directed by Rajiv Mehra it featured Mithun Chakraborty, Jaya Prada and Master Ashutosh in pivotal roles. But later remakes - Anil Ganguly’s PYAR KE KABIL (1987) with Rishi Kapoor and Padmini Kolhapure and Rahul Rawail’s KUCH KHATTI KUCH MEETHI (2001) featuring Rishi Kapoor (again!), with Rati Agnihotri, Suneil Shetty and Kajol turned out to be damp squibs.

Few timeless classics like Subhash Ghai-Rishi Kapoor’s KARZ (1980), Muzzaffar Ali-Rekha’s UMRAO JAAN (1981), Brij-Ashok Kumar-Pran’s VICTORIA NO.203 (1972), Prakash Mehra-Amitabh Bachchan’s ZANJEER (1973), Jeetendra’s south caper HIMMATWALA (1983), Subhash Ghai-Jackie Shroff’s golden jubilee hit HERO (again in 1983) and Ram Gopal Varma-Nagarjuna’s hard hitting SHIVA (1989) to name a few have been dared to be remade. All their remakes Satish Kaushik-Himesh Reshammiya’s awful KARZZ (2008), J.P. Dutta-Aishwarya Rai’s soulless UMRAO JAAN (2006), Ananth Mahadevan-Om Puri-Anupam Kher’s listless VICTORIA NO.203 (2007), Apoorva Lakhia-Ram Charan’s horrible ZANJEER, Sajid Khan-Ajay Devgn’s absolute crass HIMMATWALA (both in 2013), Ram Gopal Varma-Mohit Ahlawat’s intolerable SHIVA (2006) and the Salman Khan produced-Nikhil Advani’s lacklustre HERO (2015) couldn’t even lure the junta into the theatres. They were absolute box office duds!

But as they say every cloud has a silver lining and a few who again dared to remake hits/classics were in for huge luck at the box office. The Mukul Anand-Amitabh Bachchan 1990 failure AGNEEPATH (now a cult classic!) became a 100 crore grossing AGNEEPATH (2012) starring Rishi Kapoor-Sanjay Dutt-Hrithik Roshan and directed by Karan Malhotra. So powerful were Sanjay Dutt as Kancha Cheena (Danny played this role in the original) and Rishi Kapoor as Rauf Lala that they literally blew Hrithik off. Both the films were made by Dharma Productions. David Dhawan successfully remade the 1981 Sai Paranjpye’s sweet romantic comedy CHASHME BUDDOOR in 2013. He also remade his 1997, the Salman Khan double role comedy caper JUDWAA with his son Varun Dhawan as JUDWAA 2 20 years later with the latter grossing over 100 crores. Not only this even Rohit Shetty-Ajay Devgn’s BOL BACHCHAN (2012) though not a patch on the original Hrishikesh Mukherjee-Amol Palekar-Utpal Dutt’s hilarious classic GOL MAAL (1979), made over 100 crores! So as they say luck favours the brave and we shall have enough remakes on our hands. The trick with remakes is that we inadvertently compare them with the original works and because of this they fail. Comparison is inevitable but if we treat them as an original, they work provided they are made in a sensible way. Just heard that WOH KAUN THI? the 1964 classic of Raj Khosla with Sadhana-Manoj Kumar in the cast is being remade with Shahid Kapoor in the lead.

Some remakes have even had a gender change. Like Dilip Kumar’s RAM AUR SHYAM (1967) was remade with a female lead - Hema Malini in 1972 by Ramesh Sippy as SEETA AUR GEETA which turned out to be a super-duper hit. These two films paved the way for two more successful remakes – Sridevi’s classy CHAALBAAAZ (1989) directed by Pankuj Parasher and Raakesh Roshan’s KISHEN KANHAIYA (1990) with Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit.





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