Ittefaq, Judwaa 2 and the rise of remakes in Bollywood — reinvention or lack of ideas?

By | October 31, 2017

The large Bollywood launch of the week is the Sonakshi Sinha-Sidharth Malhotra starrer Ittefaq. The homicide thriller is a remake of the 1969 movie of the identical title starring Nanda and Rajesh Khanna. Shot in 28 days on a shoestring price range, the unique was a sleeper hit regardless of no songs.

Considered one of Khanna’s earliest movies, Ittefaq is credited with having set the ball rolling in direction of superstardom for its main man.

Sidharth Malhotra, Akshaye Khanna and Sonakshi Sinha in a still from Ittefaq. YouTube

Sidharth Malhotra, Akshaye Khanna and Sonakshi Sinha in a nonetheless from Ittefaq. YouTube

Ittefaq is the second Bollywood remake to hit the screens in 2017. Varun Dhawan recreated 90s magic within the gag-a-minute laugh-out-loud riot Judwaa 2. He stepped into Salman Khan’s footwear because the Ganpati-loving tapori Prem and the seedha-saadha Raj. David Dhawan, who additionally directed the unique, milked nostalgia for all its value within the reboot.

Aside from a Salman cameo, Judwaa 2 additionally included the enduring rest room scene and the chartbusters Chalti Hai Kya 9 se 12 and Oonchi Hai Constructing. The movie’s pedestrian humour didn’t discover a lot favour with the critics however Judwaa 2 is the third largest grosser of 2017.

It is likely to be too early to name this a development however this is likely to be a great time for our filmmakers to look westwards for beneficial film classes. Spinning new yarns out of pre-existing narratives is one thing that Hollywood has been doing for many years.

Regardless of a comparatively low box-office turnout for reboots in 2016 (Independence Day: Resurgence, Ben Hur, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows) and 2017 (xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, Blade Runner 2049, The Mummy, Baywatch), there are presently tons of of reboots in numerous levels of improvement in Hollywood.

Judwaa 2

Judwaa 2 poster.

Whereas selling The Mummy (a reboot of the 90s Brandon Fraser franchise) earlier this yr, Tom Cruise confirmed that High Gun 2 is a-go; Man Ritchie is directing a live-action remake of Disney traditional Aladdin; and, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Jack Black is slated to launch quickly. The reboot development has additionally hit the small display screen within the US. Gilmore Ladies is again from the useless, as is Full Home, Will & Grace and Twin Peaks.

A reboot sparks curiosity amongst followers, and offers a better likelihood of individuals turning up on ‘opening day’, however it additionally signifies that there are pre-existing benchmarks that the movie must dwell as much as, if not beat. Genres like sci-fi, struggle and superhero motion are shoo-ins for remakes as a result of expertise has modified the film viewing expertise and with nice particular results, that’s half the battle received.

A very good story retold properly with a greater viewing expertise – isn’t that what each viewers needs in spite of everything?

The larger problem is remaking a movie that may’t lean on technical modifications as a differentiator, and that’s what we’re coping with in Bollywood.

In contrast to its western counterpart, revivals aren’t quite common in Bollywood. A handful of movies have been remade within the final decade or so. And, solely about half of them have been profitable. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s indulgent Devdas hit its mark however JP Dutta’s Umrao Jaan was hole and bland. Hrithik Roshan made Agneepath’s Vijay Dinanath Chauhan his personal simply as efficiently as Shah Rukh Khan grew to become Don however Himesh Reshammiya’s Karz and Ram Charan’s Zanjeer reboots have been useless on arrival.

As an business, Bollywood has by no means had a number of genres. 9 out of ten movies within the final century had boy-meets-girl-sings-songs-fights-baddies-happy-ever-after form of tales. Not a lot to dig round for and enhance then, proper? If remaking a movie is believed to be a secure proposition, and “If it’s labored earlier than, it would work once more” is the mantra, all of the filmmaker actually has to do to recreate the success of the unique and to stability up to date story telling with dollops of nostalgia.

That’s no excuse for lazy storytelling although.

The poster of Baywatch.

Whereas Judwaa 2 was an enormous success, it wasn’t the primary time Dhawan sr cracked open the nostalgia vault to wring additional revenue from a traditional. He remade Sai Paranjpye’s charming Chashme Buddoor (1981) with Ali Zafar and Tapsee Pannu in 2013. The sunshine-hearted humour and younger romance of the Deepti Naval-Farooq Shaikh movie was changed with childish jokes, gaudy aesthetics and hammy performances.

Although a middling success, the brand new Chashme Baddoor will probably be remembered just for being an inexcusable assault on the reminiscence of the unique.

Remakes don’t predict success and director Sajid Khan learnt this when his revamped Himmatwala crashed and burned on the field workplace. On paper, Khan teaming up with Ajay Devgn to re-do the 80s blockbuster may need appeared like a profitable proposition. In any case, the 1983 movie helped make Sridevi a Bollywood darling and cemented the stardom of Jeetendra. And, Khan stayed true to the Madras potboiler, even recreating the Taki Re Taki and Naino Me Sapna songs with the identical 100-piece orchestra, however the style simply hadn’t aged properly.

Re-telling a narrative from the previous isn’t sufficient by itself; all of the fundamentals of fine filmmaking nonetheless come into play. Our viewers in the present day needs to see new floor damaged, and retreading opens up the doorways for all types of experimentation.

Sarat Chandra Chatterjee’s Devdas, a seemingly simplistic story of affection misplaced might be Indian cinema’s most-retold story. Kashyap turned it on its head in his drug-fueled psychedelic model Dev D. On the opposite finish of this spectrum is Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag. This experiment of remaking of Sholay with Amitabh Bachchan as Gabbar will ceaselessly be a cautionary story for filmmakers.

For now, I’m curious to see how Ittefaq — that was directed by Yash Chopra within the period earlier than mobiles and Web — is retold by his grand nephew Abhay Chopra.

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