Making films is a business at the end of the day, and although filmmakers may want their films to be original, there are occasions when it makes business sense for the production houses to just churn out remakes. When it comes to remakes, Bollywood looks in all directions — Hollywood, down south, and now even at our classic/iconic Bollywood films from yesteryear!
The first reaction when you hear someone talking about making a remake of a classic is ‘that should be left untouched’, or ‘you can’t make it better’.
But as mentioned, at times its just about making money, or trying to capitalize on something when the chips are down (for some). However, some also make a remake for the newer generation. Its like remixing an old classic song for the young audience, who otherwise may never know about the original.
Most remakes usually fail to create a buzz at the box office, but that doesn’t stop the filmmakers from giving it a go (its because a few of them have turned out well…for example SRK starrer ‘Don’).
In recent years, quite a few iconic Hindi films have been remade, some doing justice to the original whereas some making a mockery of it.
Let’s take a look at 10 remakes of classic Hindi films.
Probably the most successful of them all (remakes), Don (1978) is one of Amitabh Bachchan’s (and scriptwriter Salim Khan-Javed Akhtar’s) most popular films and the character (and its dialogues) achieved iconic status.
Farhan Akhtar and Shahrukh Khan did a great job with the remake. Although the story remains the same, the remake looks like a Hollywood film — its sleek and shot in several foreign locations such as Germany. Don (and its sequel in 2011) did very well at the box-office.
This is one of the reasons why Big B – the original young man – is a superstar. The original Agneepath is still remembered solely for Amitabh Bachchan’s acting and his dialogues (and his accent, which many didn’t like initially but the movie went on to achieve a cult status later on).
So when the news became public that a remake is going to be made, people were wondering who could match the performance delivered by Big B.
But as it became clearer after the release of the remake, only the basic premise from the original was borrowed, and several new elements/characters were added to the original script. With towering performances from Rishi Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt, the remake went on to become a hit at the box-office, with both fans as well as the critics loving the film.
The original Zanjeer was responsible for putting Amitabh Bachchan on the path towards super-stardom, however the remake, directed by Apoorva Lakhia & starring Tollywood actor Ram Charan (it was his Bollywood debut film) could not strike a chord with the audience. The remake was shot simultaneously in Hindi and Telugu, however both versions were disasters at the box-office.
Chashme Baddoor (2013)
Sai Paranjpye, who directed the original Chashme Baddoor (starring Farooq Sheikh, Deepti Naval, Ravi Baswani and Rakesh Bedi), was quite upset with the fact that David Dhawan was doing a remake of her film (she obviously doesn’t like Mr Dhawan’s kind of films).
The remake’s storyline was adapted to suit the present day audience but it wasn’t completely accepted by the audience. The movie did have its funny moments though with Divyendu Sharma as Omi (who has also acted in ‘Pyar Ka Punchnama’) being the saving grace.
Okay, neither the original was a classic, nor the remake did create any flutter. Even Sridevi had commented ‘Himmatwala is no Mughal-e-Azam’ when asked about the remake.
But after the super-success of Housefull 2, Sajid Khan had proudly proclaimed that his remake of the Jeetendra-Sridevi starrer Himmatwala will bring the 80s back to Bollywood. Obviously, nothing like that happened with the remake (starring Ajay Devgn) hardly making any noise at the box-office. The two popular songs from the original film, “Naino Mein Sapna” and ‘Taki Taki’, were recreated in the remake, and those were the only bright spots in this otherwise dull film.
Bol Bachchan (2012)
Bol Bachchan was the official remake of the 1979 film Gol Maal (directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee with top-notch performances by Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt).
Directed by Rohit Shetty & starring Ajay Devgan & Abhishek Bachchan, the remake retained the basic premise of the original film concerning mistaken identities, but the setting/plot of the film were altered and several new characters were introduced. Everything about the movie was mediocre (even when compared to Rohit Shetty’s other comedy films), but the movie still earned more than Rs.100 crore at the box-office.
Probably, the most disastrous remakes of all time, due to copyright issues the title of the film was changed from ‘Ram Gopal Varma Ke Sholay’ to ‘Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag’ and finally to only ‘Aag’, and even the names of the characters were changed as per court orders.
‘Aag’ is the perfect example of why people feel that filmmakers should not mess with classic films (in this case, Sholay is the biggest of them all and the most watched Indian film in the history of Indian cinema).
But then Ram Gopal Verma’s movies (especially those that deal with the underworld) has a certain type of fan following, and not really considered family movies. Besides, if the characters are named Heerendra Dhaan, Raj Ranade, Babban singh, you know its headed towards disaster, and it did turn out to be the biggest commercial disaster of the year.
Devdas (based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel) is probably the most remade film in Indian cinema.
Dilip Kumar had earlier portrayed the character of Devdas (in the 1955 adaptation) and now it was the turn of Shahrukh Khan. Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the remake had huge stars like Shahrukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai. As with other Bhansali films, the movie was a visual treat, the songs & dances were a huge hit.
Devdas was selected as India’s entry to the Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards. Time Magazine also named this film to be one of the top 10 films of the millennium in the world in 2012.
Dev. D (2009)
Another remake of Devdas, but this time by Anurag Kashyap, who turned the movie into a hallucinatory trip. The movie also had an amazing soundtrack by Amit Trivedi. The remake was considered a ground-breaking movie for Indian cinema, and overcame several taboos. Anurag Kashyap would go on to became the face of independent films in India.
Umrao Jaan (2006)
The original Muzaffar Ali movie, starring Rekha and Farooq Sheikh, was an average performer, but its music and performance by Rekha were the highlights of the movie.
Announced with much fanfare, the remake (directed by J. P. Dutta) however performed badly at the box-office. Anu Malik’s music was average, Aishwarya was no match to Rekha luminance, Abhishek Bachchan was dull, and the movie was lengthy (three-hour run-time).
Although not an official remake of the 1975 hit film ‘Khel Khel Mein’, Khiladi borrowed heavily (read ‘copied’) from it.
Directed by Abbas-Mustan, Khiladi starred Akshay Kumar, Ayesha Jhulka and Deepak Tijori. Khiladi was Akshay Kumar’s breakthrough film and kicked-off a successful series of films with ‘Khiladi’ in its title. Khel Khel Mein had Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh and Rakesh Roshan in lead roles.
Both films begin with a fun atmosphere that quickly changes to a thriller — College students who love to plays pranks get entangled in an extremely dangerous situation after one of their pranks go horribly wrong.