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We get all excited about movie remakes, only to be disappointed when we finally watch them. But some remakes don’t disappoint.
The trailer of Dhadak was recently released. Dhadak is the Hindi remake of the critically acclaimed Marathi film, Sairat.
Full disclosure: I haven’t watched either film and Dhadak hasn’t even been released yet so I may be jumping to conclusions. But, lots of people seem to agree with me that Dhadak does not look very promising when compared with Sairat. The difference is hard not to notice when one watches both the trailers.
The trailer of Dhadak focuses on being glamorous and ‘filmy’ while Sairat’s trailer cares more about being gritty and realistic. Sairat starred two unknown actors who were extremely believable as their characters while Dhadak reeks of nepotism – it is the launching vehicle of two star-kids (Sridevi’s daughter, Jahnvi Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor’s brother, Ishan Khattar) – this is no surprise considering that Karan Johar is a producer. The trailer also seems to indicate that Dhadak is not going to give enough importance to the caste angle which was a major part of the original movie.
Is this movie remake only interested in telling a feel-good and airbrushed story that does no justice to the original?
Luckily for us, not all movie remakes are worse than the original films. In fact, some are quite good. I’ve compiled a list of them for you to watch while you get over the horror that is Dhadak’s trailer.
Kalyana Samayal Saadham was a tender yet funny Tamil film about a couple who are about to enter an arranged marriage but genuinely like each other a lot. It treats the problem of erectile dysfunction and its ramifications on the upcoming wedding very well.
Directed by the same director as the original, R. S. Prasanna, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan does a great job of staying faithful to the original – offering up plenty of laughs as well as things to think about – and was a commercial success.
Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher were brilliant as a common man and a cop in the Hindi thriller, A Wednesday! A commentary on terrorism and the angst of common citizens, the film has you on the edge of your seat with well-written characters and loads of red herrings. One would think that you would not be able to remake such an amazing film and make it even better than the original.
But as far as movie remakes go, Tamil film Unnai Pol Oruvan is one of the very best! In my opinion, it actually manages to be better in the original because, while it has a similar, intriguing plot, it has given the best dialogues almost equally to both the main characters while the Hindi version gave the common man better dialogues. This Kamal Hassan and Mohanlal starrer is definitely worth a watch even if you have already seen the original.
Quentin Tarantino himself has said that Kaante is his favourite among the several movies that were heavily inspired by his work; he appreciated the superior character building. A progressive, stereotype-breaking movie, Kaante was Sanjay Gupta’s adaptation of Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.
It’s about some Indians settled in America, who plan a heist that does not go well. The Bollywood climax of this action-thriller has the lead characters get into a Mexican standoff – this is a rare instance in which Gupta’s movie actually one-upped the original!
How Old Are You? was a beautiful Malayalam film about a woman finding her sense of self that she has lost as she has gotten older. And it marked the return of the brilliant actress Manju Warrier after a 14-year sabbatical; it was truly fitting that she should play the protagonist because of her age and the fact that she was going back to doing what she used to do. It added depth to the story.
The Tamil remake, was therefore smart to cast another brilliant actress, Jyothika who had taken a hiatus from acting for some years. Well-written, well-directed, and well-acted, the remake was as moving as the original.
With two finely etched female protagonists, Perumazhakkalam was an award-winning film – it even won a National Film Award. Dor is its Hindi remake and while it is tough to remake such an amazing movie with all its glory intact, Dor does a fine job of it.
The two lead women are the opposite of each other – Zeenat is gutsy and independent while Meera is orthodox and extremely respectful towards her elders. However, they build a friendship that influences both of them in a good way. Kudos to the film for being a rare instance in which positive female friendship is showcased on screen!
Yuva is the Hindi version of the Tamil film Aayutha Ezhuthu. And both films are clever commentaries on politics, specifically students entering politics.
Like the Tamil version, Yuva also manages to displace the nuances of class distinctions by telling the stories of three men from different strata of society and having their storylines converge. Both versions are well-acted and warrant watching them.
A Hindi period drama starring the excellent Vidya Balan in the titular role, this film is a remake of the critically acclaimed Bengali film, Rajkahini. The unabashedly raunchy dialogues spoken by Vidya Balan are just a sample of the kind of film this is. It is an empowering story about women who are sex workers and unapologetically stand up to the men who try to make them collateral damage in the fight between India and Pakistan.
There is an inherent dignity to all the female characters in the movie and this works to its advantage. The film refuses to be judgemental, just like the original and deserves your time simply because of its badass female leads and its unique take on the India-Pakistan partition.
A remake of the Tamil film Kaadhal which is very similar to the newer Sairat, this Bengali film tells the story of a couple that elopes to get away from the girl’s rich and terrifying family. A nuanced tale of class differences and a girl who goes after what she desires, this film is not afraid to be tragic and ugly while portraying the beauty in love.
It could have been a cliché tragic teen love story that’s been done to death since the time of Romeo and Juliet but it manages to be so much more, just like the original Tamil film.
This film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and made an estimated Rs 30.1 crore at the box office. All thanks to a relatively unknown Marathi film called Agadbum that it was the remake of.
Bollywood loves to take characters in movies of other languages that don’t fit a certain mould physically and make them look stereotypically perfect in the remakes. For example, Sairat to Dhadak and a Tamil film called O Kadhal Kanmani to Ok Jaanu. Fortunately for us, Dum Laga Ke Haisha does no such thing. It has a plus-size heroine and she stays that way till the end and also finds acceptance for it. This movie teaches us all lessons on body image issues, standing up for yourself, and judging a book by its cover.
Olangal, the Malayalam movie, was an adaptation of the Erich Segal novel Man, Woman and Child. And it was remade into Hindi as Masoom, as the novel’s title suggests, the story is about a man, a woman, and a child. The movie remake is just as poignant in its portrayal of relationships and the characters are never shown in black and white, always grey, so we never hate them even when they mess up.
I would argue that the film is actually about the journey of the woman, portrayed brilliantly well by Shabana Azmi rather than about her husband (played really well by Naseeruddin Shah). She goes from happy to feeling betrayed to misplaced dislike of her husband’s illegitimate child to acceptance and forgiveness. We weep and smile with her as we watch her go through a particularly hard part of her life. And the emotional rollercoaster leaves us with fulfilment at the end.
Image source: YouTube
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