Coolie No 1 reiterates the one golden rule of cinema. Never do a remake of a bad film. So which is the worst remake of all times? Is it Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag or Sajid Khan’s Himmatwala or Satish Kaushik’s Karzzz(zzzzzzzz......)? Or how about a hashed rehash of a French film called, giggle, Nautanki Saala? Bollywood loves to desecrate ‘paraaya maal’. Here’s looking at the 10 worst Bollywood remakes of all times.
Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag: Need anything more be said? The indefatigable RGV has himself said it was a mistake to remake Sholay. That was later when the critics fell on him like a ton of bricks. Back then RGV said confidently, “People don’t know what I’m making, so they’re just reacting nostalgically. Everyone from Jayaji and Dharamji to my other well-wishers have advised me to stay away from Sholay. Dharamji has apparently said he’d jump off that water tank if I messed up Sholay. Why should he jump off? He should push me off that tank if I mess up with Sholay. I’ve made massive preparations. Nothing in my Sholay would be the same as the earlier Sholay. For example, there’s no Basanti in my Sholay. If you remove the tonga and ghagra-choli from Basanti she’s just another girl in the plot. A lot of characters in Gabbar’s gang will be fleshed out. Sambha is very different. Likewise, the first cop who comes to meet Thakur is far more important in my film. My film has a strong police presence because it’s set in the city. Of course, Gabbar has to be a terror. So Mr Bachchan will have elaborate get-up. This is such a larger-than-life story; everyone has to be many sizes larger than life. You’ll feel his viciousness. All these years Mr Bachchan has hidden his evil side so well. I want to bring it out on screen. How can anyone be so correct? No one can be so morally perfect. People say I’m not capable of re-making Sholay. I’ve one consolation for them. Since the critics have already exhausted all their expletives for Shiva, they’d have nothing left to say about Sholay. I think they’ll pool their money and hire a gangster to get rid of me. If Allah, Jesus Christ and Vaishno Devi come together to plead against my doing Sholay I’m still making it. Aage jo hoga wohdekha jayega.” Well, RGV we all know what happened. Moral of the story: never tamper with a classic.
Mela: Dharmesh Darshan’s brutal and bizarre remake of Nasir Hussain’s bubbly and breezy Caravan with dollops of Sholay. While Aamir Khan and his real-life brother Faizal played Jai and Veeru from Sholay, Twinkle Khanna, in what was supposed to be her makeover movie a la Karisma in Raja Hindustani, played the runaway girl that Asha Parekh played in Caravan. The hotchpotch was indigestible, to say the least. Twinkle has hilarious off-the-record anecdotes to tell about Dharmesh’s neurotic direction. “Tina, aur emotional daalo,” he would scream. Poor Twinkle. She couldn’t get enough “emotion” in. Dharmesh got an emotional voice to dub her lines.
Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon: Sooraj Barjatya’s remake of Basu Chatterjee’s Chit Chor took the three simple rustic characters from the original to the Alps and the Niagara Falls and only God knows where else. Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor Khan hammed it up trying to look like a couple in love. Abhishek Bachchan tried to keep a straight face. “What a mess they made of my film,” Basu Chatterjee sighed. We agree.
Main Aisa Hi Hoon: Harry Baweja took on the Sean Penn starrer I Am Sam about an autistic man’s bonding with his daughter. Kya joke maara! The camera shook and shook, probably to express the rage we felt while watching this hideous unauthorized remake. Watch the Tamil maverick Vikram do I Am Sam in Nanna, if you must watch a desi remake. Vikram was as good as Sean. Devgn really shouldn’t go anywhere near remakes: Ramu’s Sholay, Sajid’s Himmatwala and Harry’s Autistic I Am Khan...Sorry I Am Sam complete Devgn’s trio of embarrassments.
Karzzzzzzzz: Himesh Reshamiyya dared to do what Ranbir Kapoor said he wouldn’t. Do a remake of Rishi Kapoor’s Karz, while Urmila Matondkar stepped into Simi Garewal’s part of the vixen murderess. This film made us think murderous thought about the theme of reincarnation. Satish Kaushik who directed the disastrous remake says, “No Matter how good the remake it can never compare with the original.” We agree. But the Karzz remake was an insult to the original.
Dayaavan: Kamal Haasan still seethes when reminded of this seedy remake of his all-time classic Nayagan. Feroz Khan cast Vinod Khanna as the real-life gangster Vardarajan Mudaliar. Forget about matching up to the mighty Kamal Vinod didn’t even make an effort to get there. Today the film is remembered only for its long torrid kiss between a visibly comfortable Khanna and a distinctly uneasy Madhuri Dixit. Apparently Mani Ratnam was so upset with the remake that he contemplated suing .Eventually he just did what all creative people do. Go on with his work. And let the imitators create havoc.
Himmatwala: Ho tacky ho tacky ho tacky tacky re....Sridevi made a valid point when she wondered why anyone would want to remake Himmatwala as it wasn’t Mughal-e-Azam. I am sure everyone saw her point after the remake released. Why remake a bad film, so badly?
Victoria 203: Anant Mahadeav is one of our most underrated directors. The search for success spurred this sensitive director of such sublime films as Staying Alive and Sindhutao Sapkal to remake one of the zaniest comic capers on the 1950s about a diamond heist. Alas, Anupam Kher and Om Puri just couldn’t match the saucy antics of Ashok Kumar and Pran from the original. And there was no Saira Banu in a towel crooning Thoda se thehro. We hastily exeunted.
Aapko Pehle Bhi Kahin Dekha Hai: Anubhav Sinha’s remake of Jay Roach’s Meet The Parents was so bad, we laughed at all the wrong places. If it’s any consolation this Anubhav monster-piece is marginally better than what he did many years later in Ra.One.
Aatank Hi Aatank: Everyone from Feroz Khan to Mani Rathnam to Ram Gopal Varma has done Francis Coppola’s The Godfather. But this one directed by Dilip Shankar takes the cake. Aamir Khan’s Brando act in an ill-fitting wig would serve as a telling indication that even God (read: AK) makes mistakes. This one was a blunder.
Image source: IMDb