Saturday, December 5, 2009

Even Better Than The Real Thing..

A Wintery hello, frEeKy fellows,



This year's finest (bollywood) performance has finally arrived! With the release of R. Balki's PAA, Amitabh Bachhan treads into hithertho untested territory playing not only a "special" child ( read here my previous post about how actors playing special people are a shoo-in for the awards). In all seriousness, R. Balki's acerbic script, dripping with lighthearted humour combined with stellar performance by the Big B, make this a definite watch, even a notch better than the Hollywood original "JACK" that it was reportedly inspired from ( read up on my post about that here).

PAA thus joins an elusive league of desi movies, that I daresay, surpass the original film that they are inspired from. While Bollywood as we all know, shamelessly borrows liberally from its foreign film counterparts, and makes unforgivable desi versions that are too many and to bad to name here. There are a few gifted enough to borrow from the original and seamlessly integrate into Indian sensibilities ; join me tonight fellow frEeks in looking at some remakes that truly are,
even better than the real thing!!..

a) Dombivili Fast:



Directed by Nishikant Kamat, this 2006 marathi movie, was heavily inspired by the 1993 Hollywood movie "Falling Down" starring Michael Douglas. While Falling Down depicted the travails of a laid-off NASA employee - William Foster, played by Douglas. Foster's character, having just received the news of his unemployment, goes into depression and then into a self righteous rampage at the unequal distribution of wealth in the American society. Along the way he also dispenses his vigliante brand of justice to drug-dealers and the like. Dombivali Fast, made several years laters transposes the lead character to the bowels of Mumbai (i.e. Dombivali) and pulls no punches in showing his bleary life; from the mornings spent outside a water tanker waiting for his daliy quota of water, to the streetside cuppa tea that he has by the vendor outside his office, Madhav Apte ( played brilliantly by Sandeep Kulkarni)'s life is one monotonous day after which the director depicts thus..

Fed up by his wife's barbs about his self righteous anger, Madhav's rage boils over when a cold-drink vendor demands more than the regular price of a cola, leading Madhav to destroy his stall, and thereafter go on a righteous rampage much like Douglas' character in the original. While Falling Down created a few ripples at the time of it's release, it is to director Nishikant Kamat's credit that he has seamlessly integrated the theme of righteous anger, to perhaps an even more apt setting - the life of the Mumbai middle class man. Dombivali fast in exposing the stench of Mumbai's corruption, crowds and the rat-race which passes of as daily life; ultimately makes a far superior product than the movie which it was inspired from.


b) Chachi 420:


Chachi 420 a 1998 comedy film, by the legendary Kamal Haasan who also starred in the film as the main character, the movie was in no small measure by the brilliant Hollywood comedy , Mrs. Doubtfire starring Robin Williams. While one cannot measure the brilliance of Kamal Haasan's performance against that of Williams in the original, Kamal Haasan once again borrowed from the original and threw in some desi spic for good measure. What makes this remake as good or perhaps even a tad better than the original is the inclusion by Haasan, of perhaps India's greatest acting talent. Take a look at this brilliant scene..

By intertwining characters such as Amrish Puri ,who plays Kamal's father-in-law and who falls in love with Kamal's chachi avatar, Om Puri,as Amrish Puri's lecherous Bihari assistant; Johnny Walker,as an alchoholic make-up artist who disguises Kamal in his female avatar, Paresh Rawal,as Kamal's landlord who also has a crush on Kamal's female avatar, the script takes on some hilarious twists and turns all in no small part due to the inclusion of this brilliant ensemble cast!


extra frEeky: Kamal Haasan also starred in another remake, which matched the brilliance of its original inspiration "Nayagan"

2 comments:

sach007 said...

Dave and Mayor Saab. I thought Kamal Hassan movie was better than original.

marina said...

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