Just breathe and reboot

So David Dhawan is keen to reboot Sai Paranjype's Chashme Buddoor, the 1981 sparkling comedy about three buddies— Siddharth, Jamo and Omi and the girl next door, Ms Chamko nee Neha. Who can forget the famous sales pitch that Deepti Naval's character offers to Siddharth (Farooque Sheikh) during their meet cute: Kapdon ke liye behtereen saboon / Aazmaiye baar baar lagataar Chamko / Kapdon mein chakachon chamak laane ke liye / Khushboodar jhaagwaala Chamko.

Even as Bollywood is hell bent on unleashing the remake virus, one is skeptical. Films like Chashme Buddoor are still so fresh in the minds of its audience, one wonders how the makers will better them. There are various reasons to remake a film. For many, the tried and tested story which has already clicked, works as a success blanket. There are instances when the filmmaker may be heavily inspired by the original and plans his version as a tribute. It might make commercial sense and so forth. The best reason to remake an already loved film, according to me, is to better it, or to take the thought forward. To some extent Farhan Akhtar managed to do that with the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Don. Now he is taking the thought even further with Don 2.

By the same logic, Dhawan must have a super plan to better Paranjype's vision. Ditto Rohit Shetty who is threatening to re-attempt the Gulzar classic, Angoor. The Sanjeev Kumar- Deven Verma film is one of the finest comedy gems ever made. It's difficult to imagine anyone else but Sanjeev Kumar as the suspicious Ashok who is a jasoosi novel aficionado, someone who reads Ved Prakash Kamboj's detective book Agyaat Apradhi, on a train. Only Sanjeev Kumar can say that one line with such pitch-perfect comic precision that never fails to elicit a laugh even if you have seen Angoor a hundred times. You know the scene— when Ashok asks his twin brother's wife Sudha (Moushmi Chatterjee), "Mujhe nanga dekha hai aapne?" And then there was the bhang loving Deven Verma as Bahadur 1 and Bahadur 2 who was the pefect accomplice to Kumar.

Now we have to brace ourselves to see Shah Rukh Khan and Tusshar Kapoor in the iconic roles in Shetty's version. Considering Angoor itself was a remake of the 1968 comedy Do Dooni Char (also written by Gulzar), we need not be too hard on Shetty. A word of caution is, however, precautionary: Angoor already trumped Do Dooni Char, so then Shetty's

Angoor has to be better than the best.

His last film lacked it in huge dose but Soham Shah needs to get all the Luck in the world to swing the Satte Pe Satta remake. Sanjay Dutt gets to fill the large shoes of Amitabh Bachchan who played the affable Ravi and the deliciously devilish Babu in the original. The 1982 original directed by Raj N. Sippy is a super entertainer. Every scene is memorable and every song a chartbuster. Soham and Dutt have their task cut out.

Ditto for Dibakar Banerjee who wants to reinterpret the Ramesh Sippy directed- Hema Malini double role bonanza, Seeta Aur Geeta with Katrina Kaif. Last heard, Banerjee wants to explore the darkness of human nature in his version. The Khosla Ka Ghosla director has gone on record to say that he sees Seeta and Geeta as two halves of a person. Dibakar seems to be interested in taking the thought forward, which sounds about right.

A filmmaker's endeavour is always to put his own stamp on a movie. The stakes are higher when its a remake and requires guts and gumption. Nobody wants to be held responsible by an entire generation for spoiling their favourite memory. Let's hope the remake class of 2011 know what they are doing.

After all, logic suggests if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

harneet.singh@expressindia.com

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