Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Falling back on Big-B

With not many things seeming to work in apna entertainment industry, people are going back to fundamentals. Which means going back to Amitabh Bachchan. KBC-2 just made its debut (with an IITian being the first contestant, unless I am ill-informed) on TV and two of our more exciting filmmakers have decided to remake old Bachchan classics and see if they can't make it work.

RGV is remaking Sholay (and we have already had a mock casting for this project on Vivek's Space) and the cast is slowly taking shape. Amitabh, obviously, is playing Gabbar and should do great in the role. Abhishek will probably carry off Veeru well enough. And going by the trailers of his debut movie - James - Mohit Ahlawat playing Jai will probably prove to be the jarring note in an otherwise good movie. I don't know what RGV was thinking. Or maybe its just the guys who made the trailers of James who picked up his worst moments from the movie and put them in. I hope so. Going by whatever little I have seen of him, he might very well be the worst thing to happen to bollywood since Fardeen Khan. To compensate for this error of judgement, RGV came up with the inspired casting of Mohanlal as Thakur. I don't know how RGV visualizes Thakur in this Mumbai Underworld version of Sholay, but as long as his vision is exciting, I am sure Mohanlal will fit it to a T. I can spend 10 dollars just to see the "ye haath humko de thakur" and "ye haath naheen faansi ka fanda hai Gabbar" scenes with Amitabh and Mohanlal. (Not suggesting that there will be exactly same scenes in the movie, but there must be exciting analogs planned...)

Also, in a development which shocked me initially Farhan Akhtar has decided to do a remake of Don as his follow up of the brilliant Dil Chahta Hai and pretty good Lakshya. I was expecting something more original from him. But after the initial shock had worn down I am finding myself getting excited about this project. I don't remember much of Don and never knew it was a movie worth remaking but it seems clear that Farhan is a fan of the movie (Didn't Salim-Javed script the original? I think they did...) and has done enough work on it to convince SRK to do the movie. Considering that SRK is now following the sensible Aamir formula of shooting only one movie at a time and doing only about one movie a year, that has to be a good sign. Its also nice to see SRK working outside his coterie of directors. Working with such eclectic mix as Amol Palekar, Ashutosh Gowarikar and now Farhan Akhtar can only be good for him. (Doesn't mean I am against Yashraj-Dharma-Farha Khan style of movies...). Anyway, the buzz is that Priyanka Chopra is reprising Zeenat Aman's role, Arjun Rampal is playing Pran's character, and Kareena has taken up the vamp played by Helen in the original. Isha Kopikkar is the latest to join the cast as probably the girlfriend of the original Don in the movie. Farhan is also set to keep at least two of the original songs (Khaeeke Paan Banaaras Waala and another).

Two projects definitely worth waiting for.

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