Friday, February 24, 2006

Old wine in a new bottle

What is it with remixes and remakes these days? So long as people don't completely ruin the original song, I have no issues with remixes. Although there are times when I have the urge to puke when I watch remixes like 'Pardesiya'. (Seriously, what IS the problem with that female? With a name like Rakhi too!) It's sad that a whole generation knows about the old classics only because they watch the (questionable) hotties gyrate to the remixes. Not content with tampering the music, some 'creative' souls have now gone one step ahead. Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen to the age of remakes!

One must start at the beginning. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is, arguably, the guy who started it all by blowing up 50 crores in the making of a film about a guy who's tragic story was unknown to few people, thanks to Saratda, K L Saigal and the living legend, Dilip Kumar. Also to burn his hands in an equally expensive venture was Akbar Khan who made the magnum opus Tajmahal, even as the retouched version of 'Mughal-e-Azam' put an end to any curiousity about the film. Unfortunately Naushad's remarkable compositions for the film went unnoticed.

Today, every director worth his salt is making a remake. Be it RGV, J P Dutta or Pritish Nandy. Even a young talented director like Farhan Akhtar is making 'Don', THE Amitabh Classic. What convinced Farhan that he could recreate Bachchan's charismatic portrayal of Don? SRK, who's playing Don might be able to do a 'khaike paan banaras waala', but can he actually become a very stylish Don AND not look funny while singing 'Main hoon Don'? I almost had a heart attack when I read that Kareena Kapoor was to do the Helen number. Puhleeze...!! I am OK with Urmilas or Ishas trying their luck with 'Yeh mera Dil'..but Kareena is a big NO.

Let me move on to some other remakes that are quickly gathering a lot of publicity. Not only is Ram Gopal Verma remaking Sholay (that, to me, is the ultimate blasphemy), he is even remaking James. Whether audience will want to go watch Mohit Ahlwat doing the dishum-dishum and generally sulking at the world, is left to me seen. RGV's Sholay has Amitabh playing Gabbar's role. The lesser said about this remake, the better.

Then there is the J P Dutta's Umrao Jaan that's in process, with Aishwarya Rai playing the title role and I am left wondering if they will come anywhere close to Muzaffar Ali's original. The only reason I will ever watch this film is because Abhishek Bachchan plays a key character.

Not far behind is Pritish Nandy who is making Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam. No prizes for guessing who'll portray the sadistic husband. The one and only Salmaan Khan. They got atleast that one right! Priyanka Chopra, who plays the alcoholic wife better start liking the poison. I don't know how else she is going to match upto Meena Kumari's histrionics. The joke is on John Abraham who is playing Bhola, the ghulam in love with his malkin. Don't get me wrong, I quite like John (more on this later). But why pick a stud with six packs and biceps to play the innocent servant, a role made so memorable by none other than Guru Dutt?

A point in favour of Ashutosh Gowarikar who is making Akbar Jodha. Now this is one story I have not heard or seen before. I look forward to a very well researched product, with fine technicians and good music.

Until then, may the Almighty save me and the rest of the movie buffs from the remakes.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

What to write...?

I have been meaning to write something for a while now. I just can't seem to decide what to write about. At first I thought I'll write about my sister's wedding that happened early this month. I could write about all the fun I had, shopping for clothes and jewellery, eating yummy food, and gossiping with my folks (and giving others a chance to gossip about me...after all, weddings are primarily for showing off your sarees and gold, AND gossiping!).
I soon got weary of remembering all the details. Then I thought about Rang de Basanti, the latest Aamir Khan film that I had enjoyed only last week. Aamir's character in the film reminded me of an old college friend who never wanted to stop being a student. Everytime I met him after I passed out of college, I felt that time had stopped moving on. Although Aamir is 40, he looked quite ok as the 30 something guy whoz still in college. And the was haunting and sweet and tugged at my heart. Especially 'Tu bin bataye..' and 'Lukka Chippi'. But I think the title song is the best, full of energy and very young. I found the ending of the story exaggerated, but the message came across. Not sure how much of an awakening it will lead to, but Rakesh Mehra proved that he can do much better than 'Aks'.
Here's something interesting. I landed in Mumbai airport at midnight and I had to while away the time before my connecting flight which was only next morning. At first I was irritated because there was hardly any space to sit down. Every available chair was occupied. Finally we (I was accompanied by my sis) found space on the marble edge of a really desperate landscaping attempt. Seriously, who wants plants inside an airport? After a while, I was almost dozing off, when I felt someone shaking me hard. I opened one eye, and saw JOHN ABRAHAM walking a few feet away. My sister, who had cottoned on to it much before me, skipped across to get his autograph. I was dead-still for a few moments, making sure it was not a dream. And then I walked over, shook his hand, and told him 'Hi John, its great to meet you. I am huge fan!' And he gave me the sweetest smile in the whole world, before walking away. He looked exactly as he did on screen, handsome, sexy with a raw magnetic appeal. From the corner of my eye, I saw his girlfriend Bipasha walking past him. But I was too excited to really notice her. was wonderful! There was no question of dozing off after that. My eyes and ears were perked up, just in case I met anybody else interesting!