Saturday, September 08, 2007

There's something about Ramu

Okay, so everybody's derived sadistic pleasure out of Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag and its subsequent collapse. My editorial director Thomas Abraham particularly likes to chestbeat about the how Varma is a "twit" to make a remake of Sholay. All he can suggest is that RGV se bhaag.

I object to this issue on two fronts that people fail to realize - One, is that people somewhere knew down the line that the film would in NO WAY be as good as the original. So, the moment the critics panned it, audiences also went into the "I told you so," mode.

Two, nobody for that matter admired RGV's enthusiasm for the film, least of all realise that here was a man making a film centred around a villain, rather than a conventional hero.

So with RGV Ki Aag, here is a film whose villian was pegged as its USP, and for many viewers it must have been the prime reason for watching it in the first place. Some "gurus" believe that the original Sholay itself was an erroneous script, since Gabbar as the villain shot to fame quicker than the 'positive' characters. RGV exploited the same sentiment and pegged a film around him, titling him 'Babban'.

RGV, however screwed it up in the adaptation to the current milieu. Mumbai's underworld has been quiet since a long time. Varma's earlier gems on the subject have made audiences acclimatised to this setting and it comes across as repetitive today.

RGV should learn a thing or two from Vishal Bharadwaj, who skilfully adapted Macbeth and Othello into gems like Maqbool and Omkara respectively.
But the saddest story came only after Aag released. Pritish Nandy has announced plans to make a prequel, a remake, a sequel and an animated version of the same old Sholay. Talk about obsession with old ideas and a vacuum of new concepts. If only that bald head of Nandy's struck a eureka spark, he'd do it. Otherwise he's quite a bum.

PNC's plans are only being echoed by some more remakes which by the way are actually coloured versions of good old Guide by Ketan Anand. Goldstone Technologies has acquired the rights to digitally colour the film and re-release it.

The trend will give a lot of veterans a chance for their aakhri khwaish to see old movies in colour. Also, it might possibly lure the current Gen X to experience golden days of yore.

What worries me though, is the direction in which the industry is heading. A man like Pritish Nandy can do wonders. He almost did so with a brave Chameli and a tongue-in-cheek Pyar Ke Side Effects. If only he had those grey hairs to differentiate the right from the wrong...

This reminds me of Lagaan, the making of which I recently saw on VCD, in the form of Chale Chalo. The film attracted all the attention from its cast, crew, media, foreign press only because of its unique screenplay and storyline. If only, we could create that celluloid magic again.

Another round of gems please, oh you industrywallas...!


Raj said...

I still haven't seen the fire in the loins of Ram Gopal Verma. Especially after all these negative reports, I want to watch it. For all the unintended humour and all that.

Dude, a coupla corrections ... a - Guide is originally a colour movie. All that Dev Anand wants to do is re-release it in the theatres. He wants to colourise Hum Dono, and re-release (in their original versions) Guide and Hare Rama Hare Krishna.

Who is the Ketan Anand you refer to ... Chetan Anand's son?

Tamanna said...

I think somewhere its a good idea to re-release old movies to introduce our young generation to the true art of film-making which gone to dumps with movies on the lines of Hey Baby and what not.

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