Last week, when director Sajid Khan approached sister Farah for dates to start work on the remake of the 1983 hit, Himmatwala, he was in for a surprise. Farah responded by telling him to go to his manager, since Sajid had flown him to Singapore for the Housefull 2 premiere and not invited her.
Such banter is common between the siblings, but it’s now a given that Ajay Devgn will be seen dancing to Farah’s tunes in the action-drama.
“I’m going to make sure that Ajay is comfortable with the steps I give him and looks good on screen,” she promises, admitting that Sajid has given her some references from the period that started the trend of karate chops and ‘PT exercise’ dance movies. However, Farah says she’s not going to blindly ape the jhatkas-matkas that made ‘Naino mein sapna’ and ‘Taki O taki’ cult chartbusters.
“We’ve squeezed out the hippy-hippy shakes in so many films down the years, including the recent The Dirty Picture (2011). I’ll come up with something contemporary and original. I’ll need to update all this, given the number of times it’s been spoofed on screen,” she says.
Himmatwala, a remake of K Raghavendra Rao’s 1981 film Ooriki Monagadu, was one of the many South-styled Bollywood movies that became big box-office hits in the ’80s. “That was the era of Mawwali (1983), Tohfa (1984) and Maqsad (1984) and I haven’t seen any of these films, not even Himmatwala,” admits Farah, adding, “They’re not my kind of movies, Sajid was the one, who since its release on February 25 1983, watched Himmatwala 36 times in the theatre. He had a T-shirt proclaiming ‘I love Jeetendra’ and told everyone Sridevi was a goddess and he was crazy about her.”
And once he locks the script, Sajid plans to approach his matinee idols. “Even if I can get them together for one scene or to shake a leg, it will be a big high,” he says. Farah’s hoping she will get to choreograph them in a dancing cameo. “I got Jeetuji to do his trademark shakes in the Om Shanti Om (2007) title track, now if I can get him with Sridevi, it’ll be a dream come true.”