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Don’t do it again

Can nostalgia be repackaged? Nikhil Taneja argues against the remake of the cult comedy Andaz Apna Apna.

entertainment Updated: Jul 12, 2008 16:05 IST
Nikhil Taneja

Recently, Dus ka Dum, Salman Khan’s inane-question-laden reality quiz show, brought him together with Aamir Khan, after a hiatus of nearly two decades. For the first and last time, the two had shared screen space in one of the funniest Indian movies ever — Andaz Apna Apna.

Carry on
Naturally, they talked about AAA on the show, and bicycled to their buddy song, Do mastaane playing in the background.
Aamir, during the course of the show, suggested that a sequel to AAA should be made, or perhaps, AAA should be remade, since all his fans have been mailing him about this since eternity.

Excuse me. But a cult movie is best left re-treaded. Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag put a seal on that. Doing it again is second-hand and they just can’t match the original. The solitary counterpoint to that is of course Mehboob Khan’s Aurat being turned into the classic Mother India.

Some credit may also be given to Pradeep Sarkar whose Parineeta did live up, to a degree, to the original by Bimal Roy. As for the others, frankly Farhan Akhtar’s new age Don wasn’t bad. But J P Dutta’s Umrao Jaan was. Victoria No 203 redone by Anant Mahadevan is not worth mentioning.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas, with its emphasis on grandeur, suffered in comparison to Bimal Roy’s black-and-white version.
Not many know, but Satish Kaushik’s flop show Shaadi se Pehle with Akshaye Khanna, was a remake of Amol Palekar’s Meri Biwi ki Shaadi.

Second coming
Some other remakes: Sooraj Barjatya’s Main Prem ki Deewani Hoon, culled from Chitchor; Honey Irani’s Armaan,derivative of Dil Apna aur Preet Parayee and Dharmesh Darshan’s Bewafaa which was ‘inspired by’ Gumrah (1963).

The box office failure of these films hasn’t been a deterring factor though. Feroz Khan has been threatening to update Qurbani; Subhash Ghai’s Karz is being remade by T Series with Himesh Reshammiya in Rishi Kapoor’s dancing shoes (heavens!). And there are periodic threats of Manmohan Desai’s Amar Akbar Anthony being re-presented by David Dhawan with Salman, Arbaaz and Sohail Khan.

Ouch. There has been talk of a modernised Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam. Rituparno Ghosh, it is said, would direct Rahgeer based on Guide with Akshay Kumar taking over from Dev Anand (chances are that this may not take off because Dev Anand wasn’t quite pleased). Raj Sippy, the rumourvine believes, could refashion Satte pe Satte into Seven.

Fresh take
And that’s not all! A new Devdas is scheduled to show up in a right-here-right-now version — Sudhir Mishra’s Dev D, featuring Abhay Deol. Mishra also aims to remake his own Is Raat ki Subah Nahin, in English.

Question: Can nostalgia be repackaged?

Perhaps, a sequel is a more demanding proposition because a new thinking cap would be required for that. Is Aamir Khan listening?