Farhan Akhtar: The remake of Don is 100 % mine
Director Farhan Akhtar gets candid on his forthcoming Don-The Chase Begins Again—a remake of Chandra Barot’s Amitabh Bachchan starrer Don.
The film looks quite colourful —a green layer all throughout…
A constant tone defines the way the don sees everything as part of his world. For Don, there is no other world apart from his world. The use of colour helps me to subliminally imply this shift to a parallel fictional existence.
How many times have you watched Don?
Numerous times. Far too many times to remember. I guess the special memories would have to be Khaike paan, Amit uncle as the coolest villain ever and Pran saab in a body suit.
How much of
Donis Farhan’s and how much is Chandra Barot’s?
The remake of
is 100 percent mine as the original was 100 per cent Chandra Barot’s. What we do share is the genius of Salim-Javed and Kalyanji Anandji.
If you were to change one thing from the original Don, what would that be?
Nothing. I love it just the way it is.
SRK as a don and Big B as a don — there would be instant comparisons…
Yes. But it a role that is re-interpreted by an accomplished actor of our time and that is exactly how we as an audience should perceive it. Shah Rukh is not out to better Amit uncle’s fantastic performance, but merely to re-create this character in his own special way. And he has succeeded.
How risky is it to make a remake?
I would think it is as risky as making any other film.
If you were given another option, which film would you remake?
Falling Down starring Michael Douglas.
Your films have been very youth centric…what about Don?
Don is about a young man, too. But his issues lie in a fictitious world.
Was SRK your original choice for the lead role?
Shah Rukh was the only one who could bring Don to life in the manner that I had envisaged.
Don’s music haven’t quite created a rage as expected? Are you disappointed?
That is not true. The music is doing extremely well. The music company T-series is very happy with the sales. So I can't really answer this question since there is no space for disappointment.
Do you think our audience is ready for the remake rage?
I would not call five films being remade a rage. And I think that our audience is ready for any film that has a story worth telling or a story that is being told well.
The advance booking is open 20 days before the release of the film…why is it so? How is the response?
That was a decision made by the distributors and certain exhibitors since they thought it would make the process of acquiring a ticket more convenient for the viewer. It seems to be working well as a concept. The response has been very good.
Don has also seen some controversy regarding the smoking sequences your take?
Don is a character who is trying to quit smoking in the film. He realises as we all do that it is a habit that can kill you. I have read articles by some doctors who have written that one approach to quitting smoking is to allow yourself one at the end of the week, almost as if it is a prize for abstaining till then. I do not think those doctor’s are promoting smoking, do they? But hopefully all this unnecessary controversy has now been quelled since the censor board has seen the film and passed it with an U/A certificate without any cuts. I thank them for exercising their better judgement.
Finally, what is next in the pipeline as a director and producer?
Ritesh and me will move onto the release of Reema Kagti’s Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. Then Zoya starts her film Kismat Talkies next year with Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor. Apart from those two projects as producer, I will be completing Anand Sorapur’s film The Fakir this year and get down to finalising my draft of A Voice from the Sky, the film I will in most likelihood, be directing next.
Plans regarding sending it to festivals…
We will endeavour to take the film wherever it is physically possible to screen it.
Do you plan to hold any special screening for Mr Bachchan?
Absolutely! For Amit uncle and the other people associated with the original film. This film is my way of paying respect to a great team that got together to make a great film. But most of all, it is a tribute to my father (Javed Akhtar). I cannot stress enough what his films mean to me and hopefully this action will speak a lot louder than words.