Most films announced recently are either sequels or remakes. Is Bollywood going through the lowest phase as far as originality is concerned?
It is said that it's better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. Obviously not everyone from Bollywood agrees.
Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan in Chupke Chupke
It's an industry that produces over 150 mainline movies year after year, and going by current standards, more than 70 percent of those ideas come from another person's story palette.
It's clearly the riskiest proposition to adapt when you're pressed for an original idea. Remaking a classic takes guts. After all it's a space that people have cherished for years. So one could go horribly wrong as Ram Gopal Verma did with Aag (remake of Sholay-1975) and Himesh Reshammiya Karzzz (remake of Karz-1980).
Says director Ramesh Sippy, "With films like Sholay or Seeta aur Geeta the audience sees something that can perhaps never be replicated. But if the original makers have no problem selling their story, then there is no harm in attempting it with a fresh perspective."
However, there's no denying that remaking a classic ensures an inquisitive audience spanning the age group of 17 to 70.
Adds Karan Malhotra whose adaptation of Angeepath is up for release next year, "I think when you adapt from classic films you are inspired to do an even better job. There is enough pressure as it will be compared to the original."
The sequel story
When Dabangg was declared a success, the producers immediately announced a sequel. Ditto with Force.
Notwithstanding the fact that Force was already a south remake, and a sequel now will probably need an original screenplay. Clearly, announcing a part 2 to a film is, in fact, the easiest way to increase the buzz around it.
Says director Abhishek Chaubey, "When you make a film and it becomes such a big talking point amongst the masses, it's only natural that you would want to flesh out the idea a little more. That doesn't mean the sequel will lack originality. Eventually sequels too are stand-alone films."
However, there is no denying that capitalising on an already successful brand is one of the smartest business strategies.
From Dostana to Race and Housefull to Ishqiya, each of these films now hope to see a better follow-up of the original, some of them with bigger stars. Not to mention, the barrage of publicity speculating the star cast and the twist and turns in the story gives the producers the perfect playground to reach out to the masses.
From south to the west
Official or not, remaking a hit movie has been a formula the industry has been using for years. But these days that formula has a distinct South Indian flavour.
The Italian Job which is being made in Bollywood as Players
Not everyone can do a Rajnikanth, but replicating the south superstar's classic moves seems to be a sure-shot ticket to success. And though filmmakers have shamelessly lifted from Hollywood all these years, (read Partner, Heyy Baby, Zinda, Kante, etc) they are finally resorting to getting the 'official' tag.
Says Karan Johar whose Stepmom remake tanked at the box office, "Remakes are great, but when you make it for the desi audience, you have to add the elements that appeal to them."
Sequels being made of...
Dabangg, Dostana, Housefull, Ishqiya, Don, Race, Jannat, Force, Masti, Partner, Double Dhamaal, No Entry, Kya Kool Hein Hum, Wanted, Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local, Bhoot, Krissh, Tanu Weds Manu Raaz 2, Murder 2, Dhoom 2, Golmaal 3.
Kick, Son Of Sardar (Maryadaramana) Ek Deewana Tha (Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa) , Rowdy Rathore (Vikramarkudu), Dookudu, Pithamagan, Dhee, Businessman, Pranayam, Magadheera
Players (The Italian Job), Mod (Keeping Watch) , Bandaa Yeh Bindaas Hai (My Cousin Vinny)
Agneepath, Chupke Chupke, Chashme Badoor, Satte Pe Satta, Seeta Aur Geeta, Golmaal, Angoor
Rockstar, The Dirty Picture, Ladies Vs Ricky Behl, Student of the Year, Ferrari ki Sawari, Gangs of Wasseypur, Department, Shootout at Wadala