Don vs Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag

The recent ‘Don – The Chase Begins Again’ starring Shahrukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra was a remake of Amitabh Bachchan’s 1978 classic Don. While Don went on to do decent business at the Box Office, the latest movie to be remade Ram, Gopal Varma Ki Aag (remake of the Masterpiece Sholay) has been rejected outright by the critics as well as the audience.

Here is a article on remakes and an interesting comparison of the two remakes by Indiatimes.

Amitabh from RGV ki Aag and Shahrukh Khan from Don

While many filmmakers boast of doing things out of the ordinary, some of them are drawn back to the age-old magic of Sholay, Don, Umrao Jaan , or then others are trying to bring to the audiences the once-upon-a-time black-n-white box office rockers in colour. But it is the Naya Daur , and it’s best that age-old classics remain untouched on their thrones of gold, than adapting them to current day and age situations, and then going ballistic about their new avatar, which is hardly new at all.

And that, we think, is the mistake RGV made. The film was an exact replica of Sholay , but remained unmatched in class and performances. Farhan Akhtar, too, was tempted to make a tribute to the movie he had grown up watching Don. And though we bashed it for casting SRK as Don in it, let us tell you that his twist-in-the-tale was far more exciting than the picking up of Sholay and placing it on a new canvas. The old wine in new bottles, is just not working! And more so if you have the exact same story to tell.

Take Umrao Jaan as yet another example. We watched it on a television channel recently and vowed that the film should’ve fared better than what it did. It was simply told and beautifully executed, but the shaan and ada of that era, was obviously missing. But our filmmakers won’t understand, or maybe they do but are just trying their luck shooting in the dark. What was a success story once, may just create history again! But dear Directors, only if told with the same charm, magic and panache.

Of all the re-makes and colour re-releases, Farhan Akhtar’s Don seemed to have ‘donned’ more colour than the rest. Reason? It had enough commercial value to hold the audience’ attention. And the story left even the yesteryear audiences stunned at the end of it. The masses didn’t feel cheated, and were happy to have got a whole new experience when they walked out of the theatres. This old wine in a new bottle was tweaked. And that made all the difference.


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