Seldom does it happen that two films of the same name (if you choose to ignore the ‘Baddur’ and ‘Baddoor’ spelling), same storyline (if you choose to ignore the ‘twin Anupam Kher’ angle and badly executed kidnapping scene in the climax), same genre (if you choose to ignore the difference between satire and slapstick, subtlety and vulgarity) are released on the same day, the gap of 32 years notwithstanding.
Two friends happened to bump into each other. One happens to watch the 1981-released Chashme Buddoor with ‘BUD’ and the other watched the latest Chashme Baddoor with ‘BAD’. Let’s call them ‘BUD’ and BAD’. Here’s what ensued after exchanging formal pleasantries:
BUD: What made you watch remake when you had the choice of catching up with the original?
BAD: I thought David Dhawan would add something to an ordinary film suddenly touted as the best thing to happen in Indian film industry.
BUD: Oh come on, Chashme Buddoor was never an ordinary film, to begin with.
BAD: Really? How come nobody spoke about it only till it got re-released and remade? Weren’t Sparsh and Katha among the best works of Sai Paranjape? Why glorify her for a film which was more of a way of taking break from the serious cinema?
BUD: So you think Chashme Buddoor wasn’t a great film?
BAD: It was a good film, but not great. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia factor that makes people sing praises for the film and proclaim it as a classic.
BUD: It had the simplicity of those times… good ol’ days when people felt awkward when a song like ‘Hum tum ek kamre mein band ho’ plays on a gramophone record, unlike this age where nobody bats an eyelid when a ‘Bheege honth tere pyaasa dil mera’ blares out of an FM radio while a family is having breakfast.
BAD: Come on dude, do you expect David Dhawan to remake the film with a song like ‘Kahan se aaye badara’ in an age of ‘Dishkiyaao dishkiyaao doom doom’?
BUD: And what about those idyllic dates at Lodhi Gardens with repeated orders of tuti-fruity ice cream and coffee and a humble request of ‘zara aaraam se laana’?
BAD: If the new version had such a scene, the audience with an attention span of an infant, would go asleep. Today the films have to be fast-paced, one gag or line must give way to the other before the audience gets time to grin or get its meaning, if at all there was one.
BUD: I really wish we had writers of those times, who weaved in their experiences and observations in screenplay and dialogues.
BAD: Do the writers of today’s times get time to even experience or observe anything? Back in those days films were made on a shoe-string budget at leisurely pace. Today any average film can enjoy the luxury of maximum two years to make a film, which includes writing, shooting, editing, packaging and marketing.
BUD: The new version is just about packaging and marketing.
BAD: Nope, it’s about recreating and remixing. You know they added an interesting love angle between the characters of Joseph and Josephine played by Rishi Kapoor and Lilette Dubey.
BUD: Didn’t we watch something similar in Golmaal-3?
BAD: Well, this one has some cool one-liners and shaayris by dialogue writers Sajid-Farhad.
BUD: I’ve seen the trailers. You call ‘courage, bondage, marriage, cleavage’ a cool line? You think ‘chhe ungliyaan ghee mein, sar kadhaai mein…aur chatti ungli where?’ is a funny banter? Or those SMS forwards ‘shaayris’? Have you ever read an actual shaayri?
BAD: So you expect the character of Omi played by Divyendhu Sharma to mouth Ghalib’s ghazals or what? The makers also improvised on the ‘flashback’ scenes of both characters of Omi and Jai. Omi gets mistaken for a dog trainer instead of plumber in the original whereas Jai’s character (played by Sidhharth) approaches her as a film director.
BUD: Even the original had the same premise of Jai posing as a film director.
BAD: Here David Dhawan approaches the same scene with a twist. The girl, Seema played by Taapsee Pannu (jiske seema ki koi seema nahin – to put in the words of Omi and Jai) is exercising in a tiny skirt exposing her tattoo strategically placed on her back while the character of Jai (played by Siddharth) exclaims, ‘Ladki ka background’
BUD: You think it’s funny?
BAD: Well, it was a LOL moment in the auditorium.
BUD: Sad. Aren’t these the same people who ‘like’ and ‘share’ status updates which say: Item songs and vulgarity in films must be banned’?
BAD: Oh that’s another topic to debate upon…virtual beliefs are poles apart from actual beliefs.
BUD: Just like original films are poles apart from remake films. Look at Ali Zafar… does he even look 1% of the studious guy he is supposed to play? Where are actors like Farooque Shaikh and Deepti Naval!
BAD: Well, Ali Zafar does wear glasses in few scenes…but I admit the glasses keep disappearing with each frame and he is hardly shown reading a book…and there was never a geek-to-dude kind of transformation except a scene where the heroine takes a practical coaching session of kissing.
BUD: The original had a wonderful parody montage right from Mughal-E-Azam to Qurbaani. Does the new version have such stuff?
BAD: Yup, this one had a ‘Dekha hai pehli baar saajan ki aankhon mein pyaar’ and ‘What is your mobile number’…but they were far from parody…
BUD: The old one even had a cameo of Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha. I read a review that said even Chamko makes a cameo in the new version…?
BAD: Chamko? Oh yes…Lilette Dubey’s character uses the washing powder as an excuse to meet Rishi Kapoor’s character.
BUD: But wasn’t Rishi’s character the owner of a restaurant in Goa? She could have met him there as a customer, why put up the pretense of selling Chamko detergent?
BAD: You’ve got a point there! Maybe to pay a tribute to the original…I also wonder about the logic of having two Anupam Khers with one being constantly slapped by Bharti Achrekar and the other constantly yelling ‘over and out’ and how can a girl elope her home in a scooty kind of bike? Why did the bachelors’ pad look like a designer room? Why did all the three actors ham and yell so much? But that’s a David Dhawan film so I’d better not ponder over such questions or look for logic.
BUD: That’s precisely my point. What’s the purpose of remaking a film if you cannot improve upon it?
BAD: Of course David Dhawan did have a purpose…in fact a noble one – to compel today’s youth to pick up the DVD of the original Chashme Buddoor – the jhaagwaala 1981 film.
BUD: Entertainment ke liye behtareen film, Dekhiye baar-baar, lagaataar – Chashme ‘Bud’door.