Friday, August 8, 2008

The best Bollywood-playing theater is in my head: or, Fantasy-casting.

I suspect I might have an overactive imagination but I haven't been able to contain this imagination on paper for years now. Instead what I do is think about things I would like to write, or see, or hear. Simply put, I fantasize.

One of my favourite things to fantasize, and I know I'm not the only one who does this so 'fess up people!, are Ideal Hindi Remakes of Non-Hindi Movies. Bollywood remakes and is inspired by and plain rips off on occasion (or depending on your definition, often) but of course, the real Bollywood remakes are often half-assed, low-budget, dumbed down or feature B-list stars. They'll be one of those unfunny Priyadarshan comedies or just generally something forgettable you wish they'd never done in the first place. You'll probably hate them if you liked the original film(s).

But the Ideal Remakes, oh my. It's every film geek's very own chance to be a film maker without all that fuss about working on the script, finding the money to make the film and well, without actually having to make the film. Because it's fantasy, and it's never going to happen, which of course guarantees the fact it stays perfect - unrealized, stored in your imagination.

It's a double-edged sword. On on hand, the likelihood of any of these happenings is ridiculously slim and if they did manage to make it, not with the exact cast I would've envisioned or they would just do a crappy job of it. On the other hand, I'd like nothing more than to see these turn into actual films.

I have plenty of these but two of them are special favourites.

1. Brokeback Bollywood

I can't remember how or when I thought of this but ever since I did, it made such perfect sense I couldn't stop thinking about it. Surely every film buff on the planet is familiar with the original movie, what with the coined phrases like "I wish I knew how to quit you" etc. Personally I thought it was a slightly slow film, but with some nice performances (I had a problem with how the romance progressed but you know, not having been a closeted homosexual in rural 1960's USA, I probably don't know how these things work).

For the desi remake, the choices are obvious: Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan.

Yeah, I said it. The two Khans who have never acted on the same screen I have fantasy-cast in a remake that India will probably not produce for the next 10 years or so (I mean heck, look how long it took Hollywood to make a commercial film centered around the subject). But think about it. Aamir as the silent, slightly stonefaced Ennis, whose expressions still tell a thousand words, and Shahrukh as the more extrovert Jack. The rest of the casting I haven't really thought through; what would really carry the movie is the acting of the two, and the imagery filled with mood. Somebody like Vishal Bharadwaj, accompanied by some brilliant South-Indian cinematographer might be just the thing.

Basically, I can't unthink it. And even then I haven't worked out how exactly the plot would play out, in what era etc.

2. Kiss Kiss B..ollywood?

I loved this movie when I first saw it, but my maybe third thought after finishing it was, "There should be a Sakshay remake of this, why isn't there one already?"

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is clever little black comedy that takes on the noir genre as well. It's written and directed by Shane Black and just chock-full of quotable one-liners and funny dialogues. The story kicks off when a small thief finds himself suddenly thrown into the world of Hollywood as an aspiring actor, taking lessons in spy-work from a gay private investigator. There's the girl who got away, and there's a body, and it's a really good movie which you ought to watch right now.

Saif of course would be the hopeless thief/actor and Akshay the private eye. The banter would just be to die for. The female role .. Vidya or Konkona, but I'd be willing to accept others. In the director's seat, well, Beth recently reviewed Johnny Gaddaar which I also liked a ton, so perhaps Sriram Raghavan would be perfect fit. He's huge on noir and I think he could extend his skills to not just thrillers but comedies as well. Who knows, could work.


But yes, these were mine. What would be your own "too good to be true - never going to happen" remakes?


Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

omg- Brokeback Bollywood is perfect- perfectttt!!!!
I'm pretty sure Akshay Kumar would be a perfect stand-in for any of the Jackie Chan movies. I would also like to see "We Own the Night", with Joaquin Phoenix= Akshay Khanna, Mark Wahlberg= Ajay Devgan and Priyanka Chopra= Eva MEndes- ooh that'd be fun!
I also think Ajay Devgan would do good with the Die Hard movies... :)

Anonymous said...

What a super idea! Your imagination isn't overactive just imaginative. :-D

I'd love to see a Hindi remake of The Sting (1973). Its a movie about a pair of con-artists carrying out a series of cons and stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford in the lead. The chemistry between the two matches the Sakshay or Shashitabh pairing in Bollywood and either of these pairs would be great in a remake of The Sting. Big B or Akshay=Newman and Shashi or Saif as Redford. Hitch (2005) would be great with Saif=Will Smith, Govinda=Kevin James, Vidya Balan=Eva Mendes and Katrina Kaif=Amber Valletta.

The possibilities are endless!

Nicki said...

Oh gosh, I used to have a list of Bollywood remakes I would like, hehehe. I'll have to bring it back out. Plus there are some remakes that have been done but I would like to change the original cast, lol

veracious said...

Shweta - I vote 'yay' for Akshay in more martial arts style films.. I'm somewhat curious about Chandi Chowk to China.

bollyviewer - Thanks! I'm sure you know by now Hitch was remade, infamously so, with Salman and Govinda in the lead.. And they got sued for ripping off the story!

Nicki - That's exactly it! The desified remakes are usually lame or with a cast you can't get into at all. Which is why the ideal, imaginary remakes are best..

Anonymous said...

OMG thats what Partner was! And Govinda and Katrina did my dream roles, too! lol Wonder how I came to miss that? It was probably because I steer clear of any Salman and Govinda movies, espcially when they involve David Dhawan, as well.

Rosalind Francis said...

I would switch your casting for Brokeback Bollywood. :) I think that SRK can be really good when he's restrained, likewise Aamir when he's set loose, as it were. Also it would be fun to play with the audience's expectations.

Pride and Prejudice could benefit from a better Bollywood remake. Kajol as Lizzie and Rani as Jane? (KKHH reference!!) Probably Ajay Devgan as Darcy, but he may be tooo brooding (plus notorious lack of onscreen chemistry with Kajol). I need to think this through a bit more.

Anonymous said...

Guess I was not the only one who had fantasy bollywood remakes! Was blog hopping and landed your blog. The minute after I walked out of Sex and the City I started thinking about my very own Bollywood remake. Came up with Preity Zinta for Sarah Jessica Parker but couldn't come up with anyone else.

veracious said...

bollyviewer - Heh, indeed!

rossywar - See, I always doubt Shahrukh's acting abilities because he's never given a proper chance by any of his directors (well, that's an exaggeration but y'know what I mean). But your switch-around might work out great. I approve!

kaush - You're definitely not the only one. Not sure if SatC would work in Bollywood.. Maybe the movie, not the concept of the TV series so much. :)

Anonymous said...

Actually, the remake I really wanted to see was of Chinatown, and I got my wish already with Manorama: Six Feet Under. And what is more, it was not just a remake but a story that traversed similar territory with this as the inspiration. I wouldn't have imagined Abhay Deol in the Jack Nicholson role, but I have to admit he did a great job.

I'd like to see a good remake of Silence of the Lambs, with Boman Irani.

No wait, it was kinda sorta remade in Hindi as Sangharsh with Priety Zinta and Akshay Kumar (with a moustache!!!).

Anonymous said...

Can the Dhoom movies be considered a remake of Brokeback Mountain? Especially D2, where Abhishek abandoned his pregnant wife to chase after Hrithik? :-D


veracious said...

R - Excellent point, Dhoom films are always very focused on male relationships. Abhi-Hrithik chemistry trumped Aish-Hrithik chemistry in that movie, in my opinion.