Herald: Leave the classics alone, please
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Leave the classics alone, please

16 Jun 2017 07:08am IST
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16 Jun 2017 07:08am IST
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Films, TV series and songs that enjoy a cult following are being remade with the motive of cashing in on their previous successes. However, Café finds out that examples of remakes that have superseded, or even matched up to the goodness of the original ones, are very few

Kishore Amati

This worrying trend has been around for way too long - for every classic film or TV show deemed the greatest of its time, there is a ridiculous remake that will, too often, simply bank on the success of its predecessor in the hopes of attracting audiences. What it does, however, is mutilate a beautiful work of art by turning it into an ugly blockbuster. While in most cases, the original is always better, sometimes the remakes and reboots are so horrid that one wonders why the filmmakers even bothered to attempt it. And no, we aren’t going to dignify the likes of ‘Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag’ that was said to be a remake of ‘Sholay’, by including them even in the ‘failed remakes’ list.

Last month, a candid Sylvester Stallone expressed his concern over the Hindi remake of his iconic film ‘Rambo’, saying “hope they don't wreck it.” While we’ll have to wait till 2018 to see the end result, Stallone’s concerns are not unjustified, thanks to the millions of examples of remakes that have simply failed to live up to the quality and the charm of the original. The film adaptation of ‘Baywatch’, the web series ‘Sarabhai vs Sarabhai’ that reprises the much acclaimed TV show by the same name, and the remake of ‘The Mummy’ – all of which have failed miserably in matching up to their originals, are the latest examples.

‘Sarabhai vs Sarabhai’ used to be aired on Star One and had developed a massive fan following for itself in 2004. The TV show that was taken off air in 2006 continued to live in the memories of its fans and on the web, but recently, a sequel to the show with same cast and character traits was launched, but this time, in the form of a web series. Raveena Joshi, a housewife from Margao who cherishes memories of watching the show with her family, says, “The first season was way ahead of its time; this time around the makers had full freedom to include grown-up jokes and innuendos and they certainly have used them to the maximum. Madhusudhan foofa's peeing incident did give us a few chuckles and so did Sonia's 'Uranus' joke, but somehow even that isn't helping the cause. The ship is sinking with every passing episode.”

While failed remakes are many, not all remakes are bad. Sahil Fernandes, a movie buff from Margao, says, “There have been remakes of classics that did justice to their originals. Christopher Nolan's recent Batman series (‘Batman Begins’ and ‘The Dark Knight’) for example, is fantastic. Nolan has such deep, different plot lines, the movies can't even be considered in the same category, but at the same time he respects originality and creativity.” But examples like these are far too few and genius filmmakers like Nolan are a rarity.

Studio heads and directors who attempt remakes often justify it by saying that remakes are a form of tribute to the original one and an attempt to carry on the legacy it first created. But like the son who can seldom match up to the charm that his father had in his prime, most fail to recreate the magic. And hence, the most graceful tribute to a classic, is to leave it alone!


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