MUMBAI: At a crucial juncture when Bollywood is suffering from a serious crunch of new story ideas, the film industry operators are playing the very interesting game of remaking super hit cinemas of yesteryears.
Some Bollywood industry players are going to remake Hindi movies based on the box office hits of South India. Stories remain the same but films have new cast, sets, songs and background music befitting the brave new world.
Large numbers of films are going to be remade or awaiting conversion into colors from their black and white format. After Mughal-e-Azam became super box office it globally, coloring the classics is the new fad.
Remaking, indeed, is the latest mania of the Indian film industry. Even top film financiers, producers and directors indulging in it after the success of Devdas, Parineeta and Tajmahal. Classical love-themes still allures the viewers irrespective of age brackets globally, with the NRI’s particularly liking them.
While Taj Mahal dealt with the ancient love theme of Mughal days, stories of Sarat Chadra Chattopadhaya’s Devdas and Parineeta belonged to the long-lost British Raj.
The ongoing Bollywood remaking mania has raised a swarm of questions: have viewers got fed up with traditional maar-dhar, pyaar-mohabbat, villain-hero twists, vamps-heroine tussles and sex and violence or has film industry run out of new stories?
As making films is a costly game now, financier or producer angling for global viewing for profit. Naturally, “theme” has turned extremely vital. Remaking trend shows the financiers are advancing in those cinemas that were super hits in yester years.
For the new generation, the old themes are something of matters of study to view the old forlorn days and their comparison with the era they are living in. For example, the young viewers of Parineeta and Devdas were simply spell bound to see the ancient dresses of the heroines.
The decades old ornaments, Saree-designs and overall make ups simply made them ecstatic. Parineeta’s most successful remaking suddenly speeded up the process of remaking with Sahab Bibi Aur Ghulam of Guru Dutt awaiting its rebirth.
The past story lines of films were time tested and there is no reason why audience should not like them.
After Devdas was remade, it slated for the Oscar Award due to its storyline and filming. One of the reasons for remaking the classic films happened to be the Oscar-bait. All the films, like Lagaan and Dedvas, have very uncommon themes. Both the films deal with the era that had gone by, never to return. Yet they succeeded globally. This is here where the secret of remaking the classics or coloring them lies.
As the Bollywood has been declared an industry, the corporate world’s latest trend has set in it. Today’s viewer in global perspective needs newness in films thematically and scenically.
In fact, the Bollywood produces a large number of films every year. Hardly one percent of them succeed at the box office globally. But in the case of Devdas, Parineeta, Ankarkali and Mughal-e-Azam, we find they all succeeded stupendously.
Naturally, the remaking and coloring succeeds enormously whereas film with new themes often flops. This is the vital most reason for the ongoing remake mania.
On reviewing the remade films, we discover that most of the cinemas already done or in the pipeline in Bollywood had gathered awards earlier the Filmfare Award for being the best film of the year. Besides, they also had bagged best actor, best actress and best director awards.
Pyasa, Guide, Dewaar, Sholay, Tisri Kasam and a large number of other super-hit yester-era films are in remaking pipeline. While their themes were totally uncommon, they were musical bonanza too. Even today, the original films pull huge viewers. Naturally, the chances of their success always are very high if remade.
In the case of current hullabaloo on coloring of old cinemas like Mughal-e-Azam and Naya Daur, we find that the worldly wise producers are selecting only the super hits of yesteryears. They are meticulously studying the past performances of such films on the box offices.
I old is gold??? Have you forgotten the enchanting song of Sahab Bibi Aur Ghulam: “..koi door se awaz de chale aao……” (from a distance, someone is calling please return)? Truly, the return of the old-film-phenomenon now has returned to the Bollywood.