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Season of Hollywood remakes in Bollywood 

Subhash K Jha  
A season of Hollywood remakes has descended on the Hindi film industry.

Top-notch Bollywood filmmakers are working feverishly to remake American chartbusters after adapting them to suit the Indian palate. David Dhawan is busy remaking Analyze This. Released in India last year, the film about a hoodlum (played by Robert de Niro) who is seeing a shrink (Billy Crystal) had our censor board foaming at the mouth. In Dhawan's film, Sanjay Dutt plays the mobster's role while Amitabh Bachchan has been cast as a doctor who treats the Dutt character when he goes batty after he runs into Aishwarya Rai.

"The film has been duly Indianised," Dhawan said about his film. There is general skepticism about the workability of a predominantly American film like Analyze This in Hindi. But, Dhawan is pushing on with his untitled venture. Another very American film that is just been selected for remake is Nine Whole Yards. According to reports, enterprising producer Feroz Nadiadwala has decided to remake this Bruce Willis-starrer about a thug's relationship with his snoopy neighbor, with Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty in the lead. In addition to Analyze This and Nine Whole Yards we have Sanjay Gupta remaking Quentin Tarantino's very violent, very stylish, very American cops thriller - Reservoir Dogs with Bachchan, Dutt and others in the lead.

The film will be shot in the US at a stretch through the month of October next year. Young director Vikram Bhatt is also on the remake bandwagon with his start-to-finish quickie Qasoor featuring Aftab Shivdasani and model-actress Lisa Ray in the lead. Qasoor is a slickly-adapted version of Richard Marquand's Jagged Edge. Like Tanuja Chandra, who remade An Eye For An Eye as Dushman and The Silence Of The Lambs as Sangharsh, Vikram's two earlier films, Fareb and Ghulam, were also freewheeling adaptations of two Hollywood films, Unlawful Entry and On The Waterfront, respectively. But, how much of a good film can you make when the source material is rooted in alien soil. Such transplanted works of art seem to be a bizarre parody of indigenous entertainment. Some remakes, nevertheless, do make some sense.

Boney Kapoor's proposed adaptation of Not Without My Daughter transposes American woman (Sally Field) from her Muslim in-laws in the Middle East to a radical Hindu family in northern India. The role, originally earmarked for Sridevi, is now being played by Kajol. Kajol is also the lead in Rahul Rawail's adaptation of Walt Disney's The Parent Trap. Rawail's film on twins is called Khatta Meetha. If Khatta Meetha rings a bell, then it is because Basu Chatterjee's adaptation of Melville Shavinson's Yours, Mine and Ours had the same written on its clapper. That's not all. Studio AVM remake of The Parent Trap in Hindi in the 1960s as Do Kaliyan with Neetu Singh was also about twins. It seems as though filmmakers in Mumbai have decided to forego the services of original scriptwriters. Even Aditya Chopra's Mohabbatein is said to be based on the Robin Williams' tearjerker Dead Poets Society.

(India Abroad News Service)

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