David Dhawan's Chashme Baddoor is an unnecessary remake, writes Sukanya Verma.
What’s the point of a remake?
Either a) a filmmaker wants to recreate the success of the original or b) wants to better it so that it gets the due it never did or c) because he wants to remind the audience its forgotten virtues.
But after watching David Dhawan’s remake of Sai Paranjpye’s 1981 classic, I have come up with a few more alternatives, which certainly apply on Chashme Baddoor -- Bollywood is lazy, out of ideas and so darn cocky. So while filmmakers have no qualms about ripping or remaking verified hits, they cannot resist this urge to improvise and show their true calibre in the process.
Only last week, Sajid Khan came out with Himmatwala, also a remake, where the source is unapologetically pedestrian and so it’s hardly surprising if its reproduction is even shoddier. Moreover, its exaggerated tone resonates with Khan’s sensibilities.
Dhawan has no excuse. Paranjpye’s film is a master class in deft writing, the manner in which she seamlessly combines buddy humour and young romance while noting the minute but colourful details that add zing to day-to-day life and casual conversations. Her artistry lies in making all those extensive inputs appear so deceptively simple.
When a director has access to this much imagination, he ought to show a lot more responsibility than Dhawan does. Loud in sight, sound and sense, this Chashme Battering is an assault to the original with its line-up of gaudy aesthetics (think Rohit Shetty’s All The Best), actors hamming to the hilt in boxers and ghastly, GHASTLY writing.
The beating begins from the word go. In the first scene itself, one gets a fair idea of the level of competence to expect after Omi (Divyendu Sharma) recites this poem: Kashmir na koi le sakta hai. Kashmir na koi de sakta hai. Kashmir mein sirf teen din, do raat ka package ho sakta hai. Joke? Erm.
Cut to Siddharth’s Jai nearly molesting a woman at an audition. Joke? He’s method acting.
And then there’s Seema (Taapsee Pannu), thank god they renamed Deepti Naval’s character, an annoying Bollywood stereotype who throws needless tantrums, smiles vacuously and dresses up like Tennis Barbie.
The setting has shifted from Delhi to Goa and the boys are jobless as ever and find a common ‘shikaar’ in Seema but expectedly get thrashed -- her beagle bites Omi’s butt, her grandmother (Bharti Achrekar) whips the life out of Jai.
Then there’s Mr Nice Guy (wearing a different set of glasses in every few scenes) Siddharth (Ali Zafar) who’s, frankly, no better than his chums. When not dancing about Goa with his cronies to bombastic songs (Sajid-Wajid), this unemployed bloke meets prospective brides on his mother’s insistence.
Somewhere in this wishy-washy scheme of things, Dhawan finds the space (and gall) to fit in a forced romance between a certain Joseph (Rishi Kapoor) and Josephine (Lilette Dubey) -- yes, the done-to-death gag that aspires to tickle over the lovey-dovey