11. Zanjeer. [Zanjeer]
Recycling classics for the new generation sounds sensible, like Macbeth set in modern day New York sounds sensible; so when a remake for Zanjeer was announced, everyone was mildly amused, and let’s admit it, even hopeful.
We expected a movie that would at the very least entertain us, if not live up to the original’s stature. Turns out, it’s a sin to expect anything other than stupidity from Bollywood, as they didn’t even deliver on entertainment.
Compared to Amitabh Bachhan, Ram Charan looks almost comic in his snug-fit, angry avatar. As for the films downfalls… Script, pacing, camera, cinematography (Do Bollywood directors, the commercial ones, even know what this word means? )… The list goes on and on, until every aspect of film-making is taken into account.
Zanjeer was thoroughly mediocre at its best; unnecessary at its worst.
10. Ghajini. [Memento]
Christopher Nolan peaked with his directorial technicality when he made Memento, a movie so clever, it used non linear storytelling to simulate amnesia.
Clearly, it would have been a sin on our part to expect anything near the technical genius of this movie from an Indian remake. But we did dare hope that we will get an Indian version that, sans the genius technicality, will provide us with two hours of mind bending thrill.
In a story that will become familiar as this list goes on, turns out, it was too much to expect.
What we got instead was a movie that resembled DDLJ-noir, full of script sins, extended song takes and Asin, anti-emoting. While Amir Khan acted rather decently, the film’s focus on tragedy rather than the thrill of a cerebral chase is what bought Ghajini down.
It could have been great; but like many before and after it, Ghajini was crippled by sheer mediocrity.
9. God Tussi Great Ho. [Bruce Almighty]
While the original film, while not being a cinematic masterpiece, was funny and somewhat insightful, GTGH takes the concept and garnishes it with home made desi masala, essentially ruining it.
Salman Khan tries to pull a Jim Carrey, and while he is failing miserably at that, the plot speeds up and slows down randomly, making it really hard to care.
While GTGH is certainly better than it’s rather sinful cousins higher up on this list, it still remains an eye sore.
8. Karzzz. [Karz]
While Bollywood continues to impale old classics with the toxic scepter of a remake, the scepter does not get longer or more poisonous than it did with the remake of the Rishi Kapoor classic, Karz.
While film-making sins such as a bad script, zero cinematography and more importantly, zero acting were significantly responsible for the catastrophic response, it was Himesh Reshamiya reprising the role of Rishi Kapoor that truly sinked the ship.
Now Himesh Reshamiya might be a good composer; he might even be a good singer, but as an actor, he is good in the same way a train wreck is good.
Seriously, look at that poster again.
Karzzz flopped, hysterically; and for a good reason.
7. Players. [The Italian Job]
The Italian Job was a superb thriller. Players is not.
The Italian Job was about a personal vendetta. Players is about bling.
The Italian Job was about style. Players is about Abhishek Bacchan’s paunch.
The Italian Job was smart. Players is just… dumb.
And that just about sums everything up.
6. Fool and Final. [Snatch]
‘Inspired’ from the cult classic, Snatch, Fool and Final is a movie Shahid Kapoor surely regrets doing. While keeping the framework of the original, it has all the trappings of an emotional sob-fest, which has lately come to define Indian Cinema, and the absence of which was what made the original so funny.
Reprising the role of Jason Statham from the original is Shahid Kapoor, who through acting that can be described as being ill, almost single-handedly bought the movie down if it had not been for Sunny Deol, who by bringing elements of acting which were considered rad in the seventies and which would be considered rather churlish nowadays; makes sure that the movie is as boring as the original was funny.
Kudos to Shahid, Sunny and Co. It takes real genius to destroy a movie like Snatch.
5. Ek Villain. [I saw the Devil]
Ek Villain represented a new turn in Indian cinema. The last time someone glorified a psychopath in Hindi movies was in Shahrukh Khan’s Darr. So Ek Villain was supposed to represent a change from the smile-infected average Hindi rom-com…. Only that it didn’t.
While Shraddha Kapoor gets ganked early on in the movie (Thankfully. To think she was more tolerable in Aashiqui 2. ), the rest of the film concerns itself with how her ex-gunda (This apparently makes him invincible. We love Bollywood cliches.) exacts vengeance on Ritesh Deshmukh, the villain who drives screwdrivers through the windpipes of women who piss him off.
While a villain this violent is truly a first for Indian cinema, he is portrayed with broad sketches instead of employing a focused, obsessive attention to his persona; which usually ensures a great villain, as is evident from I saw the Devil.
I saw the Devil is a commentary on morality, virtue and nihilism. While all Ek Villain amounts to be in the face of its eminent inspiration, is a tad bit violent and rather laughable.
4. Zinda. [Oldboy]
Zinda would not be so high up on our list if it hadn’t been for the movie it was inspired from. It is not Zinda’s mediocrity that lands it here, no. It is its inspiration’s eminence.
If you haven’t watched Oldboy, and you probably haven’t, you might even like the movie. Call it a brave effort on the part of Hindi cinema to come up with something different in a genre, where limited by the narrow vision of our directors, Bollywood doles out Race 2 in the name of a thriller.
However, on the off chance that you have seen Oldboy, get ready to take your opinion on Bollywood a notch lower as you see the themes you loved about the original movie get raped viciously by Bollywood, making an otherwise intense movie downright hilarious.
That and the flimsy acting by both leads lends Zinda the bronze suite in our Worst Remakes Hall of Fame. Oh, and do watch Oldboy. Thank us later.
3. Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag. [Sholay]
RGVKA would be on the top of our list if it weren’t for a glorious, glorious remake, to which we will come in a moment.
So yeah, RGVKA. What is it exactly? Is its existence justified? Does it present us with a new perspective on the original?
You would like to think so. But the sad truth is, RGVKA murdered an all time Hindi classic. Sholay was about love, injustice and most importantly, friendship. Compare that to RGVKA, which is about… Well, it’s kind of the same thing, just infinitely worse.
It has moments that make you laugh apathetically, moments that make you sleep apathetically and most importantly, it has Amitabh Bacchan digging his nose; a moment none of us can ever un-see.
Stay clear of this movie.
2. Fight Club. [Fight Club]
There are movies. Then there are remakes. After that, there are bad remakes.
And then there’s Fight Club. If you have watched the original fight club and like any self-respecting man, loved it; then, on no account WHATSOEVER, watch this movie. Paroxysms of physical pain won’t be your only concern as rather alarmingly, your soul will try to rip itself live from your body, seeking shelter in some ethereal purgatory, dying; to cleanse itself of the sin it just committed.
Mere words cannot describe this remake, no. Mortals have tried, of course; only to be gently reminded of their own mortality in the face of an indifferent universe; or Fight Club, for that matter.
We will try. We’ll fail, of course; but with any luck, you‘ll stay clear of this movie.
Fight Club follows the story of… well, who cares? You shouldn’t, anyway.
So there are three guys, college friends who do everything a post-DDLJ India expects cool, young Indian college studs to do. They hang out, smoke cigarettes, make veiled homophobic jokes and one random day, photogenic male lead #1 says:
“Ae Lucky! Chal ek Fight Club chaalu karte hai yaar! *laughs* ”
And that’s that.
However, if one were to present a more concrete dissertation of what the movie is; one could say that the Hindi remake of Fight Club deals with themes like friendship, bitches, gangs and long hair-cuts. As compared to the themes the original Fight Club deals with, which include:
*Nihilism *Societal Decay *Urbanization *Consumerism *Spirituality *Meaphysics *Psyche *Will to Power *Nietzschean ethics *Morality *Cults *Destructive Constructivism
Just your average, ‘based’ on a foregin script, essence-retained Bollywood remake, eh?
Yeah. That’s what we thought.