Saturday, May 20, 2006

Dear Farhan,

I am a big fan of your dad's - and yours too! I am sure you have heard this a million times but I have to tell you all the jokes of Dil Chahta Hain actually happened to me and my friends! (Especially, the "gehri dosti"one..)

So, as a fan, I have to tell you - even at the risk of being too late - PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DON'T REMAKE 'DON'.

As I am writing this, Don is happening on SET Max and the more I see the film, the more I realise the futility of the remake. And it has nothing to do with you...

You have done your best. You have (almost) matched the star power of the lead pair with SRK and Piggy Chops. You have out-done Helen with Kareena. Let's not get into the Pran-Arjun Rampal bit but then, you will get a lot of babes to come in and see Arjun. Pran, at the best of times, was never a chick magnet!

But Farhaan, what will you do with the bit players?
Who will play Shakaal - the bald-headed goon - the one which Shetty played with (unintended?) perfection?
In today's age of extras (oops, junior artistes!) with well-toned abs, where - in God's name - will you find the starving look of Kaka, the guy who played Pran's cell-mate?
And that gang of thieves, who looked right out of Indrajal Comics... Mac (as Mac! How imaginative!), Kamal Kapoor (as Narang in horrible red polo-necks!) and the motley crew!
Is there an equivalent of the self-righteous Satyen Kappu, as the semi-martyred police officer?
And and and... IFTEKHAR? Where will you get an actor the thin-ness of whose waist matches that of his moustache? Has there ever been a better DSP than him?

Your dad was heard saying that Don was a great script but it suffered from a tight budget... and there could be space for improvement. But the lack of budget - and constraints thereof - was the reason that the movie is so brilliantly goofy and has all the ingredients for repeated viewings!

It is because of this tight budget that the climax takes place in a graveyard!! With millions of goons jumping all over tombstones and a full-fledged burning truck bang in the middle of the cemetery, ain't I glad that the movie happened before the times of The Da Vinci Code?
Costume budgets ensure that AB is in a spotted waist-coat all through the second half of the film. But that is part of the plot! What is completely inexplicable is when Pran wears black trousers & shirt, along with a white belt! All through the movie. (Except when he tight-rope-walking... then he wears really clunky black briefs on top of his white leotards!)
And when he gets the diary, he says (in his trademark leery tone), "Kaka, yeh diary nahin. Bank of Smuggler Limited ka chequebook (pronounced: Chekk-bookk) hain..."
The most memorable chase in the movie happens as AB runs through a dhobi-mandi, zig-zagging through clothes-lines. A free location.
And in the coolest title-song of all times, in between AB's groovy moves, we have repeated shots of the same Arab sheikh, and at all times, he is doing exactly the same gesture of kissing-fingertips-saying-wallah. (You will have to see it to see what I mean!) Too much budget would have meant Chandra Barot wouldn't have needed these kind of pack shots to fill in a song... and no child of my generation would have ever learnt how Arabs expressed appreciation!
But somehow, these never distracted the plot... they only made the movie more memorable!

All in all, classics need to be left alone... with all their goofy-ness and goose-bumps intact!
Don't get carried away by RamGopal Verma. He is only getting finance for the remake of James by talking about Sholay! He will never make it!

Love -

Psst, do you think I should tell everyone that Inspector Malik is the real bad guy?
Oh damn...

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