October 2007
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Can they recreate the originality?


Can they recreate the originality?


I watched Ram Gopal Verma ki Aag two weeks after it was released. I wanted to understand why did the movie failed to make a mark. I got to realise a very wrong trend among the present directors like Ram Gopal Verma:  


o       This is an adaptation of Sholey. In order not to avoid the blame that RGV has copied an idea, he just went on to ‘reverse’ almost all the scenes. This results in failure of the ‘effect’.

o       I think RGV thinks he has perfectly decoded the formula of making a hit Bollywood movie. Following is his checklist:

a.       Take most popular actors

b.      Mix several irrelevant song and dance sequences.

c.      Decorate with one or two hot item numbers. Here also the offering is standardised. There are some standard poses and moves by actresses, which are very typical of RGV’s productions.

d.      Make use of camera angles well, very often scenes are taken from looking upwards.

e.      Very often some very uncommon sounds like chair moving, water dropping, etc are mixed to create an effect.


After watching the movie, I am not surprised that it failed. Because:


o       The ultimate realisation should be that we can copy the moves but can’t recreate the ‘magic’.

o       The movie has excellent performances by Susmita Sen in the roleof the widow daughter in law. But the movie lacks equal performance from others, except Ajay Devgan who tired his best.  

o       One very popular character in Sholey was Dharmendra and everyone just loved him for his role. In Aag, the role is acted by a new face, a model looking guy, who fails to create the magic, and is just average.

o       The chemistry between the characters of Sholey, e.g. Jay and Veeru, Gabbar and Thakur, Veeru and Basanti, etc have not been developed enough.


In a nutshell, this movie is another example of the situation when talented people think they have perfected the ‘art’ of being successful, while in reality there is no such art. Movies have been successful not only it has been acted and directed well but because ‘public’ or ‘viewers’ have liked them. Recreating the older movies creates a very different impression in the minds of the viewers, and there is always a fear that the viewer will recall the old movie’s scenes corresponding to each of the new one’s scenes. I have seen Umrao Jaan, and I liked it perhaps only because I have not watched the original one; otherwise the movie failed on the box office. Though I liked Don, it was because the charisma of Shahrukh Khan is of comparable standard to that of Amitabh. And in the Bollywood’s formula or masala movies, it is the charisma that pulls the movie through. Producers wanting to recreate old movies should select the ones whom the present generation has not watched or with whom the present generation has not been able to connect with. Otherwise I can say that the probability of failure of recreated movies is >80%.