You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Judwaa 2, Coolie No 1. Why is David Dhawan remaking his films? Are we back to the 90s?

India Today logo India Today 12/08/2019 Lakshana N Palat

Naseeruddin Shah wisely said that films that should have been made are being remade. It's 2019 and these words ring truer than ever. David Dhawan is remaking his 1995 film Coolie No 1, with son Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan. The first-look poster just hit the web and fans are keen to see what new flavour the Dhawans can bring to the film the second time around. Will the Dhawans address the glaring misogyny and change it in this remake?

Varun Dhawan, Varun Dhawan posing for the camera: After Judwaa 2, David Dhawan has decided to remake his 90's blockbuster Coolie No. 1, with Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan. After Judwaa 2, David Dhawan has decided to remake his 90's blockbuster Coolie No. 1, with Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan.

Going by the experience of Judwaa 2 and David Dhawan's previous interviews, let's not hope for too much.

THE ORIGINAL COOLIE NO 1

The original Coolie No 1 was itself a remake of the 1991 Telugu film of the same name. The story revolved around a matchmaker (Sadashiv Amrapurkar), who wishes to take revenge on a landlord Hoshiyar Chand (Kader Khan), as he had once humiliated him. He gets a coolie (Govinda) to pretend to be a rich man and gets him married off to Hoshiyar's daughter Malti (Karisma Kapoor). That's pretty much the long and short of the woman's role in the film. There's a jarring scene where men want to sexually harass Malti by taking her mangalsutra, and the scene turns into a comedy. The woman bleats that it is her mangalsutra, and then rushes away while the man beats up the goons. This was the era when Govinda's films could get away with misogyny under the garb of 'good fun'.

A BIWI NO 1 REMAKE?

For a long time, there was much discussion about a Biwi No 1 remake. The original film starred Karisma Kapoor, Salman Khan, Sushmita Sen and Anil Kapoor among others in the lead roles. It revolved around the perfect housewife (Karisma), who discovers that her husband (Salman) is having an affair with a glamorous model. And so, she sets out to trouble him and break up his relationship till he realises that she was the only person who was good for him. It's only years later when you look at these films that you see the glaring problems in them. Unfortunately, back in the 90s, these films were seen as masala entertainers and catapulted the actors to astronomical heights of fame.

It was the 90s, understood. But these films should have been left in the 90s. Why are they being remade? Or to put it differently, why is the same mistake being committed again?

'LEAVE YOUR BRAINS AT HOME'

Normally, there is the age-old tagline attached to David Dhawan's films: "leave your brains at home". Or another personal favourite, "His films are not meant to be taken seriously." But unfortunately, his regressive 90s' films that are being remade for today's audience, are pretty much the same. Judwaa 2, a 2017 film, perpetuated everything that was wrong in society in the form of vulgar comedy, with glamorous ladies reduced to background roles, because that's what is believed to sell and is fed to the audience. And that's a sad truth.

Judwaa 2 was a roaring success and crossed Rs 200 crore at the box office. This was rather surprising as one might have hoped for some change since it was the period of #MeToo, the time when Pink brought about discussions and debates on consent and feminist debates. One would have hoped that in the era where cinema is supposedly entering a "golden phase" and baffling terms like "content is king" or "women-centric films" are being bandied about, you might get something different.

Yet, Judwaa 2 was warmly received and every glaring issue from the original - down to spanking or forcibly kissing women - found their way back to the remake. There was not an iota of change.

Women continued to be submissive and stupid, and were waiting for men to make unwanted passes at them at any time of day, be it at pizza parlours or in supermarkets. What's worse is that when Taapsee Pannu's character tried to make a complaint to her mother about Varun trying to molest her, her mother continued to tease her. David Dhawan tried to keep up with the times by introducing a scene were Varun tries to beat up guys for "being molesty". That's it.

In 1997, what David Dhawan could pass off as 'fun', in 2017, it stuck out like a sore thumb, leaving women disturbed, if not downright offended.

Also Watch: Coolie No 1 adaptation a new film David Dhawan

UP NEXT
UP NEXT

(Provided by IANS)

It's clear that David Dhawan hasn't changed his approach to films and has airily dismissed all critics who bashed his Judwaa 2. There's just more glitz and glam and more item dances. In fact, Dhawan said in 2017 when Judwaa 2 was criticised, "Let the critics have their fun. God bless them. They are so cut off from the real India. If they were right and I was wrong, I would not be making films any more. I'd have been booed out of business by now."

He added, "Judwaa 2 is my 45th film... need I say anything more? To those out there who want to know why I don't change my style of on-screen comedy, my argument is simple: chalti gadi ka bonnet nahin kholte (you don't open the bonnet of a moving car). When my so-called formula is being accepted so wholeheartedly, why would I want to change my style of filmmaking? Every filmmaker has a signature stamp that you see in all his films. Would you have asked the late Manmohan Desai to change his pattern of filmmaking in spite of all his films being a success?"

How do you fight that logic? The recent success of Kabir Singh is yet another slap across the face of any such person who might have thought Hindi cinema had crawled out of its misogynistic abyss, into the daylight of reason and logic. But no.

Unseen photos of Bollywood stars

More from India Today

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon