Married to Sequels

Published On: 2013-02-06

Author: N Shatrujeet

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Married to Sequels



Source: TNN 

Date: December 31, 2006 

By: N Shatrujeet 



In filmmaking, there’s only one surefire way of leveraging a winning formula — never tamper with the basic storyline. It’s an art that Hollywood mastered ages ago, resulting in half-a-dozen Lethal Weapons, Rambos, Rockies and Die Hards, each installment a facsimile of its predecessor. Bollywood, however, never quite got the hang of it — remember Return of Jewel Thief? (Although, had it cared, Bollywood needn’t have looked further than Manmohan Desai to figure out how it works.) Till now. Today, sequels are Bollywood’s blushing bride, with Lage Raho Munnabhai, Krrish and Dhoom II, outperforming Munnabhai MBBS, Koi Mil Gaya and Dhoom at the box office by multiples of two or more. Dhoom II is still to run its full course, but news is out that there a Dhoom III in the pipeline, this time with Shah Rukh playing the villain... 



Dhoom II: When they planned a sequel to heist flick Ocean’s Eleven, they pulled the simplest trick in the book; they added a member to Danny Ocean’s famed team and called the movie Ocean’s Twelve. Dhoom II did one better — it threw in Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan, with a shared smooch for added effect. Twice the number of villains, twice the number of stunts, twice the number of the explosions, twice the number of ‘moonwalks in slow-motion’ by the heroes... But at the core, Dhoom II faithfully reprised every nuance of Dhoom, making sure that the audience wasn’t served up with anything unexpected or jarring. With gross earnings of Rs 75 crore, (industry estimates) Dhoom II has pulled off the kind of heist that would have made the movie’s villain proud. 


Lage Raho Munnabhai: If Munnabhai MBBS was about a soft-hearted bhai winning hearts through his rough-and-ready brand of problem solving, Lage Raho Munnabhai took the premise forward by introducing the bhai to simple Gandhian ideals like non-violence. Staying true to the first edition, Lage Raho keeps the bhai’s motivations constant — though this time the object of his affection just happens to be a new woman (with no explanation given for what became of his first lady love). His bum chum and alter ego carries on from where he left off, though his nemesis is now a new man (played by the same actor who played the villain in the first movie). Sounds pretty convoluted, but it isn’t — the situations, gags and clever one-liners don’t give the audience much time to ponder things anyway. For evidence you have the Rs 70 (industry estimates) crore that the movie’s made at the BO. Lage Raho... 



Krrish: This isn’t a sequel in the Munnabhai and Dhoom sense of the word, but in an industry that’s just discovered sequels, it’ll qualify as one anyway. The common threads are the hero-going-on-superhero who looks like his father from Koi Mil Gaya, the grandmother and the sci-fi plot (so what if there are no aliens in Krrish? Superheroes and megalomaniac scientists with world-altering plans are sci-fi). India’s so-called answer to Superman, Batman and other undies-on-the-outside crusaders, Krrish seared the box office with collections of over Rs 65 crore. One isn’t sure, but no one would be surprised to learn there’s a sequel to Krrish already underway... 


While sequels are new to Bollywood, remakes have been attempted before. Yes, Manmohan Desai was a master at that game too, but we specifically had Devdas in mind — it’s a different matter that it took two remakes for people to finally figure that some things are best left untouched. That, however, hasn’t served as a significant deterrent, as filmmakers are threatening to remake everything from Sahib, Biwi Aur Ghulam to Sholay. 


Don: The verdict over who makes for a better Don — Amitabh Bachchan or Shah Rukh Khan — is split along predictable lines. But funnily enough, in the debate over the lead actors, no one seems to have questioned who made a better Don — Chandra Barot or Farhan Akhtar. But that, maybe, is beside the point, what with the remake minting Rs 50 crore at the BO. And with talk of Don now having a sequel — what with that open-ended ending — the movie might just manage freeing itself of the shackles of its original. Umrao Jaan: This remake of Muzaffar Ali’s classic could give Titanic — the ship, not the movie — a run for its money any given Friday. And while opinion about who made a better Don might have been divided, there is complete unanimity over who made a superior courtesan. The sequel fever may be catching, but we know one movie that’s rendered itself immune to that prospect. Mercifully.