Despite the favourable reviews David Dhawan’s official remake, ‘Chashme Baddoor’ has garnered, fans of the cult 1981 original remain divided whether such a dilution of a classic was justified, or even necessary.
Emirates 24|7 spoke to three fans in a tête-à-tête, taking them on a trip down memory lane to relive the nostalgia that has drawn a two generations of fans to the Sai Paranjpye-directed masterpiece:
Kanta Tikamadas is a Dubai-based homemaker, who calls ‘Chashme Buddoor’ a “delight for the senses.”
The 70-year-old recalled seeing the film with her late husband in the Bur Dubai’s old Plaza Cinema, which finally shut its doors several years ago in wake of the multiplex boom in the city.
“Back in the ’80s, the social scene in Dubai was very limited. If we weren’t picnicking in Fujairah, then the weekends would find the very small expat community in the cinemas,” she recalled. “It was during such an outing the ‘Chashme Buddoor’ had come to the screens here.
“When it had released, I don’t think even the filmmakers or the cast themselves had any idea what they had managed to pull off.”
Tikamdas says that the lead actor Farooq Sheikh really drew her to the film at first.
“I think ‘Noorie’ had just released with Farooq as the hero; there was such a charming, innocent quality in him that actors of today simply cannot compare, especially if you look at that new boy who is essaying his role in the remake [Pakistani singer/actor Ali Zafar].”
Tikamdas, who says she has seen the film at least five to six times since on the telly, added: “We laughed till we had tears running down our face, especially when Deepti Naval came onto the screen as Ms Chamku, the salesperson for the washing detergent.
“There was such innocent humour in those moments, a sense of romance between the actors that simply cannot be matched in the item number craze we see in films today.”
The 47-year-old Achnit Gill recalls her first memory of ‘Chashme Buddoor’ saying: “I was probably in my teens when the film first released. Truth is my memory of the film comes much later, when I saw it for the first time on VHS.
“I think it was the first time I actually sat through an entire Bollywood film, laughing till I cried. Ms Chamku, of course, remains my most favourite seen, but there’s a telling moment in ‘Chashme Buddoor’ when Ravi Baswani pretends to be a successful film director, looking for a new lead in Deepti Naval.
“That dream song sequence just hit the hearts of many young hopefuls like myself, who went through a phase in life, yearning to be an actress.
“I would dance to that sequence for months in front of the mirror.”
Gill, who also saw the David Dhawan version, ‘Chashme Baddoor’ earlier this week, said she was “disappointed” with what has become of Bollywood of late.
“It was shameful, just awful to see the new take on the classic,” she said.
“Back then, the comedy was witty, taut and funny; now it’s all about sexual innuendo and double meaning dialogues. Come on people, if you are making a film for the masses, maybe it’s time you ask them what should be made first.”
M Khan, a 55-year-old businessman, agreed with Gill, saying: “It seems, these days all Bollywood wants to do is remake a classic and piggy back on the success of its predecessor. This is exactly what David Dhawan has also attempted.
“I sympathise with stars such as Farooq Sheikh, who are forced to endure the mockery that is made out of their hard earned efforts to produce good cinema.
“First, his ‘Umrao Jaan’ was Bollywood-ised with Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, and now the formula has been used on ‘Chashme Buddoor’.”
Khan continued: “I will never forget that scene in the film, when Vandana Pathak, who plays Deepti Naval’s grandmother in the film, walks into the boys’ home and flits through a dog-eared copy of ‘Playboy’ magazine.
“That scene probably connected with every single budding boy who has some secret stash hidden away in his room.
“That was humour in realism that is recalled even today. The kind of films we watch now are forgotten 10 minutes after you have walked out of the cinema. But, I guess that’s the decade we are living in today.”