x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Bollywood classic comedy Chashme Baddoor gets double restoration

We talk to the director and stars of the new Bollywood film Chashme Baddoor.

A scene from David Dhawan's Chashme Baddoor, which is set in Goa as opposed to the 1981 original that was set in Delhi. Courtesy Viacom 18 Motion Pictures;
A scene from David Dhawan's Chashme Baddoor, which is set in Goa as opposed to the 1981 original that was set in Delhi. Courtesy Viacom 18 Motion Pictures;

“This is not just Chashme Baddoor 2.0 – this is David Dhawan 2.0,” says Taapsee Pannu, the leading lady of the filmmaker Dhawan’s latest project.

The original Chashme Baddoor, released in 1981 and titled Chashme Buddoor, was a romantic comedy that revolved around three best friends – Siddharth (Farooq Shaikh), Omi (Rakesh Bedi) and Jai (Ravi Baswani) – and the havoc Neha (Deepti Naval) creates when she enters their life. A digitally restored version is being re-released today alongside Dhawan’s remake, which stars Ali Zafar, Siddharth and Divyendu Sharma as the three friends.

“It is a huge undertaking to remake a 1980s classic,” says Zafar. “You will get to see a modern-day retelling of a classic story and you will get to see a different side of David Dhawan as director.”

Dhawan, who has directed films since 1989 featuring superstars such as Govinda, Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Karisma Kapoor and Katrina Kaif, specialises in situational comedies. The subtle comic elements of Chashme Buddoor is what sparked the idea of a remake.

“I made some changes in the film. It is not a scene-by-scene remake, but I have stayed true to the soul,” Dhawan said at a press conference organised by Dream Advertising and Ministry of Events. “The original film was set in Delhi, but I have set mine in Goa, because Goa is just such a romantic place.”

“I have grown up watching Dhawan’s films. I used to dance to Sona Kitna Sona Hai. To make my Bollywood debut under his wing is like a dream come true,” says Pannu, a model-turned-actress who has already made her mark in the Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam film industries.

She recalls days spent on the set: “You would think that working with three boys and a male director would mean that the only girl is pampered like a princess, but no such luck for me. It took them a few days to realise that there is actually a girl on set and even then I was still more like one of the boys.”

Zafar, a Pakistani singer and actor who has found favour in Bollywood, echoes Pannu’s sentiments of being honoured to work with Dhawan. He points out that he has not only acted in the film but also lent his voice to the soundtrack. It didn’t take a lot of coaxing to get him to sing a few strains from the film’s song Dhichkyaaon Doom Doom.

Siddharth reveals that he didn’t even need to know which character he was playing in the film before he agreed to do it.

“When David approached me with the idea, I
immediately said yes,” says the actor, producer and playback singer who got Bollywood audiences to take notice of him in the 2006 film Rang De

Meanwhile, Sharma laments that he’s “getting a reputation for being the guy who never gets the girl”, recalling his on-screen fate in his 2011 Bollywood debut, Pyaar Ka Punchnama. “I won’t reveal if that’s what happens in this film, but even if it does, it’s OK – I have the girl that matters,” he says, flashing his wedding ring.

Both versions of the movie - the remake by David Dhawan and the digitally remastered 1981 original - are out in UAE cinemas today


Digitally remastering the 1981 Chashme Buddoor

On Monday, Dream Advertising and Ministry of Events organised a special screening of the digitally restored Chashme Buddoor, which was attended by two of the film's stars - the veteran actors Deepti Naval and Farooq Shaikh. Both were visibly jubilant at the occasion. "Chashme Buddoor has never faded from the public's mind," said Naval. "Its timeless appeal means that it will be loved for many more years to come." Naval, who was an industry newbie when she appeared in Chashme Buddoor, fondly recalled how the entire cast and crew made her feel at ease and suggested that it was this positive attitude on the sets that translated to the screen - the actors' great chemistry that made the film a hit. Shaikh remarked that he was not surprised that the film was remade - after all, popularity incites inspiration.

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