Chashme Baddoor: No ‘Chamak’ in this remake

Those of us who cherish the innocent 1980s of Farooque Shaikh & Sai Paranjpe and loved Deepti Naval as “Ms. Chamko” in the original Chashme Buddoor, the remake of the film is just not for us.

I went to watch the movie yesterday with two of my oldest  friends in Mumbai. So there we were, a group of three friends watching another group of three friends (Ali Zafar, Divyendu Sharma and Siddharth) on screen. I was reprimanded several times by my friends as I kept comparing the remake with the original while the show was on. My friend Rahul even asked me to shut up and watch the movie without being critical as he kept getting hysterical with bouts of laughter.

Laughter is indeed the best medicine for many of our woes and comedy is a genre through which many films have enthralled the audiences, but directors, like David Dhawan, should not always rely on slapstick to  keep their cash registers ringing. The remake by Dhawan is crass and despite not being a long film by Bollywood standards, it starts feeling stretched post the interval.

For the benefit of those who have not seen the original, the film is a story of three friends who prey (Divyendu’s character calls her ‘shikaar’) upon a pretty young thing. Two of the guys fail miserably at wooing the girl while the third succeeds, then the two dejected lovers scheme and plot to separate the lovers. It is a comedy and even in the remake there are a few sequences which indeed get a few laughs but that is all about it.

Some of the younger audiences may like the film as some dialogues and the lyrics of some songs (Har ek friend Kamina hotaa hai) may find a resonance with them. Divyendu has got the maximum number of punches and he delivers all of them well, managing to get big laughs. He is without a doubt the best part in the film.

It is not a big-budget movie, therefore, recovering the investment will not be difficult. Over the next week be prepared to see a number of ‘Kamina Hit’ advertisements splashed in tabloids and entertainment supplements of newspapers. However, for me the remake did not have any of the shine of Ms. Chamko from the original

PERSONAL NOTE:  Almost a decade back around this time in the year, three boys were travelling to Pune from New Delhi in the Sleeper Coach of an Express train. The destination was Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). The institute had re-started its acting course after 25 years and the boys were aspirants to get through to the hallowed portals of Prabhat Studio, housed in the FTII campus. During the course of conversation in the train, it was revealed that two of the boys had already got an admission in the National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi.

Over the next four days, after rigorous examinations, one of the boys got through FTII. The other joined NSD and became an actor; Mohammed Zeeshan has in the last three years, acted in many hit movies.

In 2004, FTII had appointed Ravi Baswani as the Course Director for Acting, who quit the job a year later under unknown circumstances. Ravi Baswani had acted in the original Chashme Buddoor. 

A decade later, one of his students acted in the remake of the film. The student who had started a successful journey from Delhi to FTII in 2004 was Divyendu Sharma, who is the only saving grace in the remake.

The third passenger with Zeeshan and Divyendu in the train was me. After watching the remake last evening, I wondered how Ravi Baswani would have reacted. RIP Sir.