Nautanki - Star Plus

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Nautanki Baz

You know the good thing about sequels? They're better than remakes.

Bollywood is in franchise mode, with every half-successful film going on to spinoff multiple sequels -- usually following the law of diminishing returns.

We thought it'd be fun to look at five great films and see how modern-day filmmakers could ideally pitch their sequels to producers keen for a quick buck.

1) Dilwale Dulhaniya Chhod Jayenge --
Simran's bored. It's been a dozen years, and she's caught between husband and father-in-law continuing to chant Pucci-Lola-Boogey-Cola, (the names of the four Malhotra daughters, btw) still slapping each other with eager high-fives.

Her daddy hadn't quite raised her for ribaldry, and while she's okay with a spot of fun, she wishes Raj would occasionally tuck his shirt in all the way.

In this day and age, when even original castmember Karan Johar explores broken marriages, a cheekily written Raj-Simran divorce dramedy has blockbuster written all over it.

2) Aur Andaz Apna Apna --
There are a million ways this one could begin, really. Teja escapes from prison, dons a fake beard, and enters the Bajaj household pretending to be a long-lost uncle. Ram Gopal Bajaj gets taken in, but feels something's amiss - especially since the newfound chachaji keeps insisting millions be spent on a poultry farm. Oh! well.

Meanwhile, CrimeMaster GoGo has travelled far and wide. After knocking on many chawl doors to see if children indeed bawl at the mention of his name, and realizing the answer is a no, he heads out to seek Amar-Prem. As for those two, one has lost his hair and the other has shaved his head. What solidarity, yaar.

3) Dil Chahta Hai To Chahne De ---
Things didn't turn out all that sunny, really. Sid realizes that sharing a smile just before the end credits really isn't enough, and he hasn't found a new soulmate after all. He falls into alcoholism, staring bleary-eyed at paintings of his dearly departed Tara. The other two couples, initially supportive, soon realise he's really quite the party pooper, and stop calling him over.

Meanwhile, Akash is kinda getting tired of Shalini dragging him to operas -- especially now that bearded Bollywood film-makers are making them. As for Pooja, she wonders whether red heart shaped balloons were as painful in comparison to a lover who emblazons her name across his forearm. Sigh.

4) D-D-Darr: The Return --
imagine, if you will, the RGV treatment for this one.

Kiran is alone at her suburban Mumbai home one afternoon when the phone rings. Her eyes pop open wide and the phone drops from her hand -- the caller is Rahul's once-imagined mother, asking about her son and rainy boat-rides. Kiran hangs up but is shaken.

By the time Sunil gets home from an evening spent with his father, he realizes Kiran has begun to stammer in fear. Her voice also sounds uncannily like Rahul -- or is that just because of all the Bagpiper he's had?

What happens next? The lights go out, the sound effects are cranked up a few dozen notches, and there is a knock on that door. Oo-er.

5) The 20:20 Lagaan Cup --
The inhabitants of the little village of Champaner, after skimping out on paying taxes for three years owing to a rather clever bit of cricket betting, now find themselves in another tax crunch -- not to mention various miscellaneous bullock costs and tilling bills.

The Bhuwan XI, not used to paying, starts out as the favourite team, but the English bring about a bunch of Aussies and Kiwis and suddenly there is chaos among the locals -- especially with their star spinner finding it hard to adapt to the quicker, more sponsor-friendly new format made so that the tournament can end inside of a week.

Equally tricky is the limited-minutes format for original director Ashutosh Gowariker, so Aamir Khan takes on the mantle this time around. Is the new wicket-keeper, however, too young to play?

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