Will Aamir Khan rock or ruin the Tom Hanks starrer ‘Forrest Gump’?
Our question for the Indian remake of the American classic though is, seriously, but why?
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I like Aamir Khan, the actor. When he is acting, that is. Needless to say (but I will still say it for good measure), films like Dhoom 3 and Thugs Of Hindostan don’t count.
Dangal, on the other hand, is memorable.
So, when I read the news of Aamir Khan remaking the Tom Hanks starrer Forrest Gump, I am equal parts nervous and anxious. And it is a terrible feeling.
Inarguably, if there’s one person who can pull this feat off, it is Aamir Khan. Reportedly, Aamir plans to lose 20 kg to fit into — quite literally — this role. And when Aamir makes this sort of a commitment, you believe him. You know woh apni bhi nahin sunega.
The film will be helmed by Advait Chandan of Secret Superstar-fame. And that is good — Advait did a fabulous job in the Zaira Wasim-starrer, handling the subject with the right amount of sensitivity. Naturally, he brings all that to the table when he sits down to direct the Forrest Gump remake as well.
"Laal Singh Chaddha? That's my name? Really?" (Source: YouTube screengrab. Art: DailyO)
And then, I read that the film is named Laal Singh Chaddha.
May Day! May Day!
First of all, how do you plan to translate a film like Forrest Gump, so steeped in Americanness, into an Indian milieu anyway?
Forrest is a slow-witted but a kind-hearted man, who — unwittingly so — ‘runs’ through several historical events that define the history of the United States. Personalities interspersed with landmark events like the Vietnam War or the assassination of the Kennedy brothers run parallel to Forrest’s life story. Will these events of US history be replaced with that of Indian history? Are we looking at a Laal Singh Chaddha witnessing the assassination of say, Mahatma Gandhi, or running past the Kargil War?
The assassination of Gandhiji happened in 1948, while the Kargil War happened in 1999. That’s 51 years right there — and Laal Singh Chaddha is already too old to ‘run’ any more.
Of course, there are elements from the film that have already been seamlessly adapted into Indian cinema. The “run Forrest, run” line, for instance, is uncannily similar to “Bhaag, Milkha, bhaag” from the Farhan Akhtar starrer Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, both in content and context.
The scene where Forrest runs and his leg braces break and fall off is similar to any 70s Bollywood film where any random little boy is being chased — and he turns into Amitabh Bachchan. Voila!
Then, there is the bench scene that was ridiculously reinterpreted in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, with Shah Rukh Khan and young Laddu — and then, eventually older Laddu, aka Hrithik Roshan, are sharing a bench. Everyone knows that we love Laddu, err..... that scene.
So, from the look of it, the film has been adapted already — successfully or unsuccessfully is a matter of debate.
Is this re-attempt even needed? Only time can tell.
All we know is that 'Run, Laal Singh Chaddha, run' will most definitely run at the box office — all thanks to the might of Aamir Khan. Sans those 20 kgs.