Bollywood has always had the nasty habit of ‘taking inspiration’ if you must say, from Hollywood.
Now this inspiration is nothing more than literally taking the entire concept, script, and everything in between, putting just the slight bit of Indian masala on it and then releasing it.
Since the past decade or so, Indians which include critics and audicne alike, have been more than ready to call out Bollywood on this habit of its.
Partner, Salaam-e-Ishq, Heyy Babyy, Welcome, Race, U Me aur Hum, Dostana, God Tussi Great Ho and well, if I got down to naming all of them then the entire article will be of those names only.
But according to me, these were the most blatant rip-offs where they did not even try to change anything and still bald-faced released it as if we were idiotic morons who wouldn’t know better.
In the past couple of years though, the embarrassment must have gotten to be too much for Bollywood and now they have devised a very clever (according to them) way of still taking from Hollywood but doing it in a more legalised manner.
Official Indian adaptation.
Yes people, just putting this tag before the title, getting the rights and making a big deal of how we are making it for the Indian audience is more than enough to cover the fact that we are essentially again copying another Hollywood movie since we all have apparently run out of ideas.
Adaptation, Adaaptions… Adaptations Everywhere:
I believe and correct me if I’m wrong, but this whole, taking the official rights and making an Indian adaptation started from Karan Johar’s god-awful film ‘We Are Family’ that was the official remake of the 1998 Hollywood film ‘Stepmom’.
And while it was touted as a more indianised version of it and that it would be for the Indian audience however the only thing Indian about it was the major use of glycerin and the actors.
After that we had a few more official remakes like Bang Bang which was taken from the terrible Knight and Day movie starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.
And now we have the official adaptation of Chef which will be starring Saif Ali Khan and be placed in Kochi.
Might Have A Silver Lining:
Okay, so I love love love the movie Chef, it is easily one of my most favourite movies and not just because it looks simply delicious.
The acting, the plot all although not really that new, the way it was executed and how intimate it all seemed just made it a really feel good movie.
And while I have read that the director of Airlift success Raja Krishna Menon will be just keeping the central aspect same but will change the rest to suit the Indian audience, I do not really see how or what exactly can he change that will lend it something different.
Except of course, the food.
Where the American movie focused on more Cuban flavours, the Indian version will be about the Malayali and Kochi flavours.
So the only silver lining I hope to see from this adaptation will be the food that will be given light.
Signing off I would like to say that, I do not feel there is anything wrong with making an Indian adaptation of an international film. But what is the point of making a remake of a generic film like Chef which sort of can be fitted into any society and culture as it does not deal only with American or western problems.
What I would love to see happen is if Indian makers would adapt lesser known or smaller films which Indian audience is not aware of. That would be the best use of a remake.
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