When 'Okkadu' became 'Tevar' 12 years after its release
Modern film directors are refreshing with their storylines but traditional and status quoist at the same time with their narrations and treatments
Modern film directors are refreshing with their storylines but traditional and status quoist at the same time with their narrations and treatments. Director Gunasekhar, who made 'Okkadu' in 2003is one such person.
His film story is of a Kabaddi player who chases his dream and wins against all odds. Yet, he packages the sports theme in a commercial framework, replete with religious politics, criminal antics and the super heroism of Mahesh Babu, whose seventh film it was.
Pairing the Prince with Bhoomika Chawla and sprinkling the star cast with popular names like Prakash Raj, whose villainy was gratingly effective, the film went on to be a major success at the box-office, spawning remakes in many languages from neighbouring Tamil to distant Bengali.
12 years after the film joined the ranks of roaring commercial hits, Amit Sharma directed the Hindi remake- Tevar - with Arjun Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha in the lead. It also had a guest appearance of ShrutiHaasan for a song sequence. It was a family production of the hero, as his father Boney Kapoor bankrolled it.
If the Telugu original was remembered for its foot-tapping songs, blistering action sequences and a delicate, goofy love story between the lead pair which fell into place satisfying the class and mass audiences, the Hindi film went horribly wrong, doing this with Arjun Kapoor.
Primarily, the stars put together were all known names by then with ManojBajpayee doing a decent job of matching Prakash Raj's villainous antics in Telugu. It was the sixth release of Arjun Kapoor, having made his debut three years earlier with ' Ishqzaade' which gave him a great slot among the B and C audiences of small-town India, a great booster shot for debutante heroes.
The director, who made his bow in the big world of Hindi cinema with this film just could not carry the zing and steady pace of the original into Telugu, which was a loose take-off on badminton star Pullela Gopichand defying his father to become a badminton player. Arjun's semi-urban image could not carry the same momentum for sure.
The heroine Sonakshi Sinha, having been launched in 2010, had by then completed 15 films, including a few critically appreciated ones. Her pairing was for the first time with Arjun Kapoor and the combo did not appeal all that well to the audience, who could not consider it a sports action film, which Mahesh Babu's flick had emerged as.
As much as it established Mahesh as an action hero, it did not vest so much of goodwill on Arjun Kapoor as ' Tevar' ended up, lost in transmission, from an entertaining film to a routine, dishoom-dishoom story with cops and bad elements thrown in.
In the process, it also earned the dubious distinction of being the only flop remake after having been remade in many languages and becoming trendsetters in those film industries.