I listened to a cover of the song from Phantom of the Opera today. It was decent. It wasn’t Sarah Brightman. I know that’s not fair, but Sarah Brightman does it better. Which kind of nails down the issue I have with remakes. Either do it better or really different than the original or don’t do it at all.
For example, let’s take Bhool Bhulaiyaa. It’s a Bollywood horror comedy remake of 1993 Manichitrathazhu. The basic premise of the films is the same: a couple stays in a country palace, where the girl becomes possessed by the spirit of an ancient dancer. The dancer fell in love with her dancing partner, but the prince who owned the palace had become insanely jealous and it didn’t end well. Now she is haunting the palace, searching for revenge.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa is a beautifully shot movie with a much higher production budget than the original. Here is a pivotal dance number.
The real action starts about 2:00, when we are transported back in time to the palace. The film is expertly shot, too. There is a reason though why they show hands and eyes and why the routine involves a lot of running around. It might look impressive, except here is the original. Same sequence starts at 3:00 but you should really watch the whole thing, because she has a solo.
Shobana is a classical dancer. Vidya is not. Vidya did a good job and tried really hard, but it’s just not Shobana level of dance.
One of the reasons why I love historical romances is because I grew up on Russian historical musicals. They are called operettas in Russia. Here is one called Mr X also known as Princess of the Circus. It is set in some nebulous historical Russia, which allows costume department to go crazy. The circus is all the rage and it has an incredible acrobat, whose face is always hidden by a mask. A young, obscenely rich widow becomes interested in him and tries to discover her identity. She is courted by a Czar’s relative and the acrobat isn’t worthy to kiss her hand and omg, angst angst angst. He is actually of noble birth… Basically, he is the Circus Batman.
This is Georg Ots singing his I-feel-sorry-for-myself number. It is not dubbed. That’s actually Georg Ots on the screen. This is a super famous number. Whenever Russian opera singers come to try out for singing competitions, they all try to do it.
This is the 1982 remake.
The guy on screen is Igor Keblushev. The guy who sings is Vladimir Malchenko, an opera singer. The guy who speaks the lines is Stanislav Zaharov. Because apparently Malchenko couldn’t act and Igor’s voice is too high.
It took 3 men to replicate Georg Ots. Three. And it’s still not as good. Why did they remake this movie?
Don’t even get me started on the remake of Total Recall. Grrrr. So, what bugs you about remakes? Let your butthurt flow in the comments.