After he established himself as an actor, Anil Kapoor’s one burning ambition was to be another Kamal Haasan. And what better way to do so than to do remakes of Kamal Haasan’s films? He did three of them in a row and would have done a fourth, but Kamal Haasan put a stop to it.
When Kamal Haasan didn’t let Anil Kapoor remake his film Anbe Sivam
In 1989, Anil Kapoor starred in Eeshwar, a remake of the immortal Kamal Haasan Telugu starrer Swathi Muthyam about a mentally challenged man and his attempts to play a normal householder. Kamal Haasan’s performance in the original is comparable with Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump. As for Anil in the remake, he seemed to mimic Raj Kapoor rather than emulate Kamal Haasan. The fabulous Vijayashanthi stole every scene from Anil in the remake.
Another Kamal Haasan remake for AK was Viraasat. It was originally Thevar Magan in Tamil, memorable mainly for the towering confrontation sequences between Kamal Haasan and his real-life mentor Sivaji Ganesan. In the remake Anil and Amrish Puri reprised the two roles. Anil was really keen on the mighty Dilip Kumar playing his father. But Dilip Saab was not too happy with the idea of being compared with Sivaji Ganesan. Kamal wanted to do a remake himself with Dilip Kumar as his father.
Anil Kapoor also tried doing a Kamal Haasan in Biwi No 1. Kamal did the original Tamil marital comedy Sathi Leelavati as an extended cameo. The loud remake had Anil attempting to play the henpecked husband with lip-curling relish. Inept direction (David Dhawan) ruined the original’s impact.
AK was all set do a fourth remake of a Kamal Haasan starrer Anbe Sivam. But this time, Kamal Haasan put his foot down. The fourth remake didn’t happen.
Kamal was never happy with other actors doing remakes of his films. If a remake of one of his films had to be done, he preferred to do it himself. Anil, on the other hand, loves remakes. His brother Boney and he have brought more recycled films to Bollywood than anyone else.
Among Anil’s more notable remakes are Woh Saat Din (remake of the 1981 Tamil film Andha 7 Naatkal), Mohabbat (a remake of a 1982 Tamil film Thooral Ninnu Pochchu), Andar Bahar (a remake of Hollywood’s 48 Hours), Insaaf Ki Awaaz (a remake of Telugu film Pratidhwani), Itihaas (a remake of the Malayalam film Ithihasam), Rakhwala (a remake of the Tamil Film Michael Raj) and Ram Avtar (the unofficial remake of Raj Kapoor’s Sangam).
AK’s Jamai Raja, Benaam Badshah, Beta, Khel, Laadla, Andaz, Mr Azaad, Mr Bechara, Judaai, Deewana Mastana and Gharwali Baharwali were all remakes of Tamil-Telugu films. Even AK’s most iconic film, Mr India had shades of an old Kishore Kumar starrer Mr X In Bombay.
Ironically AK’s original work in Yash Chopra’s Lamhe, Subhash Ghai’s Meri Jung and Mahesh Bhatt’s Awaargi were failures.
More Pages: Anbe Sivam Box Office Collection
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