Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha has a spooky connection with Lagaan, but will it help to re-create history?
Aamir Khan's confession on Koffee With Karan 7 about deciding to remake Forrest Gump as Laal Singh Chaddha serves as a stark reminder to how he had first reacted to making Lagaan.
While remakes have been one of many formulas adopted by Bollywood to score hits, adapting a film as ionic as Tom Hanks’ Forrest Gump takes guts. And who better to take up the challenge than Bollywood’s ‘Mr. Perfectionist’ himself?
The wait for Aamir Khan ’s Forrest Gump remake, Laal Singh Chaddha is finally coming to an end. But the film took 14 years to finally get made since the idea for it first struck writer Atul Kulkarni after a chat with Aamir about his favourite films.
The superstar spilled the beans on Koffee With Karan 7 about what made him actually believe that he could remake a cult classic like Forrest Gump and you’d be amazed to know that Aamir himself wasn’t so convinced about the idea at first.
Aamir said on Koffee With Karan that Atul Kulkarni wrote the adaption for Forrest Gump in two weeks after they had a brief exchange about the film in 2008. When the writer finally came back to him with a script, he refused to hear it as he didn’t believe that remaking the Hollywood film is possible.
“Atul [Kulkarni] ne iska screenplay likh diya do hafton mein, main 14 saal pehle ki baat kar raha hoon. Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na ka premiere tha, uske baad hum ghar pe aaye aur ussne pucha aapki favourite film kaunsi hai and I said one of them I Forrest Gump. 2 haafte baad uska phone aaya, he said I have written an adaptation of Forrest Gump, maine uska screenplay likha diya hai (Atul Kulkarni wrote the screenplay for the film in two weeks some 14 years ago. After the Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na premiere we came home and he asked about my favourite films and I named Forrest Gump as one. Two weeks later he called me to say he had written a screenplay for the adaptation of Forrest Gump).”
Mera exactly yahi response tha jo aapka hai, ki Forrest Gump kaun banyega? Itni iconic film hai, 6 Oscar jeet chuki hai. Aur uska remake badi himmat ka kaam hota hai aur iss liye maine script suni nahi uski.Main itna sure that ki ye film nahi baani hai yaar, hum log kahan bana sakte hain ye film. Himakat hogi. I didn’t even think of it aur 2 saal tak toh maine kahani hi nahi suni uski. After 2 years when I heard the script, I just fell in love (My reaction was exactly like yours, ‘Who would dare to remake Forrest Gump?’ It is such an iconic film which has won 6 Oscars and remaking it takes a lot of courage. I refused to hear the script for the next two years. Then when I heard the script, I just feel in love).”
Well, Aamir’s reaction to remaking Forrest Gump has a spooky connection to his film Lagaan and the actor’s initial reaction to Ashutosh Gowarikar’s Lagaan. The 2001 blockbuster which went on to become India’s official entry to the Oscars, was a blockbuster and a page turner in the history of Indian films. Aamir had reacted exactly like this to Ashutosh Gowarikar’s script when he was initially approached by the filmmaker for it and even called it ‘bizarre’.
After turning down Lagaan twice, Aamir heard the script with changes made by the filmmaker and fell in love. Not only did he star in the project but decided to back the film as a producer too, launching Aamir Khan Productions which is also backing Laal Singh Chaddha.
Aamir hardly even goes wrong in striking an emotional chord with his audience and Laal Singh Chaddha has loads of it much like Lagaan. The film arrives in cinemas on August 11 but only time will tell if the actor will be able to repeat history with the project.