Reviewing the Reviews: Chashme Baddoor

08 Apr,2013

Chashme Baddoor 

Key Cast: Ali Zafar, Siddharth, Taapsee Pannu, Divyendu Sharma, Rishi Kapoor, Lilette Dubey & Anupam Kher

Directed by: David Dhawan


Last week, when the new Himmatwala came out, the question on everybody’s lips was: why remake a bad film.  This week, with Chashme Buddoor, it’s why remake a good film?


Then, in a wicked move, a restored print of Sai Paranjpye’s 1981 Chashme Buddoor was released at the same time as David Dhawan’s Chashme Baddoor, and as can be expected the latter took a battering from critics, most of whom had refreshed their memories of the original.


Sukanya Verma of, sounded outraged. “Paranjpye’s film is a master class in deft writing, the manner in which she seamlessly combines buddy humour and young romance while noting the minute but colourful details that add zing to day-to-day life and casual conversations. Her artistry lies in making all those extensive inputs appear so deceptively simple.  When a director has access to this much imagination, he ought to show a lot more responsibility than Dhawan does. Loud in sight, sound and sense, this Chashme Battering is an assault to the original with its line-up of gaudy aesthetics (think Rohit Shetty’s All The Best), actors hamming to the hilt in boxers and ghastly, GHASTLY writing.”


Sanjukta Sharma of The Mint hated it too. “In Dhawan’s version, the jokes are loud and facile, and piercing in the bad literal way. Characters and performances are accordingly doltish. Remember Dhawan’s early 1990s’ films like Raja Babu and Coolie No. 1? Chashme Baddoor has the exact template-mindlessness and regressive humour as motives for mass appeal-but set in an India where there are malls. The characters are as sexist as those Govinda staples; the writing uses stereotypes only for insipid jokes. The production value is abysmally low-cinematography, costumes, choreography and even some locations are eyesores.”


Shubhra Gupta of the Indian Express, wrote, “Dhawan’s film is a series of forced contrivances, not a story that grows out of a place and time. His characters don’t feel like they are good friends who live together. They feel like they have just come together for the shot. Neither do they mesh well, nor do they work Individually as well as they should: Ali Zafar’s laid back tone is all too familiar, Divyendu is not half as funny as he was in his debut, Pyaar Ka Punchnama, and the very energetic Siddharth contorts himself a bit too much. Taapsee is the only one who feels real, and stays likeable despite the occasional fumble with lines.”


Rajeev Masand of IBNLive says that he didn’t find the film unbearable, but, “Like a battering ram, David Dhawan’s puerile and frenzied remake, Chashme Baddoor, shatters and mauls your memories of Sai Paranjpye’s charming original. Light-hearted humour and innocent romance makes way for sexist jokes and cheesy puns and the merits of keeping things simple are lost in the cacophony of screechy performances.”


Karan Anshuman of Mumbai Mirror, reviewed the old and the new films side by side, and obviously found the Dhawan film sorely lacking. “Dhawan pays tribute to his own work in the form of the lead pair dancing to “Dekha Hai Pehli Baar’ fromSaajan and “What is Your Mobile Number” from yet another Karisma Kapoor-Govinda starrer. Add to it some wholesale in-film advertising and entirely expected garish production design and voila, the pitiable representative of the modern day comedy.”


Janhavi Samant of Mid-Day commented, “Everyone’s hamming it in this film; even the most senior and most accomplished ones in the cast. They are all talking and emoting wildly like overwound-up toys. One youth keeps quoting SMS-forward shayari, another one takes his rape scene auditions too seriously, a grandma (even if it is a tad difficult to believe Bharti Acharekar as Anupam Kher’s mother!) who keeps slapping her son every two dialogues, a father-and-uncle twin squabbling jodi who are called Chikku and Santra, and a heroine who keeps saying, “Dum hai boss,” for very dum-less things that the hero does.”


And then, there’s the TOI’s Srijana Mitra Das going against the tide, giving it 3.5 stars and raving, “The answer’s yes – love can be remade and so can a lovely film like 1981’s Chashme Buddoor (CB). This version’s as different as paapri chaat from a dhokla. But it retains the original’s madness, masti and movie-mania.”


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