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Remakes can’t be made just for commercial gain: Arjun Kapoor

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Remakes are becoming the new hit formula in Bollywood, but actor Arjun Kapoor believes there is no point in retelling a classic if the agenda is to just mint money at the box office.

The 31-year-old actor says there should be a relevant reason in the filmmaker’s mind if they want to revisit a popular classic.

“Remakes can’t be made with just a commercial thought or for monetary gains. It depends on a lot of things. Who is making it? Why is it being retold? Do we need it? Is it relevant?

“Remakes are very sensitive, you just can’t pick a film from the past and turn it on the chair. There has to be a concrete reason to why you want to retell the story that has been told before,” Arjun told PTI.

The “Ki & Ka” actor, who has been roped in by Zee Classic as the new channel ambassador for their “Aaj Ka Classic” initiative, says he has nothing against remakes if the film can be adapted to cater to the sensibilities of today’s audience.

“I have nothing against them, but it has to turn out right. For me, ‘Agneepath’ was good, because the original and the new film stand individually in the time they are set.”

Arjun says “Meri Jung”, which had his uncle Anil Kapoor in the lead role, is one film that he would like to remake as the industry is still trying hard to come up with a decent courtroom drama.

“If I have to pick up one film that I would love to retell it would be ‘Meri Jung’. It was about a lawyer. We are still struggling to make a nice courtroom drama in Bollywood.”

Arjun says classics have been a huge influence on him both as an actor and as a viewer.
“You are the bi-product of the cinema you watch. Especially, if you are an Indian because they kind of dictate the kind of movies we like now. For me, classics hold a very important place as they define my choices as viewer and as an actor, in different regards.

“Classics are a reference point in all my decision, but not a conscious one, it’s just there at the back of my mind. Like when I do an ‘Aurangzeb’ I know the concept of double role is something that Indian audience connects with. Even when I do something like ‘Finding Fanny’ I see that no other mainstream actor has done a film like this before,” he said.

Films like ‘Mother India,’ ‘Sangam’, ‘Ram Lakhan,’ and ‘Mr India’ have left a big impact on Arjun, who takes 90s films as a reference point before picking up a project.

“Even today when I am choosing a film like ‘Half Girlfriend’ I know there was a ‘Raja Hindustani’ which had the same language and class barrier. This barrier still exists in society but the treatment has changed.”

Asked if the easy access to Hollywood films have made the younger generation less inclined towards Indian cinema, Arjun says, “Even though people are now watching more Hollywood films they are equally attached to the Indian cinema. Our popular dialogues have become a part of day-to-day conversation.

“Hollywood has, in fact, done good for our profession. They have raised the quality and the expectations. They have

made our audience evolved so now we cannot feed them what we want, we need to give them what they want.”
PTI

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