Lost In Translation
The biggest hit of recent years in Gujarati cinema may not be able to recreate its magic in this childish Hindi remake.
Shahbuddin Rathod is Gujarat’s best known stand-up comedian. His audience has heard almost all of his jokes a million times. But whenever he comes on stage, people demand same old jokes, Mr. Rathod doesn’t disappoint them. And people on the other hand in spite of remembering every word of those jokes, laugh wholeheartedly as if they are listening to them for the first time! I have observed the same phenomenon with ‘Days Of Tafree’ (DOT) which is an official remake of one of the biggest hits of Gujarati cinema ‘Chhello Divas.’ Almost all the people in the auditorium were fond of Chhello Divas, they knew all the jokes and every time they came people started laughing even before the punch-lines were spoken. But what is there in DOT for those who aren’t aware of Chhello Divas?
College Ke Saathi
DOT is a story of four third-year college friends, Nikhil (Yash Soni), Vicky (Ansh Bagri), Suresh (Sanchay Goswami) and Daljeet aka ‘Dhula’ (Sarabjeet Bindra), studying in Delhi. Nikhil has just come out of a breakup with an irritating girlfriend and ready to fall in love with his classmate Pooja (Nimisha Mehta). Rich spoilt brat Vicky has two things in his mind all the time, girl and ‘masti.’ Suresh is in desperate search of a girlfriend. Hot-headed Dhula is always ready for two things, hit someone and eat something. Together they bunk classes, mess with teachers (pun intended), go to movies, pass the time in a canteen, celebrate different days-birthdays, party hard, copy in exams, propose girls and so on. But an accident is waiting for them to suck all the joy of their carefree life.
In film schools, they teach about film story and struggle of its main characters. But DOT is unique in that sense. It virtually doesn’t have any story, neither its characters have any struggle in life. They are from well to do families, study in posh college, drive cars and spend more money than average Indian earns every month. DOT is actually a compilation of routine college gags and pranks. Chhello Divas worked mainly because of the chemistry among the actors, their superb performances and carefree writing by writer-director Krishnadev Yagnik. Without a story or any kind of progression the film keeps on jumping from one gag to another. They could go on and on this way. To be frank, DOT is more suitable for a web series than a full-fledged movie. There is an accident, hospital sequence (which strongly reminds us of Karan Johar’s ‘Student Of The Year’) to hold the movie together, but it doesn’t serve many purposes in the film.
‘Tafree’ means making fun of someone or something, especially in front of them. And believe me, they spare no one. The humour level of this film can give a hard time for some sensitive people. Guys in this film make crude remarks about elderly people, their fathers; make fun of somebody’s appearance, skin colour, they literally hit girls for cheap laughs; use toilet humour, speak sexist lines to count a few. The makers of this movie promised that this film will be a clean entertainment for a whole family. However some lines are muted by our censor board, there are many, many cuss words, suggestive lines, and gestures to make you uncomfortable if you are with your family or kids. Some might argue saying this is today’s generation who talk and behave like this only, but I doubt how many youngsters sleep with their girlfriend in their own house or tell shamelessly to their dad they haven’t had sex yet.
To remake in Hindi, the director has omitted some sequences and characters. For example, ‘Naresh-the peon’ who was the spoof of well-known Gujarati actor Naresh Kanodia is not here in Hindi version. But more than 90 per cent movie is the literal translation of its Gujarati version. So, you can easily guess the dialogues even before they spoken. Many times humour is evaporated in the process of translation.
But to be fair with DOT, many situations make you laugh. The scene where a girl furiously complains about why his boyfriend ordered coffee for her, when the group celebrates birthday, guys copy in an exam in a unique way, are the moments when you laugh out loud. But most of other situations completely fall flat. However, the farewell speech by one of the characters can evoke your college memory and make you a bit nostalgic depending upon your sensibilities.
The movie is set in Delhi but most shooting has been done in Gujarat, around Ahmedabad. They have used stock footage of Delhi in most places. Thus we never get the feeling of Delhi or outside Gujarat.
‘Days Of Tafree’ is full of loud background music which might hamper your hearing abilities. The movie has two songs which are amateurish. As a viewer, you can sustain its first half, but with more than 2.35 hours of length, it tests your patience. One long propose prank is completely avoidable and stretched to hell.
The lead guy Yash Soni is reprising his role of ‘Nikhil’ from Chhello Divas and he’s the only sane guy in the movie. He is a charmer and I am looking forward to more meaty roles for him. Ansh Bagri as ‘Vicky’ is nice but he reminded me of Jacky Bhagnani instead of Malhar Thakar from the original movie. The leading lady Nimisha Mehta looks cute but doesn’t have much to do. All other people in the movie are completely cardboard characters and are there just to make noise.
For Gujjubhais and Gujjubens
Adaptation of movies from Gujarati to Hindi is not a new phenomenon. But as far as DOT is concern, its original audience i.e. Gujaratis can laugh at it as they have enjoyed Chhello Divas. Days Of Tafree doesn’t exceed its original edition and has a tremendous uphill task for the audience outside the state.
Rating: ** (Two Stars)
(Published On DeshGujarat.Com)
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