Yep, this is an Arjun Reddy remake all right. Shot for shot, moment for moment. And is that good or bad?
- A substantially changed story in order to fit within the new language industry, for example Hum in Hindi to Baasha in Tamil.
- An identical shot for shot remake with only the language and actors changed, like Holiday and Thuppakki.
- An attempt to make the film more “commercial” that ends up changing what made it special to begin with, like OK Jaanu and OK Kanmani.
Of these options, the first is of course the best one. A remake that justifies its assistance by adding something new and different to the existing story, to the degree that it becomes almost unrecognizable. And the third is by far the worst option. And the middle option is not as bad, or as good, as it could be.
It was pretty clear that Kabir Singh would be an option 2 version of a remake. The director is the same, and he handpicked the cast, there is no “new vision” that could come in and change things. And now we have the first teaser that confirms, yes, this is just Arjun Reddy but in Hindi.
The biggest change Telugu to Hindi is that the cast is now established actors instead of struggling newcomers willing to take a chance on an untested plot. But, as this teaser confirmed, they are talented established actors. I was just talking with filmilibrarian about how Shahid is arrogant and has a chip on his shoulder about not getting his due, but then he has a point. He is odd and arrogant and so on in his interviews and personal appearances, but then he is also extremely talented and really doesn’t seem to get enough credit for that. Shahid was handpicked by the director and worked closely with him for almost a year on building this character. And sure enough, based on this teaser, he has nailed it. I won’t say he made me forget Vijay Deverakonda in one teaser, but he at least equaled him. For people who missed the Telugu original, I don’t think they will be cheated by seeing the Hindi version instead.
And for those of us who care about the careers of Shahid Kapoor and Kaira Advani, I am glad they are going to get such great roles in such a good film.
At least, that’s how I feel. How do you feel? Would it be better for the Telugu version to just have gotten a Hindi dub? Or should the director have tried to make something new instead of just the same thing but in Hindi?