Seeta Aur Geeta is the only Sippy film that can really be remade. Remaking Sholay is obviously impossible, and the other films fall into that fuzzy area where they are fun for what they are, and all the little character beats and stuff, but if you try to recreate it, it would all fly away and nothing special would be left. Like, I love Zamaana-Deewana, but remove the orgasm song, and Anupam Kher’s drag scene, and all you’ve got is a really weird plot about boring young lovers.
Middle Aged Juhi Chawla Seeta Aur Geeta
Juhi would be such great casting, so good at physical comedy and outsize personalities. I would happily watch her in two love stories, and in fight scenes, and all the rest of it. We just have to age the plot up a bit.
40 years ago (lots of funny period costumes and cars, and face scratchy film stock to make us aware of this being a silly spoof kind of film), a government officially and his wife stopped at a poor woman’s house when his wife went into labor. She (Juhi, obviously) gave birth to twins and the poor woman kept one baby for herself and sent the other off with the couple.
Present day, Sad Juhi is a widow living in her in-laws house and being abused by them. Her husband was another government official, after he died they lost their house and everything because it came with his job, and she and her adorable son and teen daughter had to move in with her in-laws. She and her children hide in the kitchen and have a happy life together (happy song!) but then her Evil In-Laws call for them and force Juhi to scrub floors and stuff. She puts up with it so they will keep paying her kids’ school fees, which she could never afford on her own. Plus she is sweet and protected and doesn’t know how to fight for herself.
Meanwhile, Smart Juhi is also a widow, and a household worker. She has a teenage son and a adorable daughter, they live in a two room apartment, and she is always nagging them to study and better themselves, then rushing off to her job where she doesn’t let her employer keep her late, or put off paying her because they don’t have the money this week, and puts the waste food in her bag to take home to her kids instead of throwing it out, and just generally takes care of herself. And gives advice and help to the other maids in the building so they know how to stand up for themselves.
Sad Juhi overhears her in-laws talking about marrying off her daughter and it inspires her to pack up her kids and leave. Same day, Smart Juhi is wrongfully accused of stealing (because she hit her employers visiting brother for trying to kiss her and he stuck his sister’s jewelry in her bag) and runs from the police. Sad Juhi’s relatives go to the police claiming their in-law is mentally ill and has taken her children (what Sad Juhi doesn’t know is that her husband actually inherited everything shortly before he died, so her in-laws need her around to sign forms that they lie are actually about her kids schooling). The police pick up Smart Juhi instead, and meanwhile Sad Juhi’s daughter gets in trouble for stealing food and is rescued by Smart Juhi’s son who ends up finding the whole family and inviting them back to his house. Smart Juhi’s kids think this is all just a coincidence, but want to keep Sad Juhi with them so she can pretend to be Smart Juhi and keep the nosey neighbors from realizing their Mom is in jail (they think).
Sad Juhi wins over Smart Juhi’s kids with her sweet motherly love and they come to adore and feel protective of her. Also, Smart Juhi’s friend from next door, lowlevel conman Anil Kapoor who is always cadging meals from her, starts to feel differently about this new sweet Juhi. Meanwhile, Smart Juhi quickly figures out what is happening in her new household and tricks and tortures the Evil In-Laws. And at the same time, starts up a something-something with her husband’s old friend Jackie Shroff who shows up looking for his friend’s widow and kids.
It all comes together when the icky guy who framed Smart Juhi turns up as an evil friend of Sad Juhi’s gross brother-in-law. They put it together that Smart Juhi isn’t Sad Juhi, and with the help of icky guy, they track down Sad Juhi with all the kids and kidnap her. The spunky older son manages to hide and escape, finds Anil Kapoor, they trick their way into the rich household and explain what is happening to Smart Juhi who realizes her fantasy life is over and it is time to return to Sad Juhi what belongs to her. She forces Jackie to leave her by pretending she was just playing with him and didn’t mean it, then sneaks out with Anil to rescue Sad Juhi and children. But Jackie is suspicious because she was acting strangely and follows her, big fight scene (including the kids getting in on the action and throwing water balloons and stuff), and everyone is rescued. In the middle of the fight, Smart Juhi’s necklace she inherited from her mother pops open revealing a hidden note explaining how Smart Juhi and Sad Juhi are sisters. Happy Ending, Sad Juhi insists that her sister and children should move into the house with her, and we end seeing both Anil and Jackie showing up at the door to take Smart and Sad Juhi off for dates.
(oh, and there’s a fun visual joke at one point when Smart and Sad Juhi trade photos of their dead husbands, and both photos are of Shahrukh but in different wigs)
Middle-Aged Rani Seeta Aur Geeta Remake
Juhi got the really silly childish version, I wanna make Rani go DARK! Just for kicks.
35 years ago, a young woman is playing with her two baby daughters in a park. An Evil Man sees her leave the babies for a moment and snatches one of them. The woman is devastated and sobs and sobs, her police officer husband tries to comfort her, they go to the police for help, no one can find their daughter. Meanwhile, the Evil Man takes the baby home to his girlfriend and throws in her face that he brought them a child to earn money for them. She is furious with him at what he has done, throws him out, and grabs the baby to take it back to the park, but no one is there. She gives up and returns to the brothel where she lives, only for the Madam to shut her out if she wants to keep the baby. She settles down on the street outside, and starts singing a lullaby to the crying baby. And then, Song Montage! We see one daughter raised to beg on the streets, to lie and trick. And also to run with boys, eat street food, play until all hours, just be wild, with her adoring mother always there to keep her smiling and happy and be her best friend. Meanwhile the other daughter is raised in a room with one empty bed so she will always remember her lost sister, woken before dawn to do police exercises, sent to extra martial arts classes after school, every minute of her day filled and official and rule following.
35 years later, Street Rani runs a street food cart in Bombay, and also lowkey receives and sells stolen goods. And is a bit of a protector for the prostitutes in her area, will beat up anyone bothering them. Meanwhile, Police Rani has become an Inspector, just like her father dreamed for her, has no friends, no one likes her, but she follows all the rules all the time. Both women live with their mothers, Street Rani’s mother is sick and Street Rani brings her treats and gossip from the street. Police Rani’s mother is widowed and still just as strict as ever, telling her daughter not to eat bad food, stay late after work, any of that.
And then Police Rani, as part of a human trafficking case, has to go undercover last minute (the female constable who was going to do it is home sick). Naturally, she is mistaken for Street Rani and vice versa. Street Rani got in trouble with the local pimp (part of Police Rani’s trafficking case, although she doesn’t know it) and was already planning to leave town and lie low for a few days, so she just goes with it when she is taken to Police Rani’s house. Police Rani realizes this is her perfect chance to get really undercover and solve the case and get the promotion her mother wants for her, and goes with it too.
A little bit of fish out of water stuff, but also sad serious stuff, like when Street Rani hears the sad story of the lost baby and realizes that was her, but also that she can’t tell her mother the truth because she can’t live with this woman and abandon her adoptive mother. Same with Police Rani, someone shows up and drags her off to take care of her “mother” and since the woman is sick and delirious, she ends up telling Police Rani the whole story, how she got this baby, tried to return it, couldn’t, felt so guilty, tried to raise her right, and so on.
There’s also a romance, divorced fellow police officer Arjun Rampal is set up by his mother with Police Rani, their first date is super boring because Police Rani just wants to talk about work, but then he bumps into Street Rani-as-Police-Rani and she asks him to take her out for street food and they have a wonderful time. Meanwhile, local enforcer/goon type Abhishek mistakes Police Rani for his friend Street Rani and then is charmed when she can’t handle hot spices, and gets drunk on one drink, and so on.
Police Rani and Street Rani, working from opposite angles, finally end up uniting when they catch the Big Bad. And then they have a sweet sisterly heart to heart about how they have to trade back, for the good of their respective mothers, even if it breaks their hearts. Only Police Rani’s mother has figured out the truth and tracked down the other mother, and they are both kidnapped by the Big Bad who has escaped from jail! The two sisters work together to rescue their mothers, and it ends with Police Rani’s mother insisting that Street Rani’s mother should move in with them, and then Double Wedding.
Straight Up Remake, Parvathy
Parvathy is scarily chameleon-like anyway, why not have her play two roles? And in this case, it’s a straight remake, no rewriting needed. Sad Parvathy is abused by her evil relatives (not knowing she actually has the rights to own everything), and Street Parvathy is a conwoman and performer (maybe rips off rich tourists all day every day). Street Parvathy is assisted by her cynical partner Irrfan, and Sad Parvathy briefly meets doctor Prithviraj who is turned off by her dull sadness. They swap places, cynical Irrfan is won over by Sad Parvathy’s sweetness and faith, doctor Prithviraj is delighted by Street Parvathy’s wit and fearlessness. Big fight scene, double wedding, HAPPY ENDING
Bonus-Andaz! With Deepika and Ranveer!
Wouldn’t this be the CUTEST???? And perfect for them! Ranveer is a widower single father running the family business and raising his daughter while living with his mother Shefali Shah. His daughter gets in trouble at school so he goes to meet her teacher, dignified Deepika, and learns Deepika has a son in his daughter’s class. The two kids have a play date, get lost, Deepika panics, and while she and Ranveer are walking around the park looking for the kids, she tells him her deepest secret, that her son’s father was married to someone else. He was the principal at the school where she worked, they fell in love (or so she thought), then his wife confronted her and shamed her at work. She was fired, her boyfriend stopped taking her calls, and she was miserable but somehow survived it and found this job out in the country at a school with a nice sympathetic principal who knows everything about her life and doesn’t care.
Ranveer was already being dopey and extra cheerful and singing songs to her at the school functions and stuff just because she seemed sad, but now he is even more so. He also offers to take her and her son out a lot because, as a poor single mother living in school housing, she can’t really afford treats. But they are just friends, no more. Until one day when he is helping her son with his homework and the son asks where the daughter’s mother is and he suddenly gets sad, and then tells Deepika his story. Super sad flashback, he was living in the city with his young charming wife (heck, Alia cameo!), they were expecting their first baby, it was all cute and happy. And then there were complications and suddenly she died in childbirth. Ranveer was left a broken man, but his baby pulled him out of it. He left everything behind in the city and returned to the family home with his daughter to dedicate his life to her.
This is mostly still the original film, but I’m gonna branch off a bit now. Ranveer’s daughter is in an accident at school while he is traveling for work with Shefali. Deepika takes charge, goes to the hospital and sits with the daughter all night, and so on. Ranveer arrives the next day to see them together and has an epiphany that, for the sake of all their happiness, he and Deepika should consider marrying and joining their two little families so the kids will have an extra parent. He presents this to Deepika, who agonizes over it but also remembers when the kids went missing and she didn’t know what to do and Ranveer was there. They agree to get engaged in a practical sort of way. And then Deepika’s kindly boss encourages her to go on an actual date with Ranveer, and see if maybe they like each other beyond just as co-parents. It’s all very sweet and shy, especially contrasted with the two flashbacks we got of them with their first loves when they were wild and fearless. But now they tremble even at holding hands and barely dare kiss.
Just in this fragile moment when their relationship is beginning to change, Shefali gets a visit from her Evil Daughter, who recognizes Deepika as a former teacher at her child’s school and tells Shefali how Deepika “seduced” the principal and broke up a marriage and is just out for what she can get. Shefali is horrified and concerned. She confronts Deepika, who is still so guiltridden and confused that her reaction ends up confirming what Shefali thought. Especially when Shefali leads her to admit that the real reasons she wants to marry Ranveer are “security” “friendship” and “safety”, not love. Shefali talks to Ranveer, who surprises himself by realizing how deeply he feels for Deepika now, and that he wants to marry her no matter what, even if it means a rift with his mother. He also confronts Shefali with the reality that she married Ranveer’s father for similar reasons, she was from a family with a lot of land and no money, she married an older man from the city who wanted a respectable stepmother for his daughter (Evil Sister). Shefali is horrified that Ranveer knows the truth, Ranveer explains that he doesn’t blame her, it was a business arrangement as much as a marriage, but she has no right to judge Deepika for her life choices.
Meanwhile, Evil Daughter has also accidentally alerted Evil Principal to Deepika’s location and he shows up on her doorstep. He says that he and his wife have finally gotten a divorce, he should have done it years ago, and now he wants to be with her and their son. Deepika is torn, her son can finally have a father and a real life, her shame can be erased, but also this guy is kind of a jerk. He pressures her, talks about the magic of first love, makes her admit she hasn’t felt like that for anyone else since, says she doesn’t need to agree to a “compromise” marriage but can have what she really wants. With the Shefali confrontation fresh in her mind, plus all these other arguments, she weakens and calls Ranveer, leaving him a message that she is leaving and thank you for everything.
Rush to the airport!!!! Ranveer is chasing Deepika, and Shefali (who had a further conversation with her daughter and realized her daughter is shallow and bad and she shouldn’t listen to her) is chasing Ranveer! They all arrive, just as Deepika and her son exit, because she realized she didn’t want to go anyway. Ranveer, in his sweet simple gentle way, has come into her heart and she wants to be married to him, not just because it is sensible but because she wants to.
HAPPY WEDDING ENDING. And maybe an end credits honeymoon song so we know Ranveer and Dips had sexytimes.