This is an idea from Catherine who pointed out that Koyla, for example, is ripe for a remake, all silly action and strong heroine and all that. Which made me think about how many of Shahrukh’s early films had solid original ideas at the center that could be redone now in interesting ways, for instance flipping the genders, or aging everyone up to middle-age.
Original plot idea, a rich man marries a pretty young girl, which makes his jealous relatives concerned he will have a son and they will lose their inheritance. They kill him and try to kill his widow and mother, who flee to the city. Where a new young man romances the widow and convinces her to remarry, and also offers to become a new “son” to the mother since his own mother is dead and father doesn’t love him. Only for the original husband to reappear, throwing all of them into guilt and misery, which is resolved when he chooses to sacrifice his life to save the life of the widow and her new husband and finally defeat the evil relatives.
Okay, I wanna remake this and have Shahrukh be the first husband! I know I know, you think that will be sad, because then the poor heroine will lose him. But I think Shahrukh is a good enough actor that he can sell the subtle shade of an older husband who works very hard to please his young wife, but isn’t really the “perfect match” for her that another age appropriate man could be. I vote, Shahrukh and Deepika and Ranveer. Shahrukh and Deepika have a good chemistry where she sort of ages up to his level. Dips and Ranveer have a chemistry of equals. It’s perfect! Shahrukh is a dashing successful playback singer, devoted to his widowed mother Kirron Kher. Deepika is his young fan who catches his eye at a concert, and then turns out to be working at the guest house where he is staying. He finds himself falling in love for the first time, while also feeling slightly guilty for falling for such a young woman. But Deepika of course is already in love and Shahrukh gets over his guilt and they are married, all happy happy. Until they return to his ancestral home, where Shahrukh announces he now plans to live, retiring from his singer life in Bombay. This upsets the plans of Evil Relatives who wanted to sell the land for development. They arrange the death of Shahrukh, shoved over a waterfall, and return home to report the “accident”. Deepika reveals unexpected strength and declares that she will carry on, as his heir, and protect his land. That night, Evil Relatives try to attack her and Kirron. The two women escape and flee to the city with only the clothes on their back, and some jewels Deepika managed to grab. Deepika sells the jewels and gets a job and finds them an apartment.
One day while crossing the street, they are almost rundown by a thoughtless young man on his motorcycle, Ranveer. He falls in love with Deepika at first sight and follows her to her job where he learns she is a young widow devoted to the memory of her husband. He refuses to let himself be turned away, keeps showing up at her job, eventually meets Kirron there, and Kirron is convinced that he sincerely loves Deepika, and that Deepika could love him if she let herself. Deepika challenges Ranveer to stand on his own two feet, he walks out on his unloving rich parents and gets a job at the same restaurant where she works, slowly wears her down, they marry and are very happy. At which point, Shahrukh returns! He was found by gypsies (gypsies are timeless), had amnesia, etc. etc., but finally remembered himself, came to the city, and tracked down his wife and mother, only to discover his wife is remarried and very very happy, perhaps more happy than she was with him. And then I guess Evil Relatives show up too, after they hear stories of Shahrukh reappearing in the city. But I don’t want to really kill Shahrukh off. Instead, I think I will make him be a simple broken man. He saves them, Deepika (with obvious reluctance) goes to him as his proper wife, and he rejects her. Instead, he wants to leave the world, he goes back to the gypsy camp hear his land and happily watches from a distance as Deepika and Ranveer raise their children, and Kirron visits him regularly.
In the original, Shahrukh is an innocent young schoolteacher who comes to the city to make a fortune and is promptly conned out of all his money. And flirted with by a forward young city girl. He sleeps in a cemetery where he meets a gangster ghost who turns out to be the dead father of the forward girl who sends him off to help her save her school and atone for his sins. Happy ending, young Shahrukh and girl are united, and she learns her father loved her, and then he goes up to heaven to be with his dead wife.
Shahrukh as gangster ghost, how perfect is that! And Varun can be the young schoolteacher, and Alia can be the daughter. I do want to shake things up a bit, instead of village boy to the city, city boy to a village. Varun is a decent young college educated boy from the city who gets a job offer to be a principal of a village school, much better than anything he was offered in the city. He goes off all excited and is immediate accosted by aggressive Alia, the daughter of the landlord (fallen on hard times, the old house fallen apart and Alia works in the fields and drives the truck to the station, which is how she meets Varun). Varun learns the house where he was supposed to live has burned down and ends up sleeping in a cemetery. Where he meets Ghost Shahrukh, a gangster from the city who has been desperately waiting for another city man to come to town, since he is only visible to people born in the same place as he is. He came to the village years earlier, wounded and hiding on a train out of town to escape his enemies. The landlord’s daughter found him and tended his wounds and they fell in love. But then his enemies found him on the day they were to marry and killed him and buried him in the cemetery. With Varun, he is finally able to leave. Learns his fiance died in childbirth, and his daughter was raised by her grandfather Anupam.
Varun and Alia have to fight off the evil outsiders who are trying to take over the village, including a sporting event of course, and Ghost Shahrukh helps them out. In the end, Varun is able to pass a message to Alia from Ghost Shahrukh so she knows she is loved and her father intended to marry her mother. And then Ghost Shahrukh goes up to heaven and meets Ghost Pooja Bhatt who is, of course, Alia’s mother.
Dil Aashna Hai
In the original, rich man’s son Shahrukh meets and falls in love with dancer Divya Bharti. But when he proposes, she turns him down because she doesn’t know who she really is, she was adopted into the dancing world and doesn’t know her true mother. Shahrukh helps her as she learns her history, she was given up by adoption to an orphanage by three young women. The young women were best friends in college and all in love with their boyfriends, and when one of them got pregnant, the others left school with her and helped her raise the baby for a year, then went with her to give it up for adoption. They planned to return and adopt the baby once when of them was married, but before that could happen, the baby was taken by the dancer instead. Divya tracks down her three potential mothers (with Shahrukh’s help) and her three potential fathers. All three women want her but are conflicted with admitting the secret, she is kidnapped by a Bad Man who wants her as a dancer and rescued by her assorted potential parents, and learns that her real mother is the only one still unmarried, and her real father has been an army hero all this time but no returned to marry her mother.
Obviously, we need to gender flip this a bit and make SRK one of the parents. Sid M is a sexy Chippendale style dancer who wealthy Parineeta falls in love with when she sees him at a bridal shower. Sid M tries to reject her, because he isn’t good enough, and admits he doesn’t even know who he really is or where he came from. He was raised by a dancer who admitted on her death bed that she had stolen him from an orphanage. Pari takes him to the orphanage and he hears the story of the three men who might be his fathers. They were roommates who found a newborn on their doorstep and didn’t know whose it was. They raised and loved the baby equally, but started to get in trouble with people judging them for having a baby without a mother, and the state threatens to take it away.. They decide that they need to travel the world and find the three women they loved (the potential mothers) and win them back. In the meantime, they will leave the baby at an adoption center, to return in a few weeks and legally adopt it as married men. The roommates, obviously, are Shahrukh and Saif and Sunil Shetty. And their love interests are Juhi and Rani and Shilpa. Turns out in the present day that Saif and Sunil are happily married, but Shahrukh found Juhi too late, she was already married to someone else. He lived his life alone, dedicated to children’s charities (heartbroken about the son he had lost). But Juhi is widowed now (her husband Aamir Khan is dead). She and Shahrukh are united, when saving Sid M from evil Kareena who desires him and has kidnapped him.
This is a great feminist plot that is, unfortunately, timeless. A powerful rich man falls in love at first sight with a woman who is simply not interested. He blames her for not loving him back, and when her husband (who she does love) finds out about it, he blames her too. No one believes her when she warns that the stalker is dangerous, her husband even turns angry the more she talks about him and talks the stalker’s side over hers. The stalker kills her husband and child to “punish” her, and frames her for the crimes and for hurting him too, spins a story that she loved him and killed her family and then him. She is wrongfully put in prison where she finds the strength inside of her to survive, comes out tougher than ever, tracks down her stalker, pretends to return his love, but it is all a trick so that she can kill him and then herself. It’s a dark DARK movie!
Anyway, this works better middle aged! Doesn’t it? Madhuri, our heroine, is a nice comfy middle-aged middle-class wife and mother and very happy. Shahrukh, our villain, is very rich but somehow has never grown up, his mother still sees him as a child and he behaves that way. When he finally is interested in a woman, she is thrilled and encourages him to believe that he can have any woman he wants. And then we get this amazing contrast of the rich Shahrukh, and crazy romantic gestures, and the very simple normal happy life of Madhuri. The first upset being Madhuri’s simple normal husband just not believing her when she says she has done nothing to encourage Shahrukh. They fight, and fight some more, eventually he even strikes her. When Shahrukh comes to the husband and says that Madhuri is at fault and befriends him, the husband believes Shahrukh over his own wife! Madhuri is forced to pretend everything is okay because her husband makes her. Which means, when Shahrukh kills the husband while having dinner at their house one night, and throws himself off the building and pretends she shoved him off when he tried to stop her killing the husband. No one believes her when she says Shahrukh did it and she feared him for years. Her own children (now grown and left home) turn against her. She is sent to jail, still protesting her innocence.
In jail, she finds a new community, tough older women her age who’ve been there for years, and tough younger women who remind her of her daughter. She gains strength from all of them, and a sense of who she can be when she isn’t just living for her husband and her children. Shahrukh keeps trying to get her released, phrasing it as “if she shows true repentance, of course I can forgive her and want to help her”. Finally Madhuri accepts, is released with Shahrukh as her guardian. She is saintly and sweet to him, tries to take care of him after his horrible falling injuries, declares she forgives him in turn and is living only for him. Until, finally, he reveals he can walk after all and opens his arms wide for her to rush into him, at which point she stabs him in the heart. An this time, doesn’t die, just walks away free and independent.
Widow mother with two strong young sons, the sons are killed by the evil landlord, and then she prays to Kali and they are reborn in two other households. Years later the two boys are fully grown, both in the middle of their own romances, and trying to find their way. When they start having weird flashbacks, meeting each other and feeling a connection, and finally return to the village and are reunited with their mother-from-a-past-life and defeat the Bad Guys.
Obviously, we need to gender flip this and make Shahrukh the parent! A noble widower in a village, raising his bright young daughters (Sonam and Swara maybe?). He has a bad leg so when the bad guys come for the farm, Sonam and Swara fight them off. Until they are killed, at which point Shahrukh goes to the Shiva temple and prays until the daughters are reborn in other households. Sonam and Swara grow up touch and independent, orphaned by the time they are young woman, surviving in the city. Romances, weird flashbacks, etc. And then they are reunited with SRK!