Drishyam 2 director Abhishek Pathak on remakes not working post-pandemic: ‘Problem arises when people end up making frame to frame remakes’

Director Abhishek Pathak says there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the concept of remaking films for a wider audience, but it becomes an issue when filmmakers opt for “frame to frame” copy of the original work. As Pathak gears up for the release of Drishyam 2–remake of the acclaimed Malayalam film of the same name starring Mohanlal–the director acknowledges that there is a rising debate about whether remakes post-pandemic make sense because any original work is a click away thanks to streamers.

For Bollywood, several big-ticket Hindi remakes tanked this year, from Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha, Hrithik Roshan-Saif Ali Khan starrer Vikram Vedha to Shahid Kapoor’s Jersey.

“This debate started recently; I have been reading about it. Even Hollywood does a lot of remakes, Oceans 11, The Departed are remakes too but no one compares because they made it so beautifully, that they forget the older version. That’s the idea when you are remaking, take the soul of the story and then adapt it,” Pathak told. indianexpress.com,

According to the director, it becomes a problem when filmmakers choose not to experiment with the material they have, relying instead on the safer route of recreating the film frame by frame.

“The problem is, we are actually so scared to remake that we don’t want to make our own version. It is like, ‘This worked, so make it exactly like that.’ The biggest problem with remakes is that people don’t want to experiment with the treatment, the characters of the film or even the screenplay.

“You are buying it, paying the money for the story, if you want to make that (same) film, just take the rights, dub it and release it. Don’t do frame to frame, because then what are you adding to it as a director? Don’t think like a remake, just take it as a screenplay, forget a film and just make yours. I have seen a lot of times people end up making frame to frame remakes,” he added.

Drishyam 2 stars Ajay Devgn, Shriya SarahIshita Dutta, Mrunal Jadhav, Rajat Kapoor and taboo, reprising their roles from the first part of the thriller. The new addition in the film is actor Akshaye Khanna, who plays a cop.

Pathak said what works in favor of the Hindi remake of Drishyam 2 is that no Hindi subtitled or dubbed version of the original is available on the internet.

“Fortunately for Drishyam, because it is made in Hindi, the Hindi audience will prefer to watch actors they connect to. They can watch a KGF, RRR because these are big scale actioners, where language doesn’t really matter as people go for the experience, but not a thriller.

“Every film needs a wider audience and there is always a huge section which hasn’t seen the original. Many are not ready to read the subtitles or cannot read English subtitles. If 20 people say they don’t want remakes, there are 80 who would. You need to make it in a way that it not only appeals to the fresh audience but also the ones who have seen the original,” he added.

The film features Devgn as Vijay Salgoankar while Tabu returns as Meera Deshmukh, Inspector General of Police. The Malayalam film, directed by Jeethu Joseph, followed the struggle of Georgekutty (Mohanlal) and his family, who come under suspicion when the son of the Inspector General of Police gets killed.

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