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Bollywood loves 'The Godfather'
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
How many versions of Francis Ford Coppola's classic gangster film "The Godfather" will Bollywood make?
Everyone from Feroz Khan ("Dharmatma") to Mani Ratnam ("Nayakan") seems to have done his take on "The Godfather".
Now, after a long gap, the Coppola classic is back in business in Bollywood.
Ram Gopal Varma is busy directing "Sarkar" where father Amitabh Bachchan and son Abhishek play roles roughly patterned on Marlon Brando and Al Pacino in "The Godfather".
Varma insists "Sarkar" is his own take on "The Godfather".
So does Raj Kumar Santoshi whose "Family" features Amitabh Bachchan as a gangster taking on 'cook' Akshay Kumar's family.
But before them there's Priyadarshan's "Hulchal", which opens this week. Shooting his new Salman Khan-Kareena Kapoor film in Chennai, Priyadarshan reveals "Hulchal" is his take on "The Godfather"!
"That's right. 'Hulchal' is my version of 'The Godfather'. It's one of my favourite films. And why just mine? Isn't it every filmmaker's favourite? Amrish Puri plays the godfather. But I've just taken the brief outline and turned it inside out. You could say this is the comic version of 'The Godfather', just like 'Shark Tale' is the animation version."
Grim version, comic, animation...you name it, "The Godfather" is all set to hijack our attention!
"But please, let me clarify, 'Hulchal' is derived from 'The Godfather' as well as my own 'Viraasat'. It's about two feudal families in a village and how their clash is carried forward by Akshaye Khanna and Kareena Kapoor.
"I've just taken the basic idea of 'The Godfather', just as I've taken the basic idea of 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' in my new film where I depart completely from my earlier three comic Hindi films."