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Why should a remake stay true to its original? And this question is applicable to Gopala Gopala, which as the remake of Hindi hit 2012 film OMG: Oh My God! does full justice to the original but doesn't show any sign of creativity to stand out.
Agreed remakes are tested-and-proven, but it doesn't stop a filmmaker from throwing in some creativity to give it a personal touch. With a thought-provoking universally appealing subject, there's so much one can do with a film like OMG.
But sadly director Kishore Kumar Pardasani resorts to merely retelling the story in a different language with different characters barring Mithun who's retained from the Hindi version.
It is based on a Gujarati play Kanji Virudh Kanji, which in turn is based on the Australian drama The Man Who Sued God.
The film Gopala Gopala is about an atheist Gopala Rao, who takes godmen and people's blind faith in the almighty head on. He even decides to sue them when his shop is destroyed by an earthquake and the insurance company won't compensate him because it's an "act of god".
It would've been nice if the core plot was retained and changes were made to the film and its characters.
But you can't watch Gopala Gopala with such expectations because it successfully reproduces scenes and characters from the original as though remaking is misunderstood as copying frame-to-frame.
Right from Mithun to the introduction scene of Pawan, who reprises the role of Akshay Kumar, there's isn't anything that makes this remake any different from its original.
There are a few scenes that were included to give the story a native touch but they're hardly remembered.
One way it's commendable that the makers didn't try to make many changes since the remake features popular stars such as Daggubati and Pawan, who usually play to the gallery.
But all this has been done at the cost of creativity and that's what makes the remake less exciting, if not boring.
Moreover, Pawan does have his "star moments" with lines so well written that they'll be remembered for a long time. He mouths his dialogues with great timing and a perfect sense of humour that's bound to send his legions of fans into frenzy. He plays god with aplomb and swagger like nobody else can.
Daggubati lights up the screen with his earnest performance even though he isn't anywhere close to Paresh Rawal. But it's nice to see him finally playing roles his age, keeping aside the star status and doing full justice to them to his potential.
Although Mithun aces his role like he did in the original, one wonders why he wasn't replaced with a local talent. It shows the lacks of interest of the makers to put in any efforts to make the remake different from the original.
It also explains most remakes are made for commercial reasons, including Gopala Gopala, but not because it has an inspiring story to tell.
For those who've seen the original, it's unlikely that the remake will keep them hooked. And for others, it might come across as a refreshing change from the stink of commercial cinema which usually serves stories that have been milked dry.
Despite the flaws that glare us in the face, there are plenty of reasons to root for Gopala Gopala.
2.5 out of 5
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