1971 Cult classic Anand to be remade

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Vikram Khakhar (Standing) and Sameer Raj Sippy plan to remake the 1971 cult classic, Anand. Photo: Universal Communications

One of the most iconic films of the 1970s, Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand, starring Rajesh Khanna, Sumita Sanyal and Amitabh Bachchan is all set to be remade by the original producer N.C. Sippy’s grandson Sameer Raj Sippy along with Vikram Khakhar.

While the film is at the scripting stage, the makers are yet to finalize the director.

An excited producer Vikram Khakhar adds, “Digging into our own classics, we will find invaluable gems rather than scouting for stories internationally or regionally. Placing Anand in the post-Covid era, where we emphasize on the value of life, will enhance the story.”

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Elated about the remake announcement, Sameer Raj Sippy, who feels that stories like these need to be narrated to the new generation, said, “Keeping in mind the sensibilities of the original film and the emotions attached, I felt the current generation needs to be retold the many stories that are so relevant today, especially when there is a great appetite for good content.”

The other details about the film are under wraps.

The original film, also based on Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s story and screenplay with dialogues by Gulzar, lyrics by Gulzar and Yogesh and music by Salil Chowdhury, was one of the biggest hits of 1971. It was inspired by Mukherjee’s friendship with Raj Kapoor and so was dedicated to him. And the writer-director was very happy that while it won the Best Film award, the Best Director trophy went the same year to Raj Kapoor for Mera Naam Joker. It is also an open secret that Raj, himself an editor, would take his print to Mukherjee, an ace editor himself, for his views and expertise in that field.

The film incidentally featured Johnny Walker in a serious role and Lalita Powar also against her image of an evil woman.

This writer, however, not only feels that such landmark classics should not be touched for remakes and also fails to understand about who can excel in the new film the way Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Salil Chowdhury did. As for Gulzar, he has himself said that his dialogues were all Hindi translations of what Mukherjee expressed! But we guess that with an original film of this high standard, they will come out with this very best.

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