Ek Aur Do Barah—the Anger

52 Comments

While the tamasha of the Golden Globes was going on today, had a chance to watch Sidney Lumet’s ’12 Angry Men’. A tight, claustrophobic movie about twelve men in a jury room on the ‘hottest day of the year’ deliberating  whether a eighteen-year old kid from a rough neighborhood, against whom evidence is stacked, is guilty of murdering his father, ’12 Angry Men’ is a fascinating look at justice, prejudice, the wisdom (or lack of it) of the crowd and perhaps the best explanation of ‘reasonable doubt’ that one is likely to find in popular media—a concept most of us (myself included) often seem to forget as we fulminate in anger when we find courts releasing criminals whom we know ‘did it’. If you have not seen ’12 Angry Men’ , then I recommend you do so. This is as close to cinematic perfection you are going to get, more so in the season of vacuous-special-FX-being-made-to- pass- off -as-great cinema. Or in short— ‘Avatar’.

Though I have not watched it, I do know that ’12 Angry Men’ was re-made in Hindi as Ek Ruka Hua Faisla. I think it can re-remade again as ‘Ek Aur Do Barah —the Anger’ , this time with more masala and more of the Bollywood aesthetic. Since it has to make money,  we have to have song (Dilip Sen Sameer Sen), dance (Bosco-Caesar) and flesh. And we need big-name stars for every juror.

Here are my first thoughts on casting with every Juror being given the same character stereotype as the original. [Spoiler free]

Juror No 1: Jury foreman. Ineffectual leader. Hardly gets in a word edge-wise. I would get Alok Nath to play this role, as he would periodically be able to say “Mahashaye aap itne vichalit kyon hai?”

Juror No 2: A wimp. A follower who is eager to be led. I am thinking Tusshar Kapoor for this. For obvious reasons.

Juror No 3: Loud, voluble, eager for ‘revenge’. The principal antagonist. The man whom the hero calls the executioner. Sunny Deol. No one else. Of course one may argue that if it was Sunny Deol, he would not waste 97 minutes of screen time to convince the other jurors but simply ram his dhai-kilo ka haath into soft tissue and then choke the life out of the alleged criminal. But bear with me here.

Juror No 4: The cold calculating banker. The one who claims ‘never to sweat’. Suave. I would put black-goggled KRK here for the gravitas that he would bring to the table.

Juror No 5: The man who has worked upwards from the slums. A man who finds trouble fitting in and feels he is discriminated even now. Emran Hashmi would be a good fit here.

Juror No 6: Not too bright, blue-collar guy in the original with a healthy respect for elders. I would make him female, if only because this movie would otherwise resemble the common room of an engineering college. So in my movie, this would be a working woman who would, when it starts raining, wander out into the balcony and dance seductively. Played by Rakhi Sawant.

Juror No 7: The “I-could-not-care-less” juror who wants to get the whole thing over and go to a baseball game. Johnny Lever is needed here if only because the movie needs comedy, fart jokes and mimicry. Around the time when the jury goes to 9-3 in favor of conviction, I want Lever to do his ‘Ashok Kumar playing kabaddi’ routine to relieve the tedium.

Juror No 8: The hero. The sole dissenter. The voice of reason. The shining knight dressed in white. While this suggests Jeetendra, I have to go by emotion on this one and cast Mithun-da. Why? Cause it’s my movie and Prabhu-ji has to be the main man. Plus no one can whip out a knife or say the smart lines like ‘Dushmon ke laashon pe bhangra karne waale kabhi landha naheen hote’ as he does.

Juror No 9: The perceptive old man. Juror No 8’s first ally. A K Hangal is synonymous with ‘old man’. Plus his jodi with Mithun-da has never been revived after Saukheen.

Juror No 10: Racist, vile, not really interested in justice. This has the largest scope for overacting, frothing at mouth, shaking lips, rolling eyes. Yes Yes. You know where I am going with this. My Name is Ham.

Juror No 11: The watch-maker. The smart immigrant with intelligence written large on his face who starts off slow but grows in stature as movie progresses. I think I will ask Uday Chopra to do this since he is perfect for the part and more importantly that might get me some investment from Yashraj.

Juror No 12: The ad executive. Thinks himself to be smart and cool but whose dumb-ness is revealed the moment he speaks. Viveik Oberoi.

In addition, I would make sure that even the minor characters are played by experts. For instance, even though the murdered old man never appears in the original, for my movie I would get Moonmoon Sen to play him since her acting abilities are best displayed when she has no screen time. Aamir Khan would play the 18-year old criminal because he likes to think he is 18 and because he will be able put a lot of method-acting into his 3 seconds. Himesh will be the bored judge, since he spends most of his time nowadays judging reality shows. Sherlyn Chopra would play the defective fan who will remain off during the first part of the movie and then be turned on. Upen Patel would be cast as the wooden table at which the jurors sit. The court clerk, who occasionally comes into the room, to provide exhibits for the perusal of the jury would be essayed by Neha Dhupia who is the world-acknowledged expert of exhibiting.

Anyone willing to finance my venture?

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52 thoughts on “Ek Aur Do Barah—the Anger

  1. @Saurabh,

    Nothing in this post that you wouldnt find on the back of the DVD or any review of the movie. There is nothing much to spoil in the movie in terms of story (since the story isnt really much). The greatness of ’12 Angry Man’ is that it is totally built on dramatic conflict, dialogs, character development, message and super directorial touches.

  2. No Fardeen Khan? He would make a better table. And, I also recommend Kareena Kapoor for the role of the hand-kerchief. Helen as the water in the glass for all the ‘pyaas bhuja-ing’. Shatrughan Sinha as the judge. The most-routine ‘Order, order!’ can be replaced by ‘Khamosh’. Much fun.

    And of course, Rajnikanth as the audience in the courtroom – ‘one person presence, would be like 100 people present’.

  3. “common room of an engineering college” Waah, Mahaan

    LOL Sherlyn Chopra is the cherry on top. I can’t recall No. 11 but what the fudge it is a great bong presentation (make a cool logo man :D).

    It should read like “Great Bong presents” “A Pervert-digar Production” …

    Some spell checks though langda(landha) and Shaukeen (Saukheen)

  4. No one for the knife ?? As i remember, the knife was one of the most important “item” of evidence.
    Since Rakhi and Sherlyn are already booked, I think Kashmira Shah can be a good “item”.

  5. Hey..GB.
    A small request.

    Please come out with a list of your favourite posts or start a poll where you make a list of 15-20 popular posts and ask people to vote for their fav one.

    I think this will act as a grt promotion just before the release of the book.
    Kindly look into it.

  6. I have seen Ek rukha hua faisla with Pankaj Kapoor as the hero a long time ago.Then I thought it was cool. I do not know how I will regard it now.The one movie that always is as enjoyable as it was years ago is Sholay. This comment has nothing to do with investing in your venture, but to show solidarity with sholay cult. Can not help saying ” you rightfully classified this post under ‘silly'”.

  7. I saw (again) Ek Ruka Hua Faisla some days ago on Zee Smile and immediately got hold of 12 Angry Men to see how the original panned out. Maybe its coz of our prejudice towards desi flicks, I found the hindi one better.

    [Comment might contain spoilers]

    Deol is a master-casting as the antagonist but can’t really see him break into tears at the end and then being cajoled by Mithun Da. But yeah, he can re-enact his “tareekh pe tareekh” speech just for the heck of it.

    And since #4 requires to have the spectacle-marks on the nose, KRK is ok coz he’s rarely without the goggles, is he?

    And what about the lady witness? She has to be someone old but pretending to be young, with hennaed hair and heavily made-up face. Shahnaz Hussain?

  8. Hi GB

    Waiting for your post on Jyoti Basu- who passed away recently. A giant in West Bengal Politics and like a political commentator put eloquently- the last of the bhadralok politicians. I sure would be hoping to see your unique take on this
    Cheers
    Deepak

  9. 1. Agree with you on the insight into prejudice that is meted out in the name of justice by a jury of peers in US. Think of a 1 man show i.e a single judge panel in India and you have a Y.K Sabharwal.

    2. “Ek Ruka Hua Faisla” is a respectable adaptation of the original which is considered a classic. You will be surprised by Anu Kapoor and Saeed Jaffery in the film. They are that good.

    3. No Jyoti Babu’s obituary ?? Or at least a parting post on the 23year long incumbent?? I wrote mine. Will wait for yours.

  10. “Upen Patel would be cast as the wooden table at which the jurors sit” ….. priceless.

    On a serious note though, the original movie is an absolute must watch and a rare incident is that the Hindi remake is also awesome.

    Kudos to GB for taking up such a movie.

  11. “..my name is Ham” LOL.

    again sorry for a offtopic discovery!! see this ad of T. Amar singh’s blog..interesting header design at his blog..

  12. I don’t think this version is getting much finance 🙂

    Personally, i thought “Ek ruka hua faisla” was actually the better film…Pankaj Kapoor was outstanding. It is one of the rare occasions when an Indian adaptation, to my mind, surpassed the original. I don’t know how much of that is because of the fact that I saw “Ek ruka hua faisla” many years before seeing “Twelve Angry Men”…perhaps that made it the definitive version for me.

    In either case, for those of you who haven’t seen either film…see them both…brilliant films

  13. Frankly speaking,I liked “Ek ruka hua faisla” better… 🙂

    Beg your pardon for digressing a bit in between… yesterday someone very important passed away. No matter what our opinions are about him, I think he deserves a piece of writing from you GB and a serious one perhaps…

  14. Excellent post. Very funny in striking contrast to the movie’s seriousness.

    I am surprised that you didnt invite the Bachchan family to the party. They have package deals if you take the whole family.

  15. Ghototkoch wrote: “yesterday someone very important passed away.”

    Yup, you are right. A symbol of oppression, totalitarianism and autocracy passed away yesterday. A sad day for all of us !

  16. “Beg your pardon for digressing a bit in between… yesterday someone very important passed away. No matter what our opinions are about him, I think he deserves a piece of writing from you GB and a serious one perhaps…”

    Yes, I am also waiting for GB’s evaluation of JB’s achievements ( or lack of them). Kind of surpised after reading all the obituaries. Even Aajkal, the quasi- mouthpiece of CPI(M), could not find out lasting achievement apart from his foreign junkets!!

  17. pedestrian post !! but I will definitely watch the movie… I mean the original one…not the Mithun & Uday Chopra starrer 🙂

  18. I have seen both “12 Angry Men” and “Ek Ruka Hua Faisla”. The latter was made by Basu Chatterjee for television. An earlier poster has got it incorrect – Pankaj Kapoor was Juror No. 3, the principal antagonist. The hero was K.K. Raina. There were quite a lot of good character actors in the movie pricipally from television – M.K.Raina, Annu Kapoor, and others whose names I don’t remember. The main problem with the Hindi movie was that it is set in India and we don’t have a jury-based judicial system in India. Also, being financed by Doordarshan, it was quite low-budget. Pankaj Kapoor and Annu Kappor’s make-up was very obvious. But the acting was quite good. The claustrophobic atmosphere that Arnab has rightly eluded to is missing from the Hindi movie.

  19. Greatbong, I have watched the hindi version “Ek ruka hua faisla”. Anu Kapur plays the sole dissident in the hindi version. I found the movie to be quite amazing although I haven’t watched 12 angry men. I would recommend the hindi version, esp. you seem to be quite emphatic after watching the original. Please watch it and let us know your views!

  20. sounds like a good premise! Btw I agree with you…12 angry men is a classic. The problem with Ek ruka hua faisla is that it is a scene for scene copy of the original. As we know, those never look that good. Pankaj Kapoor (executioner) and Annu Kapoor (perceptive old man) save the movie.

  21. wow That actually seems plausible

    oh god I can imagine mithun da as henry fonda now all thats missing are the dialogue writers from gunda. I recommend kanti shah to direct.

    “Mera naam hai Juror number saath Kanooni tareeke se lagaayenge vaat!”

    sorry the pun was there waiting to be used

  22. Awesomeness…. Bows!!

    ” My Name is Ham.” “Upen Patel would be cast as the wooden table at which the jurors sit. ”

    those who have not watched it yet do watch the English version, its one of the best movies of all times.

  23. actually it is one of the rare cases where the hindi version (ek ruka….) is atleast as good. Of course the original is a master peace but this one is done very well.

  24. Is ‘Ek Ruka hua Faisla’ a hindi adaptation/version as many have referred here, or is it a plagiarized copy?

    I would have thought the answer to be obvious. But way people are flaunting the ‘hindi version’ to be better than the original makes me actually curious that whether our older film maker were more sensitive about intellectual property or have we just grown so accustomed to plagiarism that we now hail it.

  25. hey – if I had the money would’ve sponsored it myself.. What abt the songs???? Surely you could come up with 2 or 3 plausible scenarios where that might happen…

  26. GB, Money is not an issue for this one!!! Please start asking the actors for their dates… lets start this project ASAP… lets not be lazy and waste such a masterpiece of silliness be wasted…

    And with Mithun on board the movie is a sure shot hit..

    P.S.: once it is done, you mind if we pass on the movie in the piracy market too?? should be a good investment..

  27. Though I did notice this post earlier. I did not read it , coz I had not seen the movie. Now that I have done both, I really wish that you talked a bit longer in the vien you started. The idea of justice , reasonable doubt and all….coz for once you were almost expressing yourself in words which contradicted the notions that you have long held. It would have been interesting to read those expressions. Rest of the post was top class as usual.

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