An almost Romeo and Juliet-esque tale, “Khuda Gawah” captures the key ingredients of a legendary cinematic romance: love, separation and revenge.
Through the grandeur of its dialogue, backdrop and performances, the film certainly has the makings of a Shakespearian drama.
However, the lovers of this tale do not remain star crossed but eventually find their love requited after years of long separation.
The epic love story between Badshah Khan (Amitabh Bachchan) and Benezir (Sridevi) began with Mukul S. Anand’s Bollywood success “Khuda Gawa” in 1992, which was set extensively in India, Kabul, Nepal and Bhutan.
Running with a full house for 10 weeks in Kabul, the film still remains popular in Afghanistan whilst it became a sure success in India as the country’s second highest grossing film upon release.
Nevertheless, the epic tale is not over. Reportedly, a sequel is in the works.
However, film sequels are always a risk - whether in Hollywood or in Bollywood.
They seldom have the same effect of their predecessors - especially so if the prequel has become iconic in popular imagination.
Take the sequel for “The Jewel Thief” (1967) for instance. The film acquired not only cult status but became one of the highest grossing films of the pivotal decade of the 60’s.
The Dev Anand 1960’s starrer was definitely not done justice to through the sequel that arrived almost 30 years later in the form of box office failure, “The Return of the Jewel Thief” (1996).
“Aashiqui 2”, though it fared well at the box office, was a dismal representation of the classical prequel “Aashiqui”. Demonstrating a predictable story line, with none of the chemistry or magic of “Aashiqui”, the sequel was an enormous let-down.
If the situation were to arise for a sequel to “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge” or “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”, I would certainly be campaigning against it, determined to stop such a heinous act from happening.
Despite the “excitement” with the potential “Khuda Gawah” sequel, this provokes the question: Is the planned sequel to Badshah Khan and Benazir’s epic love story even a risk worth taking?
According to a production insider quoted by the Press Trust of India: "The script is being written for the sequel. It (film) was one of the most loved films and we thought of bringing it back. We have given a one liner brief idea to Mr Bachchan. We have got a positive feedback from him.”
The legendary Big B essayed the role of Badshah Khan - a sacrificial figure true to his word and one who held no qualms on compromising personal happiness for the happiness of others. Opposite Badshah Khan is his true love, Benazir played by the legendary beauty Sridevi.
Badshah Khan initially embarks upon a journey to seek revenge for Benazir’s murdered father.
He is challenged by Benazir to bring her the slain head of the man who murdered her father as a condition of marriage and to reciprocate Khan's love.
Yet, as if in a tryst with destiny, the Khan although successful in his mission, is separated from Benazir once again. What follows is a long separation where the Khan has sacrificed his happiness for the wellbeing of others.
Besotted with Badshah Khan, Benazir cannot help but hold hope for him to return, losing her mind whilst doing so.
However, after miraculous chance encounters, destiny reunites Khan with not only Benazir, who recovers once reunited with Khan, but also with his daughter (also played by Sridevi).
Despite the extraordinarily breath taking performances of the two leads, these were not honoured with awards.
Nevertheless, the lead performances were indeed critically acclaimed and nominated for numerous awards, including a brace of Filmfare honours. The film itself won four awards albeit in different categories: Best Director (Mukul S. Anand); Best Supporting Actor (Danny Denzongpa); Best Action and Best Sound (Bhagat Singh Rathod and Kuldeep Sood).
With an outstanding legacy to fulfil, the sequel is without a doubt, heavily anticipated.
With Khan and Benazir reunited in the prequel, one wonders whether the lovers will have to bear further separation or if the momentous reunion does indeed lead to a happy ending for the once star crossed lovers.
However, one also wonders if sequels of iconic Bollywood films should simply just not be made and whether Khan and Benazir should rest happily in the popular imagination as reunited.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS