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Posted at: Jul 14, 2017, 6:29 PM; last updated: Jul 14, 2017, 6:29 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW - CHANNA MEREYA

Remake gone wrong

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Movie: Channa Mereya

  • Director: Pankaj Batra
  • Cast: Ninja, Payal Rajput, Karamjit Anmol, Amrit Mann, Yograj Singh, BN Sharma, Anita Devgan
Remake gone wrong
A poster of Channa Mereya

Jasmine Singh

Let’s get straight to the point, Channa Mereya is an official remake of award-winning Marathi film, Sairat. Indeed. Director Pankaj Batra has taken the word ‘remake’ really seriously, because barring a few scenes, much of the film is a copy of Sairat. After all, this is an official remake, so copy-paste and you are done!

Nonetheless, things that still make Channa Mereya appreciable are, the fresh pairing of Ninja and Payal Rajput, nice music and praise worthy cinematography. 

 Given the fact that Channa Mereya is a remake, the challenge for the director lay in putting his own creativity to test. But for Pankaj Batra, who had a blue print of Sairat in front of him, this task was not very difficult. All that he needed was to give a Punjabi touch to the already popular Marathi film. So how does he go about it? Well, he changes a few characters, instead of hero’s younger sister as was in Sairat, he brings in a cute little Punjabi brother in Channa Mereya. Instead of making one of the hero’s friend a mechanic (as in the Marathi film), he makes him a farmer, in the Punjab remake! Instead of hero’s father hitting him for loving an upper caste girl (as in Marathi again), the Punjabi father only pleads and begs his son to not get into trouble. Instead of the lady (as in Marathi) bring in BN Sharma to the rescue spot, and last but ‘definitely’ not the least, instead of making the hero work at a motorbike repair store (as in Sairat), let our Punjabi hero work at a small shanty that serves omelette and Maggi. 

Here, if you wonder, where does this leave the director and how can he possibly show his creativity, we must tell you making remakes is one hell of a job, especially when instead of casteism (as in Sairat) you have to bring in difference of status between the lead pair to suit the Punjabi audience. Right! 

Coming back to our Punjabi Channa Mereya, the film has been shot really well. The film has a decent pace; the first half is racy as compared to the second half. 

 The storyline of this love story is no different from the love stories we’ve been seeing, Qyamat Se Qyamat Tak, Ishaqzaade...

 Punjabi singer Ninja, makes his debut with the film. The singer does bring in a fresh feel, whether the Punjabi audiences will accept him is a matter of time. Two artistes in Channa Mereya deserve a special mention, the leading lady, Payal Rajput, who has acted pretty well. The actress shows a lot of potential, and, the second artiste is Karamjit Anmol. The actor, singer and comedian has done some outstanding piece of acting in the film. 

 Lyricist and singer Amrit Mann too debuts with the film. The singer does give a glimpse of his fine acting, rest his looks do the villainous talking. Yograj Singh does nothing different and so does BN Sharma. Another fine artiste, Anita Devgan shows us yet again that she can act irrespective of the length of the role.

The film takes a predictable turn in the second half. Those who have heard stories of honour killing can predict the climax. But all said and done, the end scene of Channa Mereya, which is by the way an exact copy of Sairat, doesn’t evoke any feelings unlike the Marathi film, which makes our senses numb. 

Channa Mereya has some good music, which might get it brownie points. If the director wanted to give a Punjabi twist to the Marathi film, he could have at least made the lead pair come from different caste backgrounds, no harm in putting in some creativity to the remake, what say Channa Mereya! 

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