Ajay Devgan
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Bollywood: Dream sequels?

Ajay Devgan


Mumbai, Feb. 3 -- Over the last few years, Bollywood has found a formula in sequels, with movies such as Munna Bhai MBBS (2003), Koi Mil Gaya (2003) and Dhoom (2004) setting the trend of making more instalments of hit films.

This paved way for other films too. While sequels like Dabangg 2 (2012), Ragini MMS 2 (2014) and Singham 2 (2014), among others did well at the box office, others such as Sarkar Raj (2008), 1920: Evil Returns (2012), and more recently, Dedh Ishqiya (2014) failed to get the audience excited. This year, too, the industry will offer five sequels. But will they recreate the magic of the originals?

Mean task

While many sequels such as Welcome Back, ABCD 2 and Hera Pheri 3 will see all new casts, films such as Tanu Weds Manu 2, Rock On 2 and Kyaa Kool Hain Hum will retain their original actors along with some new additions.

Kangana Ranaut, who will be seen Abhishek Bachchan will be seen in Hera Pheri 3 in the sequel to Tanu Weds Manu (2011) says that while it's not a cakewalk to do a sequel, it's still not as tough for the actors as for the directors. She explains, "For me, the challenge was the shift in the love story. I go from playing a wild, carefree, crazy girl to a married woman. And I have a double role. But for me, it still hasn't been bad. It's more challenging for the director."

Big responsibility

Film-makers and trade analysts feel that matching up to the success of the original is the most difficult aspect of making a sequel, but at the same time, taking forward an established brand has its own perks. Trade expert Atul Mohan says, "Comparison with the original is the biggest challenge. But as far as the box office is concerned, sequels have an edge over a new film because of brand awareness."

So, what's a prerequisite for success? Director Anees Bazmee, who returns to the big screen with Welcome Back, the second part of hit film, Welcome (2007) says a solid script is what one should focus on. "Writing a script is the most difficult part. Nothing scares a writer more than a blank page. Welcome was a big hit; it still runs on TV, so working on the sequel was a big responsibility."

However, some take challenges in their stride. Director Remo D'Souza, who is working on a sequel to his debut film, ABCD (2013), is hoping for a better response for his new venture. "The success of ABCD has been a motivation for all of us to take the sequel a few notches higher."