remakes

Amitabh Bachchan starrer ‘Deewar’ was remade in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam – and Cantonese

‘The Brothers’, a remake by the Shaw Brothers studio, sticks to the story of a criminal who clashes with his police officer sibling over their mother.

Deewar, the classic drama about crime, morality and punishment between brothers on opposite sides of the law, has inspired several remakes. Directed by Yash Chopra in 1975 and written by Salim-Javed, Deewar’s versions include Magaadu in Telugu, Thee in Tamil and Nathi Muthal Nathi Vare in Malayalam – and The Brothers in Cantonese. The Brothers (1979) stars Tony Liu as Amitabh Bachchan’s criminal, while Danny Lee steps into the role of the righteous police officer brother played by Shashi Kapoor.

The remake was produced by the renowned Shaw Brothers studio, which is known internationally for kung fu and period dramas. The Brothers was directed by Shaw Brothers regular Hua Shan, who had previously delivered the cult movies Super Inframan (1975), Soul of the Sword (1978), Little Dragon Maiden (1983), and Portrait in Crystal (1983).

The Brothers is a mostly faithful remake. The dialogue is transcribed directly from the original in many places, and many of the emotionally charged scenes survive with a few notable changes.

Several notable Hong Kong actors show up in The Brothers, including the legendary Ku Feng, playing the role of Davar Seth (Iftekhar). Shaw Brothers regular villain Chan Sen plays Madan Puri’s Samant. Parveen Babi’s Anita, played by Chow Lai Guen, has barely any screen time, while Neetu Singh’s character has been excised from the Hong Kong version.

The crucial character of the mother, who becomes a source of conflict between the brothers, is played Nam Hung. The Hong Kong cinema veteran can hardly match up to Nirupa Roy when it comes to conveying the original film’s emotional thrust.

The Brothers is shorter than Deewar, clocking 90 minutes. Like Deewar, it begins with a strike (at a fishing pier instead of a coal mine), but the father (Riki Harada instead of Satyen Kappu) is killed off in the beginning itself.

There are other important differences. The criminal is not killed by his police inspector brother but by a group of armed policemen after a fist fight. The character played by Parveen Babi in the original is raped. The badge numbered 786, which is worn by Amitabh Bachchan’s character, has its own subplot in Deewar. The number stands for the value of the words “Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim”. In The Brothers, Tony Liu has a badge numbered 838, which signifies the Chinese Year of the Horse.

The remake fails to capture the essence of Deewar. Tony Liu and Danny Lee lack the aura and chemistry of the original actors. Although Danny Lee went on to become a sought after actor in the cop genre, acting in such notable movies as John Woo’s The Killer (1989), he looks tacitly out of place in The Brothers.

Tony Liu has done commendably well in many Shaw Brothers kung fu movies, but he too does not fit the part of the smouldering and brooding man who blames the world for the hardships heaped upon his family. The lack of a bond between the brothers is glaring, and perhaps the movie would have worked better with another combination of actors, such as Shaw Brothers regular Ti Lung, David Chiang and Alexander Fu Sheng. Hong Kong star Ti Lung went on to play a similar character in John Woo’s classic A Better Tomorrow (1986).

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.