As the clock struck 12 to ring in Christmas, Amazon Prime Video played its part and dropped a fresh new release. Yes, I’m talking about the Coolie No 1 remake with Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan in lead roles. We obviously watched the film for this review, but should you? Read on to find out.
Since it’s a remake, there are clearly zero surprises when it comes to the plot. A railway porter from Mumbai, Raju (Varun Dhawan), is hired by a pandit to woo a rich man’s daughter, Sarah (Sara Ali Khan), to seek revenge. The story then follows the chaos that unfolds when the lie gets too big to handle. If you’ve seen the original Coolie No 1 from 1995 starring Govinda and Karisma Kapoor, I’m sure you’ll know what follows next. When I say zero surprises, I mean ZERO surprises.
It’s basically trying to relaunch the 90s in 2020
At the time of its release, Coolie No 1 became a big hit thanks to Govinda and his comic timing. The David Dhawan-Govinda combo ended up becoming a formula for success. But what one needs to remember is that literally anything passed in the name of humour in the 90s. Ridiculous rhyming dialogues? Sure. Adding a wig and a moustache to become totally unrecognisable? Sure. Bichhde hue judwa bhai where one is a saint and the other the devil? Sure. I mean, you get the point, right? We accepted whatever we got, perhaps because this kind of comedy had become a trend back then and we didn’t have a lot of options either.
But it’s 2020. Is the same content still funny? Sadly, no. Moreover, when one hears of a remake, there is a certain expectation of some freshness to make up for the change in decades at least. The 2020 version of the original feels like a ditto scene-by-scene remake with the most insignificant and annoying modifications. For instance, Paresh Rawal plays the role of Sarah’s father Jeffery Rozario. Since they’ve made the character a Christian in the remake, he has been given the most ridiculous dialogues like ‘Mummy, aap jaake Christ ke saamne candle jalao.’ And don’t even get me started on the overuse of the word ‘man’.
Coolie No 1 review: Final thoughts
If you want to watch Coolie No 1, watch the original from 1995. If you don’t like the faded colours and want the same thing in bright colours and updated audio technology because ‘OMG it’s 2020’, you can give the remake a shot. Otherwise, it’s just two hours spent knowing what happens next. I honestly don’t see the point in making an exact copy just with a change of cast.
You can watch the original 1995 film on Disney Plus Hotstar.
Or, you can stream the 2020 remake on Amazon Prime Video.