There was a time when Bollywood filmmakers used to copy music, scenes, and even films from Hollywood, instead of using their creative minds. Even the best of directors let their American colleagues’ work influence them in some way that helped Bollywood more than Hollywood.
Fast forward to 2017 and we move into the era of Official Remakes where Indian filmmakers get the consent of a filmmaker in America and then release their Indianized version for good or for worse.
Saif Ali Khan’s Chef is the local version of Jon Favreau’s film of the same name but thankfully, it was done well, for a film that revolves around food.
Father Critic Replaces Food Critic
In the Hollywood version, Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) was fired from his job after he lost his temper with a food critic and disagreed with his boss (Dustin Hoffman) over the menu.
In the Indian version, Roshan Klara (Saif Ali Khan) is shown as a Chandni Chowk kid who grows up to be a three-star Michelin Chef only after he runs away from his strict father. The Food Critic pays a visit to Carl in the American flick while in the Indian one, the father reconciles with his son and his grandson over food. Cute, isn’t it?
Cuban Cuisine makes way for Indian Pizza
For Americans, Fast Food is a way of life; when you get Cuban Cuisines through a Food truck, things become interesting in Chef.
Same thing happened in India where Roshan and his son Armaan (Svar Kamble) bonded over Cholay Batooray and that helped them create a new dish for their fellow compatriots.
Logic took over plagiarism and director Raja Krishna Menon decided to use the Double Decker, as a Stall rather than a moving restaurant, considering the roads in India aren’t like that in the United States.
Rich Friends are the Best Friends
Hunks are Hunks, be it in Hollywood or Bollywood. While Robert Downey Jr. plays the rich ex-husband of Carl’s ex-wife, Milind Suman plays the very rich and very caring friend.
Both come up with the idea of the mobile restaurant and help the protagonist who at first doesn’t take their gesture positively, in the Indian version.
Both have a cameo role in the film but it leaves a lasting impact on all, making the Chefs go out of their way to prove they are the boss!
Sexy Wives, Caring Mothers
The ex-wives of both the Chefs (in India and America) are easily the hottest women in the business – Sofía Vergara in Hollywood flick and Padmapriya Janakiraman in the Indian version.
They turn out to be caring mothers who think about their preteen sons and their post-teen ex-husbands who become kids when in the kitchen. I
t is because of their support that the Chefs manage to do well in life, eventually finding the direction they so lacked in their restaurants.
Geography is important for Food
One stopped in Miami to test his food, the other in Goa – both holiday destinations. The crowds were great and cosmopolitan in both the places and they gave the boost to the protagonist and his team.
Thankfully, the Indian version didn’t turn out to be a cheap knock-off flick otherwise it would have discouraged Hollywood filmmakers to share their products for a remake in Bollywood.