Lahore, December 20 (Express Tribune): Indian film maker Mahesh Bhatt’s 1982 cult romance drama Arth starring Raj Kiran, Smita Patil and Shabana Azmi, has become the first Hindi film to be remade in Pakistan.
The Pakistani remake titled ‘Arth 2’ starring Shaan Shahid (played by Raj Kiran in the original), Humaima Malick ( Smita Patil), Uzma Hassan (Shabana Azmi) and Mohib Mirza (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) is to be released on December 21.
The remake is a contemporary retelling of the original story and will be set in Lahore.
The idea of remaking Arth materialized after Shaan met Mahesh Bhatt in 2015 and expressed a desire to remake the film for the Pakistani audience. Mahesh Bhatt unhesitatingly gave the story and screenplay rights to Shaan without charging any money.
But why did Shaan opt for Mahesh’s 1982 hit?
“First of all, it was the business proposition for me. India and Pakistan do a lot of trade. So, why not give cultural trade a chance?” said the 021actor in a recent interview to BBC Asian Network.
“We give space to Indian films. So I think intellectual elites from both sides should bridge this gap between the countries. If there are people working for war, then there should be people working for peace as well,” Shaan said.
“I would urge the Indian community to come and support the cause of Pakistani and Indian friendship. So, show your heart out and come and watch Arth. It’s an Indian-Pakistani movie. It’s been quite some time since we’ve been united.”
Talking about how the original Arth director has been singing praises for its Pakistani rendition, Shaan said he feels honored.
“The kind words coming from Mahesh Ji were amazing. He was kind enough. When I offered him money for the rights of the film, he refused saying, ‘I want this movie to be the first Pakistani and Indian collaboration. If you’re making it Shaan, then I’m not going to charge you anything’,” the actor revealed.
Arth – The Destination is Shaan’s comeback after four or five years. And it’s not an action movie.
“I’d been labeled as an action hero but I started out as a romantic hero,” Shaan recalled. “So, I thought it’s time I did a romantic film. Arth is a lot of fun to watch and there are a lot of messages in it,” the actor said.
(The featured images at the top shows posters of Mahesh Bhat’s original Arth and Shaan Shahid’s remake)