Split Screen: Casting The RAM LAKHAN Remake
In 1989, master storyteller (at the time) Subhash Ghai directed a film called RAM LAKHAN which became an instant hit due to its story, cast and the enjoyable sibling chemistry between its lead actors, and ended up solidifying the careers of Anil Kapoor & Jackie Shroff. Cut to 2014, and Rohit Shetty, the auteur behind roid raging action comedies like SINGHAM & CHENNAI EXPRESS, has decided to remake the classic.
Before we take a look at who I think could play the titular roles in the remake, let’s first take a look at the original actors who portrayed these characters first.
Jackie Shroff as Ram & Anil Kapoor as Lakhan
Jackie Shroff is one of those actors that doesn’t have s storied career, but definitely one that has impressed and left behind some classic characters in our minds. Ram is no different, with the responsibility of being the older brother, an accomplished Police Officer and an over all idealistically honest man, he is the epitome of the good guy archetype. Shroff plays Ram with the straight forward earnest of a working man, while conveying deep gravitas when in direct contrast to Lakhan’s tomfoolery.
Lakhan can only be described as a rebellious rascal with a good heart that may not always share his brother’s idealistic nature. The younger brother of the two spends his days with shenanigans and debauchery and with his charm and wit, he romances his way into everyone’s heart. Everyone but Ram of course, who is the only one to discipline and tame his no-good brother. Anil Kapoor’s portrayal of Lakhan goes way beyond the obnoxious behaviour and loud clothes, but Kapoor plays him with an eager sense of misdirection, under the guidance of his perfect big bro. A role that Kapoor became very well known for in other films that have gone on to become classics themselves.
Now let’s take a look at which pair of new generation actors can capture these attributes of Ram & Lakhan in the remake. My choices are based on each actors proven acting talent, their physical resemblance to each other as well as their ability to convincingly play an older-younger brother duo, similar to that of Shroff and Kapoor in the original.
Ranveer Singh & Sushanth Singh Rajput
While it’s a no-brainer to have Ranveer Singh as the fun loving Lakhan, I believe it’s time for him to get a little serious and not go the more obvious route. Singh as the more serious brother will definitely be a departure, but we’ve seen him get intensely serious in his roles like RAM LEELA with huge success. And although Sushanth Singh Rajput is only 2 films old in the industry, he shows great potential, and Lakhan would basically be an extension and exaggeration of both his roles in KAI PO CHE & SHUDDH DESI ROMANCE, where both times he plays somewhat of a no-good loafer.
Arjun Rampal & Varun Dhawan
If Rohit Shetty decides to go with an all out action version of RAM LAKHAN, instead of a light hearted affair, who better than Arjun Rampal as the cop brother to Varun Dawn’s rascal with a heart? Rampal has portrayed the police officer in many movies, including CHAKRAVYUH, and is also no stranger to demanding action roles having done the more recent D-DAY. While Varun Dhawan has proven his chops at acting the fool and rogue in his movies like MAIN TERA HERO & HUMPTY SHARMA KI DULHANIA. Both roles that are very similar to Anil Kapoor’s younger days, and Dhawan seems perfectly capable of handling some action sequences as well.
Randeep Hooda & Arjun Kapoor
This pairing is a little trickier to justify. Randeep Hooda has often played the supporting actor to many a-list commercial heroes in movies from KICK to ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI. Hooda is one of the most underrated actors of Bollywood, and given the opportunity, he would make an amazing Ram with his mature and weighted on screen persona. Arjun Kapoor as his younger brother Lakhan would basically be doing a role similar to his debut in ISHAQZAADE, but only nicer and with a helluva lot more flair and charm. He wold also be essaying the role originally played by his uncle Anil Kapoor.
Shahrukh Khan & Ranbir Kapoor
The names on this list thus far are a blend of new and established actors, but for a production that sees Karan Johar & Subhash Ghai coming together to remake a classic, superstars are needed. This is where the likes of Shahrukh Khan playing the older and more mature role of Ram would benefit the magnitude of this film. Khan has played some great dramatically mature roles in his movies like CHAK DE & JAB TAK HAI JAAN (for some parts), and this would be no different, with slightly less depressive tinge, one would hope. Ranbir Kapoor has also proved himself an amazing actor and Khan would greatly be complimented by a younger powerhouse like Kapoor playing the carefree rebel Lakhan. These two also have amazing chemistry together, as evident by the awards shows they’ve hosted together.
Given the sibling love that the remake of RAM LAKHAN will be surrounded with, this would be the best time for the Chopra sisters to finally debut on screen together. My only choice for the actresses in this remake are Priyanka Chopra & Parineeti Chopra, simply given both of their success and proven chemistry with some of the actors on this list, and the nature of the story will provide them with more to do than just being ‘the girls’ in a male dominated story.
So these are my choices for the main leads for Rohit Shetty’s remake of the Subhash Ghai’s RAM LAKHAN to be produced by Karan Johar.
Which of these pairs for you like? Or let me know what other new actor combinations would be amazing for this movie? Add me on Twitter @theshahshahid for more rants.