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Kaante October 7, 2009

Posted by Prof. RR in Uncategorized.

What kind of remake is Kaante? How do we understand its relationship with Reservoir Dogs and/or with City on Fire? Is it an instance of homage? Or is this just plagiarism? How does Kaante revise the earlier texts? On the other hand, how does it work with the Bollywood formula?



1. bri66 - October 7, 2009

I have not seen either City on Fire or Reservoir Dogs (other than the clips in class) so I can’t really say what kind of a remake it is. However, the camera angles, camera movement and use of sound I thought were definitely more cutting edge than last weeks film. For instance, at one point in the movie, the movements of the men are in time with the beats of the music playing. And even though there were still songs and dancing it, to me it seemed much more modern, almost pop-ish. I’m referring to the first song/dance of the woman at the club. Maybe it’s just me, but her outfit reminded me of Britney Spears’ outfit in her music video Slave For You. So in that sense I definitely saw more references to popular Hollywood culture.

2. jasdev00 - October 8, 2009

I also haven’t seen Reservoir Dogs or City on Fire so I don’t know how much it borrows from those films. But I felt like the techniques used throughout the film gave it a more western feel. It did however keep the whole idea of what it means to be an indian when Marc and Andy throw the man who talks about blowing up Kashmir over the building. They felt like as indians it was something they had to do because the man was talking about attacking their country. There was not much random song and dance, most of those sequences played a part in the movie. The movie was definitely more modern and probably appealed more to western viewers than many other Bollywood films.

3. christopherlam - October 8, 2009

While I agree that Kaante is definitely more westernized, there is a distinct, irrevocable Indian feel to it. Family is much more important in this film than the others, as almost every one of the main characters is committing the heist to help their loved ones. Major seems like he goes back to the warehouse because his wife dies, and thus none of the money matters after she is gone. Their families are the direct reason for most of those to undertake the robbery. The movie makes clear that this is the wrong way to go about it; they all die. However, through most of the film, they are the protagonists and the audience does sympathize with them, perhaps because of this familial theme.

Prof. R - October 8, 2009

That’s a good point. We didn’t talk about this too much–but the gang is also presented as a family, with Major as the father figure and the others as his sons, much more than in RD.

4. Alex - October 8, 2009

I noticed the family theme as well. Not only were the motivations of the heist usually having to do with protecting family, the band of partners in crime seemed more familial in Kaante. While in Reservoir Dogs, they all operate under code names, these men are open with eachothers’ names, motivations, and backgrounds; topics strictly forbidden in the Tarentino film. While they are criminals, the audience is still led to sympathize with them making their deaths due to the police informer even more complicated. Kaante puts loyalty on a pedestal, while simultaneously challenging the audience’s perception of right and wrong.

5. kellyparry111 - October 8, 2009

bri- I agree… I was thinking that the director used a Shakira video for inspiration.. maybe a little intertextuality?

6. kellyparry111 - October 8, 2009


I was exploring this website and I realized that on the pages in “the makers” category, Sanjay Gupta (who is credited with “story” as well as “director”, “producer”, and “dialogues”) does not give any kind of shout-out to Reservoir Dogs or City on Fire….but they do talk about what a great feat Kaante is for Hindi cinema.

7. lillyrice - October 8, 2009

Like Bri and Jasdev, I also have not seen City on Fire or Reservoir Dogs, so my interpretation of Kaante as a remake is extremely limited. Nonetheless, I did notice some significant differences between Kaante and KKHH. Rather than pushing the “modernity vs. tradition” theme, Kaante seemed to present a compromise between the two. At the same time, however, the blend of modernity and tradition caused their deaths. Each of the men are motivated by their personal lives (a critically ill wife, a dancer girlfriend, a custody battle, etc.), but they ultimately fail, ruining their relationships and ending their own lives. Another difference that I noticed between the two films was the portrayal of the western world. An obvious aspect, of course, has to do with Kaante being set in L.A. Additionally, rather than pushing labels and designers, as KKHH did so blatantly, Kaante is relatively subtle in that regard. Instead of relying on brands to give add that western dimension/commercial appeal, Kaante seems to emulate ‘western style’ in the clothing trends themselves. As Bri mentioned, the first song-dance sequence seems like an exact replica of Britney Spears’s “Slave for You” video. The only thing missing in Kaante is Britney’s famous ‘thong on top of the jeans’ move.

Here’s a link to Britney’s music video if anyone is interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6Bmv5vwhNY

8. Zach - October 8, 2009

A couple of differences I noticed between Kaante and Reservoir Dogs: 1. The captured policeman in Reservoir Dogs does a lot more pleading. Granted, you can’t really beat Tarantino’s Mr. Blonde for a sadistic interrogator– I’d rather be punched repeatedly than have my ear cut off with a straight razor– but I did feel like the policeman in Kaante was a little too toss-offish about whether he lived or died. But I did get a kick out of the fact that the sadistic guy in Kaante was blonde. It made me anxious to see if he would have a torture scene.
2. Once Mr. Orange kills Mr. Blonde in RD, you know for sure that he’s the cop (because he says he is). But in Kaante, you don’t know that the guy on the couch is the cop until Major does. I don’t prefer one plot over the other, but the effect of each is different.

9. kellyparry111 - October 8, 2009

Also, check the comments on this YouTube video for a really intellectual debate about Kaante as a remake.

10. andrewmw11 - October 13, 2009

I was not sure where I should I post this comment as it does not really have much to do with the remaking of Kaante. However, while watching the two Bollywood films (my first and second respectively) and through in class discussions, I have noticed that the idea of the Bollywood ending is set. For example, in the films we watched we knew how the movie would end and it was just part of the genre of Bollywood. However, I was watching some American Hollywood movies and don’t believe that that is simply a Bollywood feature. Certainly the long drawn out scenes to get to the end result is very Bollywood standard, but we seem to bring attention to the endings when I do not believe they are so different than some American Films.

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