Poor Jacqueline Fernandez.
All she did was dance enthusiastically to an admittedly quite average remake of the 1988 hit Ek Do Teen from the movie Tezaab, originally sung by Alka Yagnik and featuring Madhuri Dixit. My colleague at TLF perhaps put it most succinctly when he called the 4-minute long track a standard-issue item number and bad rip-off of Babuji and Jumma Chumma.
Now despite Shreya Ghoshal pulling off an Alka Yagnik really quite well here, all of Twitter took very grave objection to this new remake from Baaghi 2, particularly its choreography. Many folks seem to have spent most of the last two days venting their ire at the disappointing remake, with many social media commentators even going so far as to call it blasphemous, and a major insult to Madhuri Dixit.
As a die-hard Madhuri Dixit fan, I find this #EkDoTeen remix blasphemous and highly offensive. DO. NOT. TOUCH. THE. CLASSICS. I repeat, DO FUCKIN NOT!
— Shuchi Singh Kalra (@shuchikalra) March 19, 2018
We should praise the hideous new #EkDoTeen remix ‘dance’ video, since it is grotesque (and blasphemous) enough to kill the Bollywood remix trend altogether.
— Raja Sen (@RajaSen) March 19, 2018
Some of those crying blasphemy are surely being propelled by their extreme love for Madhuri, but my colleague points out the real blasphemy here. The original 7-minute-long song was supposed to tell a story of a month-long-wait, which turns into a years-long-wait. This new remake ends the story of longing quite abruptly at day 21! Isn’t it so very millenial of them, with our new-found Tinder timelines for love?
Anyway, even more amusing than the outrage on Twitter has been the reaction of Tezaab director N Chandra and the choreographer of the original song, Saroj Khan. In an extremely huffy interview to The Quint, Chandra said that he and Khan were both furious about the remake, so much so that Khan was provoked into bringing it up during a prayer meet held for the late Sridevi, which really does seem quite disrespectful to Sridevi, but okay. Perhaps Saroj Khan’s passions were justifiably aroused. She did, after all, win the first ever Filmfare award for choreography for Ek Do Teen, when Filmfare first introduced the category in 1989.
N Chandra went on to hilariously say that Jacqueline Fernandez doing a Madhuri Dixit number was like “turning the Central Park into a botanical garden”, which has to be my favourite analogy perhaps ever. Then he called the new remake of Ek Do Teen a sex act, and said Saroj Khan intended to sue the movie’s makers. I would love to know on what grounds an FIR can be filed here, and am convinced that whatever they are, they’re bound to be hilarious. This is of course also a slightly disturbing trend if it shapes up into anything, because I wasn’t aware we could sue the makers of bad item numbers for imaginary “crassness” or bad choreography.
It all does feel pretty bizarre, because if you watch the remake through a lens shorn of Madhuri-love, it really does feel like just another item number (it even looks like it was shot in the same room that RK-Madhuri’s Ghaghra (via Agra) was shot in, and also Chikni Chameli). Why hate on Jacqueline Fernandez because item numbers are gross?