Sunday, November 6, 2011

Remake Idea: The Karate Kid

The Karate Kid (1984) is a very cliched, yet powerful, Hollywood movie about a young boy named Daniel (Ralph Macchio) who moves with his single mother from New Jersey to California. The skinny kid with a New Jersey accent is a total misfit in his new school. He's severely bullied by the school's "surfer dude" crowd. But he meets a Japanese immigrant named Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morito) who teaches him karate and helps him overcome his tormentors

Here's a plot summary from Yahoo Movies:
Daniel moves to Los Angeles from the east coast and is bullied by the Cobras, a menacing gang of karate students, when he strikes up a relationship with Ali, the Cobra leader's ex-girlfriend. Eager to fight back and impress his new girlfriend but afraid to confront the dangerous gang, Daniel asks his handyman Miyagi, whom he learns is a master of the martial arts, to teach him karate.
Miyagi teaches Daniel that karate is a mastery over the self, mind, and body and that fighting is always the last answer to a problem. Under Miyagi's guidance, Daniel develops not only physical skills but also the faith and self-confidence to compete despite tremendous odds as he encounters the fight of his life.
You can watch the trailer on YouTube.

The movie was remade in 2010 starring Jaden Smith (Will Smith's son) and Jackie Chan and was a huge box office success. The new movie follows the original plot but changes a few things. The main character is now much younger (which in my opinion made the movie less enjoyable because you just don't want to see a little kid practicing a violent sport; you also don't want to see him kissing a girl -- eww!). The location is now Beijing, China. The martial art is Kung Fu, and the teacher is Mr. Han played by the inimitable Jackie Chan.

I think this would be a great Malayalam remake because we haven't really had a sports movie. I was hoping that Sevenes would be such a movie, but unfortunately football did not feature significantly in it. One of the bloggers suggested that Sevenes should've been titled "Quotation". So true!

It would be great if karate were replaced by kalaripayattu in a malayalam remake. The important thing is not which sport is chosen but the emotional aspects of the story. In the Karate Kid, the protagonist is a fatherless child in a foreign place who is being bullied by the local thugs. He finds a surrogate father who is also a misfit loner in need of a friend. The two strike up an unlikely friendship. In the end they both learn a lot and gain much from the other. It is this emotional thread that gives the movie its soul. Karate just spices it up a little bit.

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