Run, Laal, run: Aamir Khan stars in Indian Forrest Gump

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Aamir Khan, an Indian actor, is appearing in a Hindi adaptation of Forrest Gump.

The original film, which was released in 1994, went on to win six Oscars, including best picture and best actor for Tom Hanks.

Forrest Gump, directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Eric Roth, is the story of a slow-witted but mathematically genius man who sees major events and characters in US history, such as the Vietnam War, presidents, and Elvis Presley.

Nearly 30 years later, the story has been given an Indian makeover, with Khan playing the eponymous character Laal Singh Chaddha, and the lyric “Run, Forrest, run” has been changed to “Run, Laal, run.”

“I only remember viewing it a few of times in a short period of time, and it had a profound impression on me, “Khan stated. “Forrest was a great character. I also enjoyed Tom’s performance in the role. And it’s a movie that has stuck with me.”

Khan had to wait a decade for the film rights. However, significant adjustments were made to firmly establish Laal Singh Chaddha in Indian history and culture, with the appearance of both the Kargil war and celebrity Shah Rukh Khan.

Laal does not believe that life is a box of chocolates; instead, he prefers to quote his mother about Golgappas, which are small circles of filled, deep-fried flatbread served with spiced water and have a slightly different connotation than the original slogan.

”(Forrest says) ‘my momma used to say life is like a box of chocolates: You never know which one you would get.’ And in this one, the English translation is, ‘My mama used to say that life is like a Golgappa: Your stomach gets full, but your heart desires more,’” explained Khan.

He went on to say that writer Atul Kulkarni was transforming what was “basically American” into something “quintessentially Indian and culturally meaningful to us.”

Laal Singh Chaddha, directed by Advait Chandan, also stars Kareena Kapoor Khan, Mona Singh, and Naga Chaitanya.

Khan stated that he requested Kapoor Khan, who has had a brilliant career for more than two decades, to audition for the key role of Rupa D’souza, Laal’s buddy.

“She’s a huge star who has never auditioned for a role in her life.” But performing an audition for the part is completely natural for me because I want to see how close I am to the character. So we’re not actually testing whether or not a person can act, but rather how suited the person is for the role. However, that is extremely unusual in India.”

Legendary Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan also makes a brief but significant presence in the film. He doesn’t need to audition because he’s playing himself.

It took a decade for Khan to get the movie rights. But big changes were made to root Laal Singh Chaddha in Indian history and culture, with both the Kargil war and superstar Shah Rukh Khan appearing.

Laal does not think life is like a box of chocolates, he instead likes to quote his mother talking about Golgappas – small circles of filled, deep-fried flatbread enjoyed with spiced water, which has a slightly different meaning than the original motto.

”(Forrest says) ‘my momma used to say life is like a box of chocolates: You never know which one you would get.’ And in this one, the English translation is, ‘My mama used to say that life is like a Golgappa: Your stomach gets full, but your heart desires more,’” explained Khan.

He added that writer Atul Kulkarni was adapting what was “essentially American” into something “quintessentially Indian and very relevant to us culturally”.

Directed by Advait Chandan, Laal Singh Chaddha also stars Kareena Kapoor Khan, Mona Singh and Naga Chaitanya.

Khan said he asked Kapoor Khan, who’s had a successful career for more than two decades, to try out for the pivotal role of Laal’s friend, Rupa D’souza.

“She’s such a huge star and she’s never auditioned for a part in her life. But for me, doing an audition for the part is perfectly natural because even I want to see how close I am to the character. So we’re not really testing to see that a person can act or not, but really how suitable the person is for the part. But that’s something which is very unusual in India.”

Another huge star who makes a small but important appearance in the movie is legendary Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan. No audition needed, as he’s portraying himself.

“We were trying to look for an equivalent to Elvis Presley in America. And I think for us, it was an obvious choice to go for Shah Rukh, because he’s such a huge star and everyone loves him so much,” Khan said. “He was really sporting and generous and said, yes, I’d love to do that.”

Laal Singh Chaddha is releasing around the world this month – including on 350 screens in the UK, which is a new record for an Indian movie.

“I’m nervous,” Khan admitted.

“It’s a film we made with so much love and care, and it’s been such a difficult film to make.” The entire road has been arduous but exhilarating and enjoyable.”

Much of his journey was spent sprinting towards the finish line, and he “ran a lot,” according to Khan.

“We were traveling around the country for a month and a half, and each location we went, I simply ran, and Advait as a director was extremely callous.” He’d start a shoot, get in the car, and there’d be a camera in the car, and I’d be running and the car would just drive, and it’d be a few kilometers by the time he called cut.”

Laal Singh Chaddha will be released in Singapore theaters on Thursday (Aug 11).

Source: AP/sr

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