For several grey hair Chinese it is the time to relive the nostalgia of ‘awaala hu' (and not 'awaara hu') - as letter R is absent in Mandarin language. As the Inbdian and Chinese government has recently agreed in Shanghai to make a theatrical adaptation of Awaara and stage it in China by the end of next year, 2017. According to an agreement recently signed between India and China, Bollywood filmmaker Raj Kapoor's 1951 classic 'Awaara' is set for a theatrical reboot. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the apex government body on culture, and the China Shanghai International Arts Festival (CSIAF) to expand ties in the field.
"Both sides also attempt to make a joint theatrical re-production of Awara, which would be set in contemporary times and re-enacted as a theatre version for viewing by contemporary audiences worldwide including India and China”, said Indian Consul General in Shanghai, Prakash Gupta. “It may be noted as part of the MoU, both sides will also attempt a joint theatrical reproduction of the popular Indian movie ‘Awaara’ which would be set in contemporary times and re-enacted as a theatrical version for viewing by contemporary audiences worldwide”, said a statement from the Indian consulate in Shanghai.
Till date, ‘Awaara' has remained the most popular Indian movie in China, and way beyond any other Bollywood movie. Awaara was among seven Indian movies released in China between 1955 and 1961. It was re-released in the late 1970s after the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976. In more recent years, Awaara was referenced in the 2000 Chinese film Platform. But with time, it was felt that the movie and the song have probably lost traction with the present younger generation of Chinese. Therefore, the agreement is aimed at recreating the film's magic.
As per the agreement, Indian and Chinese actors will be selected for the parts. The expenditure will be borne equally by the two organisations. Once the production is ready, performances will be organised in India and China. The target audience for “Awaara 2.0” will be the post-1990s generation in China and their equally tech-savvy contemporaries in India.