David Dhawan’s Coolie No 1 reboot, starring Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan, trumped overwhelmingly negative reviews to open big on Amazon Prime Video. The film was watched by people from over 3,700 Indian cities and towns in its opening weekend and became the most-watched Christmas release on the streaming platform. It was also the most-searched Amazon Prime Video title on the internet in 2020, a representative from the streaming service said.
Varun, who played the titular Coolie in the film, said in a statement, “The experience of recreating a classic film that I grew up watching has been surreal, and it is humbling to receive so much love and appreciation from viewers. In a year like 2020, we wanted to bring smiles to the audiences’ faces with a story that would entertain the entire family.”
Jackky Bhagnani, who produced Coolie No 1 under the banner Pooja Entertainment, said, “This is the dawn of a new era for Indian entertainment. The release of this film has cut across boundaries, and we are happy that viewers across the world are streaming it.”
Coolie No 1 is a reboot of the 1995 film of the same name, which starred Govinda and Karisma Kapoor in the lead roles. Varun plays a coolie who poses as an ultra-rich heir who cons the daughter of a hotel owner (played by Sara) to marry her. When he is caught, he concocts a lie about having an identical twin, leading to much confusion.
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The Hindustan Times review of Coolie No 1 called it a ‘limp spoof of the original’ and questioned the need to remake old hits. On IMDb, the film was bombed with unfavourable reviews and currently has a rating of 3.7 out of 10.
Coolie No 1 also featured Paresh Rawal, Javed Jaaferi, Shikha Talsania, Sahil Vaid, Rajpal Yadav and Johnny Lever in key roles. The film got a direct-to-digital release on Amazon Prime Video when the Covid-19 pandemic put paid to plans of a theatrical release.
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