If James Cameron would have made Avataar with Bollywood actors?

Daboo Ratnani’s latest Bollywood calendar has made few of the selected Bollywood actors pose in the most vivacious and bright set ups. Especially, when I saw Sonakshi Sinha as a tribal belle and Varun Dhawan smeared in multiple colors, the first thought that ran up my mind was that they look like characters from James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster Avataar. May be, Daboo Ratnani would have profiled them for his calendar as per their onscreen image; where Sonakshi comes out as brave, no-nonsense girl just like Na’avi princess Neytiri and Varun Dhawan comes out as the accommodating, fun-loving boy-next-door who has brawns to match the casting of paralyzed marine Jake Sully as well as innocent looks to convince Neytiri and her tribe that he wants to learn their ways and wants to become one of their own.

Daboo Ratnani, Calendar 2016, Sonakshi Sinha, Varun Dhawan

And then I started to think that if James Cameron would have made Avataar in Bollywood then whom would he have chosen to cast in his movie as the main characters? So, after a lot of pondering over the idea I chose these actors who could fit into these important roles.

Sonakshi Sinha as Neytiri

She is fierce and raw among all the actresses that we have in Bollywood currently. She has portrayed her stealth in various roles, be it a sportswoman in the movie Holiday or her role as a strong village belle in Dabang. In her personal life, she comes out as someone who is fearless and can speak out her mind. And her portrayal in Daboo Ratnani’s calendar as a tribal belle seals her image as a strong, sexy and wild woman. So, she is Neytiri for me.

Sonakshi Sinha, Neytiri, Avataar

Varun Dhawan as Jake Sully

Varun Dhawan has the boyish charm as well as the brawns to depict a character from the marines. He comes out as a friendly boy-next-door who is willing to go that extra mile to impress his lady love and her family. (Neytiri and the tribe). He can be scheming and devious under the guise of his innocent looks and can portray the character of Jake Sully who is planted amongst the Na’avi tribe to win their confidence first and then eventually uproot them.

Varun Dhawan, Jake Sully, Avataar

Mukesh Rishi as Colonel Miles Quaritch

Mukesh Rishi has the fierce looks, the brawns and his age that perfectly match with the character of security head of Pandora’s mining operations, Colonel Miles Quaritch. He is straight forward and menacing. He looks like a security chief who is on a mission and is committed to his duties. I was also thinking about Sanjay Dutt who can play this role. But unfortunately, in Bollywood, 50 plus heroes still play the role of a romancing big brother and not character roles which suit their age. So, Mukesh Rishi comes close to the colonel’s character according to me.

Mukesh Rishi, Col Miles Quaritch, Avataar

Shabana Azmi as Dr. Grace Augustine

No one other than Shabana Azmi can play the role of Dr. Grace Augustine convincingly according to me. She is the only one who can deliver a powerhouse performance as a head of Avataar program, a woman committed to science and nature, who is happy with her innovations and can empathize with the tribe. She is also Sully’s mentor and an advocate of peaceful relations with the Na’vi, having set up a school to teach them English. Shabana Azmi has portrayed many roles as a mentor and a teacher. She has played characters in the past which command respect and call the shots in the plot. I think she perfectly fits the role of Dr. Augustine.

Shabana Azmi, Grace Augustine, Avataar

Richa Chadda as Trudy Chacón

Trudy Chacón is a combat pilot assigned to support the Avatar Program and who is sympathetic to the Na’vi. A combat pilot has to look tough and Richa’s portrayal of Bholi Punjaban in Fukrey proves that she can take up such a role. Richa has never shied away from out-of-the-box projects and I am sure she would love to be part of the project even if the role is not meaty enough. Trudy is a memorable character who supports the tribe till her last breath.

Richa Chadha, Trudy Chacon, Avataar

Abhay Deol as Parker Selfridge

Abhay Deol has played many grey roles, be it Dev D or Manorama 6 Feet under. He has never played the typical Bollywood masala hero who bashes 50 goons by himself. He has portrayed many interesting roles in his career like a street-smart thief in Oye Lucky Lucky Oye or the superhero is Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. His style in Aisha and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara was very corporate and semi-causal which makes him a good contender as Parker Selfridge, the corporate administrator for the RDA mining operation who is always at loggerheads with Dr. Augustine. Parker means business at any cost, and Abhay Deol as Parker Selfridge will be convincing enough to portray the grey character in the movie.

Abhay Deol, Parker Selfridge, Avataar

Rekha as the spiritual leader Mo’at

Rekha, the evergreen beauty who has played many strong female centric roles in the past can easily play Mo’at, the Omaticaya’s spiritual leader, Neytiri’s mother, and partner to clan leader Eytukan. Be it Kamasutra, where she played a royal teacher or Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi where she played the gang leader Madam Maya, she has easily showcased the powerful women characters in her movies. Mo’at should look charismatic and authoritative as she is Neytiri’s (heroine’s) mother as well as a clan leader, and we all know that there is no dearth of charisma and authority in Rekha.

Rekha, Mo'at, Avataar

Danny Denzongpa as the clan leader Eytukan

Who else can play a menacing father and a strong clan leader after Ambarish Puri, other than Danny Denzongpa? As a clan leader who is doubtful of the “sky-people’s” motives, he needs to showcase a lot of hate, anger and distrust for Jake Sully. But he also needs to balance his decisions based on Mo’at’s recommendation and daughter Neytiri’s experience with the stranger and the floating Eywa pods. Danny Denzongpa can be the perfect father of the heroine.

Danny Denzongpa, Eytukan, Avataar

Upen Patel as warrior Tsu’tey

At first I thought of Siddharth Malhotra for the role, but given that he is concentrating on solo hero projects, he might not agree to this small but memorable role. Just a thought….hahaha…as if I am going to sign him tomorrow. So the next best person to play the finest warrior of the Omaticaya clan Tsu’tey, was Upen Patel. His uncanny resemblance to the character and his gait of a tall warrior made me think of him as a perfect fit for the role. Upen can show his anger as a wronged lover as well as the dethroned next-in-line clan leader with a lot of conviction.

Upen Patel, Tsutey, Avataar

Sharman Joshi as Dr. Norm Spellman

Sharman Joshi can easily play the role of Dr. Norm Spellman with his studious and good boy looks. Dr. Spellman is always ready to outwit Jake Sully with his scientific knowledge and prove that he is a better student than Jake to Dr. Augustine. He is jealous of Jake at first but later helps him with learning Na’vi ways and language.

Sharman Joshi, Norm Spellman, Avataar

What do you guys think of this casting? Are there any better actors who can play these roles? Do leave a comment below.

*It is a fun post and in no way suggestive of any remake of the movie. The images have been sourced from various free online portals. But the content is strictly copyrighted.

About MumbaiGloss

Parimita Chakravorty is an author, blogger, features writer and a communications specialist. She has written for various popular magazines and websites related to beauty, fashion, jewellery and lifestyle, including HAIR India, Femina.in, BeBeautiful.in, Hello, etc. She has also contributed to various youth blogs and magazines. Her book ‘Look Stunning At Any Size’ has been well appreciated and received by the readers. Currently, she is part of India’s leading IT brand and takes care of their internal communications. Parimita is also working towards bringing awareness about Endometriosis in India; a silent epidemic which is consuming a lot of lives. She manages a page ‘Endometriosis India Files’ where patients discuss their condition and diagnosis.
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