Bollywood films inspired by South Indian cinema
With all eyes on Drishyam, the Bollywood action drama based on the eponymous Malayalam super hit that is due to be released on Thursday, we look at the top 10 Hindi blockbusters inspired by South Indian films.
1. Wanted (2009)
The film that revived Salman Khan’s career was a remake of the 2006 Telugu blockbuster Pokiri (Rogue). It did so well that it was also made in Tamil and Kannada. Wanted was actor/choreographer Prabhu Deva’s Bollywood directorial debut. He followed it up with a series of remakes: Rowdy Rathore, Ramaiya Vastavaiya and Action Jackson.
2. Singham (2011)
One of nine remakes featuring Ajay Devgn – the husband of celebrated actress Kajol. A typical Rohit Shetty action/masala flick, Singham was the Hindi version of the 2010 Tamil blockbuster Singam, which went on to be remade in Kannada and Bengali. Devgn has begun to excel in films such as this: over-the-top action dramas littered with cardboard characters wrapped in a silly plot.
3. Chachi 420 (1997)
By far one of the best films ever remade. Kamal Haasan was excellent as the maverick aunt (chachi) in this side-splitting comedy, which also marked his Bollywood directorial debut. An adaptation of the Tamil film Avvai Shanmugi (1996), Chachi 420 saw Haasan and his elder daughter, Shruti, lending their voices together to the track Jago Gori, which had a bit of Macarena thrown in for fun.
4. Yuva (2004)
Both the Tamil (Aaytha Ezhuthu) and Hindi (Yuva) versions of director Mani Ratnam’s film were shot simultaneously and released in the same year, though Aaytha Ezhuthu is said to be the original film. Yuva boasted an ensemble cast, but it was Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukerji who stole the show with their portrayal of an adorable, much-in-love couple. The film is best remembered for the track Kabhi Neem Neem, with Mukerji describing the various moods of her reel husband.
5. Ram Aur Shyam (1967)
Bollywood’s answer to Ramudu Bheemudu (1964, Telugu), Ram Aur Shyam set a standard for stories about long-lost twins in Bollywood. It spawned a series of similar movies: Sita Aur Gita, Kishen Kanhaiya and Chaalbaaz were said to be a take-off of Dilip Kumar’s starkly contrasting characters Ram and Shyam, who were raised by different families after being separated at birth. Originally, Saira Banu was to play Mumtaz’s role, but was dropped because Kumar felt she looked too young to be cast as his heroine. Incidentally, Kumar and Banu tied the knot during the making of the film.
6. Dayavan (1988)
Known for the melodious track Aaj Phir Tumpe Pyaar Aaya Hai, composed by music director Ilaiyaraaja, the hit film was a remake of the Tamil film Nayakan (1987). Vinod Khanna essayed the role of a soft-hearted mafioso in this Feroz Khan-directed film that was loosely based on a real-life Mumbai don.
7. Hera Pheri (2000)
A remake of the Malayalam blockbuster Ramji Rao Speaking (1989), Hera Pheri ranks among Bollywood’s best comedies. Featuring Akshay Kumar, Suneil Shetty and the incomparable Paresh Rawal, the cult classic has spawned two sequels: Phir Hera Pheri in 2006, and Hera Pheri 3, which is due out in 2016. It will star Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham, who pair up again after their 2008 comedy Dostana, and Paresh Rawal – the common denominator in all three films.
8. Ghajini (2008)
The dark thriller Ghajini was filmmaker A R Murugadoss’s attempt to bring his 2005 Tamil release to the Hindi film market. The gamble paid off: it went on to become the first Bollywood film to cross the one billion-rupee mark (Dh57.7 million) and the first remake of a South Indian film to star actor extraordinaire Aamir Khan. Ever the perfectionist, Khan allegedly rewrote the ending, to make it more gruesome, but more in keeping with the rest of the story. Ghajini was Tamil actress Asin’s Bollywood debut.
9. Saathiya (2002)
A remake of the Tamil film Alaipayuthey, produced and directed by the legendary Mani Ratnam, Saathiya was the directorial debut of Shaad Ali, known best for his 2005 hit Bunty Aur Babli. Both the Tamil and Hindi versions were super hits and crucial for the lead actors; Madhavan broke into Tamil films with Alaipayuthey and Saathiya was Vivek Oberoi’s first romantic film.
10. No Entry (2005)
Starring the evergreen hero Anil Kapoor, Lara Dutta and the indomitable Salman Khan, this 2005 comedy – about a suspicious wife who suspects her husband of being unfaithful – was a surprise Bollywood hit considering the poor script and bad jokes. It was adapted from the 2002 Tamil blockbuster Charlie Chaplin (which was also remade in Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam). Slammed by critics, it did well at the box office, and a sequel, titled No Entry Mein Entry, is in the works.