Did you know these Bollywood movies are actually remakes of South Indian films?
From Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Swades, to Anil Kapoor's Nayak: The Real Hero, these South Indian remakes are definitely worth adding to your must-watch list.
Having been in a lockdown for seven weeks to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, the culture of binge-watching has reached peak, as more and more people find diversion in shows online. While you might have finished watching Indian shows, like Mirzapur, Made In Heaven, and Sacred Games, there are a lot of Hindi films — from political dramas and biopics, to comedies and romance sagas — that you can watch online. Fun fact: some of these note-worthy films are actually remakes, re-telling stories that were first spotted on the South Indian film industry’s silver screens.
Case in point: While Singam (2010) starred Tamil actor Suriya, Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn essayed the role of an honest police inspector in the movie’s Hindi version, Singham (2011). And if you missed Ghajini (2008) – which was brought to life both in Tamil, and Hindi by the same director, A R Murugadoss – it’s time to give it a watch, and see how actor Aamir Khan transforms himself from a love-struck businessman to a ruthless killer, despite losing his memory every 15 minutes. The multi-award-winning thriller, was the highest-grossing Indian film of 2008.
Here’s a list of seven more remakes you should revisit, if you haven’t watched them already.
Billu (2009) on Netflix
Original Malayalam movie: Katha Parayumbol (2007)
Directed by Priyadarshan, Billu released two years after the critically-acclaimed, Katha Parayumbol, and told the story of a famous actor (Shah Rukh Khan), who visits his village, and reconnects with his childhood friend (Irrfan Khan), who has become the village barber. What set the Bollywood version apart was its many cameos by actresses Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor Khan, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
Paheli (2005) on Netflix
Original Kannada movie: Nagamandala (1997)
What happens when a ghost falls in love with a newly-married woman? 1997’s Kannada film Nagamandala brought an old folk tale to life on the silver screen, and years later, it was remade into a touching Bollywood fantasy film set in Rajasthan. The not-so-basic love story didn’t just open the ninth Zimbabwe International Film Festival, it also earned a National Film Award.
Swades (2004) on Netflix
Original Kannada movie: Chigurida Kanasu (2003)
Now regarded as a cult Bollywood film, Swades was first released in Kannada, as Chigurida Kanasu, and was based on the true life story of a non-resident Indian (NRI) man. Played by Shah Rukh Khan, the lead of the film, Mohan Bhargava, returns to India to locate his childhood nanny, and take her back with him to the United States. The touching film shows Bhargava’s journey, and how he rediscovers his roots in India.
Saathiya (2002) on Amazon Prime
Original Tamil movie: Alai Payuthey (2000)
A gritty, modern-day love story that stars Rani Mukerji, and Vivek Oberoi, Saathiya was a Tamil remake that resonated with couples and came with a memorable title song by none other than A R Rahman. The Filmfare Awards-winner revolved around the lives of Suhani and Aditya, a couple who eloped to be together, and its sweet ending was inspired by the 1998 Hollywood film, Sliding Doors, starring Gwyneth Paltrow.
Judwaa (1997) on Netflix
Original Telugu movie: Hello Brother (1994)
If you thought Varun Dhawan-starrer Judwaa 2 from 2017 was the only remake of this much-loved comedy, you’re in for a surprise. 1997’s version of Judwaa, which starred Salman Khan in the lead role, was actually a remake of Telugu film, Hello Brother, which released three years prior. And that's not where the chain ends. Hello Brother itself was a copy of Cantonese film, Twin Dragons (1992), which had Jackie Chan playing a double role, as twins separated at birth.
Kabir Singh (2019) on Netflix
Original Telugu movie: Arjun Reddy (2017)
Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s exceedingly faithful Hindi remake of his 2017 Telugu drama, Arjun Reddy, focuses on a surgeon, Kabir Singh (Shahid Kapoor), whose life takes a tragic turn with the end of a romantic relationship (with Kiara Advani's Preeti Sikka). Kabir Singh reimagines the Indian hero archetype in interesting ways, but its inability to even consider the flaws in its leading man’s romantic outlook is its undoing.
Nayak: The Real Hero (2001) on Disney+ Hotstar
Original Tamil movie: Mudhalvan (1999)
One of Anil Kapoor’s most note-worthy films over the years has to be the critically-acclaimed Nayak: The Real Hero. A Tamil film copy, the political action drama had the actor playing the role of a passionate TV reporter, who rises to the challenge of being chief minister for a day. Though the cast of the Bollywood film is completely different from 1999’s Mudhalvan, Kapoor’s on-screen name pays homage to one of the Tamil film industry’s biggest superstar, Rajinikanth, for whom the lead character’s role was originally written. Kapoor’s name in the movie, Shivaji Rao, is a tribute to Rajinikanth’s birth name.