Many feel that Bollywood has run out of original ideas and that is when it looks towards regional cinemas for inspiration and adaptation. In the recent decade, there have been so many Hindi remakes of films from South. And even looking at the list of upcoming films, one can safely assume that there’s nothing stopping the trend, anytime soon.
While Aamir Khan and Saif Ali Khan are set to star in Tamil thriller, Vikram Vedha’s remake; Ajay Devgn will be seen in the Hindi version of Tamil film, Kaithi. Another Tamil film, Thadam’s remake will see Sidharth Malhotra whereas Janhvi Kapoor is reportedly set to reprise Nayanthara’s role in Kolamavu Kokila remake. But with access not a hurdle anymore for the audiences, and films readily being available at OTT platforms, is it a good move for Bollywood t remake regional films now?
Filmmaker Anees Bazmee, whose films- Ready (2011) was a remake of a Telugu film of the same name, and No Entry (2005) was the Hindi version of Tamil project Charlie Chaplin, says, “It’s a disadvantage now for people who remake regional films. It is a matter of concern now. Now people have access and they will start comparing and that is a problem now unlike before.”
The list of upcoming remakes doesn’t end here. Nushrat Bharucha has been reportedly roped in to play the female lead in the Hindi remake of Tamil-language thriller film Aadai; Rajkummar Rao is set to be a part of Telugu film, Hit: The First Case and even Ranveer Singh is being eyed for Telugu film iSmart Shankar.
For Vikrant Massey, who stars in the Hindi remake of Tamil film Maanagaram, it is not much of an issue and he feels that if there is a good film, there is no harm in remaking it.
“I feel we tend to read too much into it. Remakes have some kind of archival value, you only pick up something that has achieved a certain kind of status. Nobody would pick something that has not worked before, let us also not isolate the business factor in it. This is a business after all, there are so many facets to that decision. My reasons were that I loved the original and wanted to do something different from what I have done till now. The producers have their own reasons,” he shares.
Filmmaker Priyadarshan has remade several of his regional films in Hindi and he feels that it’s still the same, as before because the audience both the sectors is still different.
“The percentage of people watching regional films is still very less in North India and other places. I don’t think every Hindi speaking audience watches regional films so you can still add a new flavor and remake a film for a different audience, there is no change in that,” he points out.
Even Bazmee pitches in saying that the film are not downright copies and do have points of difference.
“If there are two films one in Tamil and one in Hindi, I will watch it in Hindi because I can’t relate to the south actor as much as I can with an Bollywood actor. The original version of Rowdy Rathore (2012) was dubbed in Hindi and was a hit on TV but still the Hindi version with Akshay (Kumar) did so well at the box office,” he notes.
Actor Mrunal Thakur will be seen in not one but two remakes — Jersey (Telugu) and Thadam (Tamil). “It’s all about creating your own space even when it is a remake. For me it is a different film so that I how I treat them, just like any other film,” she says.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh says that in the end the whole access theory does not matter at all when it comes remakes. “A lot of Hindi films are also remade in South and other industries. So, it will work even now because everyone has their own way of narrating a story,” he concludes.