Special Feature: Five Bollywood films adapted from regional cinema

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Since its very inception, the Bollywood film industry has been a part of the remaining heterogeneous Indian film industry. Regional cinema has been an equally important fraction of the country’s film and entertainment sector. Along with co-existing, there has been numerous instances when these two film industries came together to amalgamate their respective projects. This gave birth to the culture of Bollywood adaptation of regional cinema.

Throughout the years, the idea of remaking films gained immense popularity and remains relevant to the day. Multiple regional films have been adapted into Hindi cinema in the past and there are many such films waiting to explore the area in near future. Amidst the vast array of regional adaptations few Bollywood remakes went on to receive an equal or even bigger success across the country. Yet there were films that were completely overshadowed by the existing fame of its regional equivalent. One such adaptation that has been highly anticipated by audiences for a while and is set for its release is the Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani starrer Bollywood remake of 2017 Telugu blockbuster ‘Arjun Reddy’. Ahead of the release of ‘Kabir Singh’, here is a list of five Bollywood films that has been adapted from regional cinema:

‘Saathiya’ (2002)
One of the most loved Hindi romantic drama of all time, ‘Saathiya’ was well-received by audiences upon its release. Rani Mukerji and Vivek Oberoi were appreciated for their performance and the film went on to win six Filmfare awards. Yet people who already watched Mani Ratnam’s masterpiece ‘Alaipayuthey’ (2000), the Tamil film from which the Bollywood movie was adapted, noticed the subtle magic elements missing in the Hindi parallel. The general plot of both the films remains similar and all the leads deliver good acting along with AR Rahman’s brilliant composition used in both the projects. But ‘Saathiya’ though a fairly good movie seem to miss out on the simplicity and depth that the Tamil film holds. Regardless, both the films performed well and is still loved by all cine-lovers.

‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’ (2007)
Priyadarshan’s psychological thriller is one of the most critically and commercially successful films of the same genre. The superhit film is also an official adaptation of the highly acclaimed Malayalam epic thriller ‘Manichitrathazhu’ (1993). Nearly 10 years after its record breaking release, the film was remade in multiple languages in various other regional film industries, all of which became successful. Soon enough Bollywood followed the lead and took up the production. A talented ensemble cast, gripping storytelling, brilliant execution and the right amount of entertainment value made the film achieve universal critical acclaim and massive commercial success. Vidya Balan’s performance as the protagonist is still remembered and appreciated.

‘Ghajini’ (2008)
The highest grossing film in the year of its release, A.R. Murugadoss’s ‘Ghajini’ was the remake of his own Tamil film of the same name. It was also the first Indian film to cross the 100 crore mark. It is believed that the Tamil film had originally drawn influences from films like Nolan’s ‘Memento’ (2000) and Humberstone’s ‘Happy Go Lovely’ (1951). Although initially criticized for rehashing few plotlines from Hollywood blockbusters, the Bollywood adaptation of the film worked as it remained true to the plot of its Tamil equivalent. The alternate ending of the Hindi film was written by Aamir Khan himself which was well received by viewers. Moreover, the great performance and execution by the actors were also another reason behind the film’s success.

‘Ok Jaanu’ (2017)
Mani Ratnam’s ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’ (2015) is yet another critically and commercially acclaimed regional movie that is loved by people all around the country. When Madras Talkies and Dharma Productions decided to make the Bollywood remake of the Tamil film, expectations among the viewers were high. Once released, instant comparisons between both the films were unavoidable and the Hindi film failed to receive much success. It is often considered that recreating Ratnam’s magic is a near impossible task and ‘Ok Jaanu’ was almost a frame-by-frame remake of its original counterpart. Moreover, despite a soaring chemistry between Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor, they missed to add the required depth and layers to the lead characters as previously done by Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menon.

‘Dhadak’ (2018)
One of the most recent examples of the Bollywood adaptation of a regional film was the remake of the Marathi sleeper hit ‘Sairat’ (2016). Almost immediately after its release ‘Sairat’ became a phenomenon all across the country and rightly so. It was also helmed as the highest grossing Marathi film of all time earning both commercial and critical success. Unfortunately, Shashank Khaitan’s ‘Dhadak’ starring newcomers Ishaan Khattar and Janhvi Kapoor failed to meet up to the expectations of the audience. ‘Dhadak’ might come off as a decent film to viewers who are oblivious to the Marathi counterpart. But to the audiences who gave ‘Sairat’ a chance, the differences in storytelling, making and execution were prominent enough to deride ‘Dhadak’.

BizAsiaLive.com wishes luck to ‘Kabir Singh’ and hopes the film receives great success and appreciation from viewers!

– Varsha Roy

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