Arjun Reddy vs Kabir Singh: The cinematic equal of Shakespeare's rose - it all smells just as sweet
Everything Bollywood does, the South has already done it better. The Hindi film industry is famous for picking up these southern successes and turning them to placate Bollywood audiences. There have been successes and failures in equal measures in their attempts. The audience, however, remains king and their wish is Bollywood’s command. So here’s another move. South blockbuster Arjun Reddy will be remade in Hindi, with the same director but will be called Kabir Singh. Is a name change warranted or could Arjun Reddy have worked his charm on Bollywood too?
“The name change isn’t really a big deal. There are successes on both sides of the argument. Movies like Rowdy Rathore, which was a remake of SS Rajamouli’s Vikramarkudu, was a huge success as was Wanted which was the Hindi version of Prabhu Deva’s Pokiri. Singham, on the other hand, stuck by the same name in Bollywood and saw success in equal measure as the south. So a name change isn’t a good or bad decision,” trade analyst Akshaye Rathi said.
Akshaye emphasised that Bollywood’s recreation of South films has little to do with titles and more to do with audiences. “It depends on sensibilities of the audiences. Bollywood casts actors who have better appeal with audiences and takes the story to them the way they want it. Makers are just appealing to the market. The Indian audience is so diverse, that customization is key. It’s a different audience so it’s fair to tweak the story a bit,” Akshaye opined.
Markets have proven time and again that a name matters little to the success or failure of a film. Baahubali, albeit dubbed, stuck to the same name across geographies, as did Singham and both went on to excel.
So we’re forced to ask, what’s in a name? Not much it seems!