Justalkin Episode 46: Bollywood remakes of South Indian movies that tanked at the box office
This is Justalkin brought to you by in.com. Bollywood has always had phases - remixes of old songs, remakes of old films, dubber versions of South Indian films, and one that never seems to die out - remakes of South Indian films! Recent example being Arjun Reddy, which is being remade as Kabir Singh starring Shahid Kapoor. But every movie that is a hit in the South, doesn’t necessarily perform just as well in Bollywood. Let’s take a look at some South Indian movies whose remakes went south in terms of performance.
Force - The Bollywood remake of Kaakha Kaakha
Kaakha Kaakha is a cop-and-love film. It worked for a lot of reasons in Tamil. One, Surya and Jyothika’s amazing chemistry. Two, the music. Harris Jayaraj spun some magic with the tracks. And it’s success led to remakes in many other languages - Kannada, Telugu and Odia. So Bollywood didn’t want to be left behind and starred John Abraham and Genelia. Although good looking as individuals, they didn’t work as a couple. They might’ve wondered why it didn’t do as well as the Tamil film, but they need to cast people who can act, for one thing.
Ek Deewana Tha - The remake of Vinaithaandi Varuvaaya
Vinaithaandi Varuvaaya is considered one of the modern epic love stories in Indian cinema. Everything seemed very likely in the plot. How many times have we come across parents who wouldn’t approve of inter caste relationships! Simbu and Trisha did a great job on screen together. Gautham Menon remade his own movie in Bollywood but he cast Prateik Babbar and Amy Jackson in it. They don’t do the justice that their Tamil counterparts did. The performance was very average at the box office, while we remember the Tamil version being a big hit. Ek Deewana Tha, but nobody wanted to know his story.
OK Jaanu - The remake of O Kadhal Kanmani
Mani Ratnam made a movie called O Kadhal Kanmani, and ventured into new grounds - a story about youngsters who wanted to live-in in India. It also stars two very good actors - Nitya Menon and Dulquer Salmaan. When it was remade in Hindi, very few changes were made. Mani Ratnam covered all aspects, but the remake lacked originality. A remake of O Kadhal Kanmani? Not okay, Jaanu.
Sunday - The remake of Anukokunda Oka Roju
Anukokunda Oka Roju was a surprise hit. It is still considered one of the best suspense thrillers in Telugu. It stars Charmy Kaur, Jagapathi Babu and Shashank, with MM Keeravani on the music. It was remade in Bollywood and was called ‘Sunday’, starring Ayesha Takia and Ajay Devgn. The performances weren’t spectacular, and Ajay Devgn is lost if he doesn’t have a cop’s uniform or two bikes to split on. With no novel changes made, Sunday became as lazy as it’s title.
Tevar - The remake of Okkadu
Okkadu was one of Mahesh Babu’s biggest hits, and went on to be remade in Kannada, Tamil, Bengali and even Odia! So when Bollywood decided to remake it, they went with Arjun Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha as choices for the leads. The best testimonial to the performance of this remake would have to be the fact that even after it came out, they found it necessary to release a dubbed version of the Telugu original.
Kambakht Ishq - The remake of Pammal K Sambandham
Kamal Haasan and Simran delivered a stellar performance in a movie called Pammal K Sambandham and it did very well at the box office. But the Bollywood remake, called Kambakht Ishq, was all over the place, quite literally, with the story moving from India to Italy very unnecessarily. It also had a cameo by Denise Richards who was brought in to play Akshay Kumar’s love interest. When Kamal Haasan delivers a performance of that calibre, it isn’t very smart to remake it.
Youngistaan - The remake of Leader
Star kids usually debut with love stories or college dramas. But Rana Daggubati came out in full force with a political drama titled ‘Leader’. His performance and the plot both received great reviews at the Box Office. Although it wasn’t an official remake, Jacky Bhagnani starred in an almost-adaptation of it in a movie titled ‘Youngistaan’. The only thing people remember from that movie is a song called ‘Suno Na Sangemarmar’, which was also originally a Bengali song. You can be young, sure. But it also requires some talent for your movie to be a hit.
Boss- The remake of Pokkiri Raja
Mammooty starred in Pokkiri Raja, which tells the story of a man who was wronged, but is sought again by his family to help his younger brother get together with his love interest. But when Akshay Kumar starred in the remake, he saved the love angle for himself. It is still remembered for some of the dialogues and the comedy scenes they introduced, but between Mammooty and Akshay Kumar, we know who is “Boss”.
Big Brother - An adaptation of Baashaa
Rajinikanth is undeniably the biggest superstar down south. One of the movies that will definitely make it to the list of ‘Best of Rajinikanth’, although there are way too many, is Baashaa. It is said to be inspired by ‘Hum’, which stars both him and Amitabh Bachchan, but Sunny Deol also made a loosely adapted movie called ‘Big Brother’. It was one of the last films to pair him with Priyanka Chopra, but also one of the movies that didn’t do as well as the movie that it was inspired from. No matter how many holes a plot has, you need Rajinikanth’s swag to make it work.
There have been many South Indian films whose remakes worked very well in Bollywood. But being one of the richest industries, we’d think they could afford to pay people for original ideas!