Bollywood borrows southern spice for ‘Kambakkht Ishq’, ‘Short Kut’

July 01, 2009

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) The Hindi film industry is infamous for lifting Hollywood movies, but it has often been inspired by cinema content from southern India as well. With forthcoming movies like “Kambakkht Ishq”, “Short Kut – The Con Is On” and “Wanted”, Bollywood seems to be on a spree of remaking films made down south.

Releasing Friday, Akshay Kumar- Kareena Kapoor’s romantic comedy “Kambakkht Ishq” is the remake of Kamal Haassan’s 2002 Tamil hit “Pammal K. Sambandam”.

The film was earlier to be remade in Hindi by writer-turned-director Anees Bazmee for south-based production house G.V. Films, which had acquired the remaking rights for Rs.500,000.

But it was producer Sajid Nadiadwala who finally made it after buying remaking rights of the same film by reportedly shelling out Rs.7.5 million.

“Short Kut”, another forthcoming comedy, is a remake of Roshan Andrews’ Malayalam movie “Udayananu Tharam”. Similarly, southern dancing star Prabhu Deva’s directorial venture “Wanted”, which has Salman Khan in the lead, is a remake of Tamil film “Pokhiri”.

“Bollywood has always survived on the pillars of inspiration and remakes… whether it is the west or the south, it has always copied content. While half of it has been successful, others have been blunders,” said a trade analyst from Mumbai on condition of anonymity.

But Anil Kapoor, who is producing “Short Kut”, described the trend as a consumer-driven call.

“Actually it was not my idea to adapt a south Indian film… as a consumer I had seen this film in Malayalam and loved it. I thought it will be great to make the film in Hindi. I spoke to Anees Bazmee (who has written the script) about it and he too liked the idea of adapting it for a Hindi film,” the actor-turned-producer said.

While “Udayananu Tharam” starred Mohanlal, Sreenivasan and Meena, its Hindi version, directed by Neeraj Vora, features Arshad Warsi, Akshaye Khanna and Amrita Rao.

“We made some changes in the script to suit Bollywood sensibilities and made it more appealing for north Indians or say core Bollywood audiences. After the script was ready, we thought Neeraj Vora would be the best person to direct the film. I called him up and he was on board,” Anil added.

A recent example of a successful Bollywood remake of a south Indian film becoming a huge hit is A.R. Murugadoss’ “Ghajini” (2008) that was a remake of the 2005 Tamil film of the same name.

Starring Aamir Khan in the lead, the film went on to rake in more than Rs.290 crore (Rs.2.9 billion) worldwide, making it one of the biggest grossers in Bollywood.

Remaking southern hits is not a new trend in Hindi cinema. There have been hit films earlier like “Nayak”, “Saathiya”, “Viraasat” and “Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein” that were remakes respectively of Tamil films “Mudhalvan”, “Alaipayuthey”, “Thevar Magan” and “Minnale”.

Multilingual filmmaker Priyadarshan, known for remaking his own films in Hindi, had said: “My Hindi films are mostly inspired from Malayalam comedies.”

His popular films like “Bhool Bhulaiyaa”, “Kyon Ki…” and “Garam Masala” are remakes respectively of Malayalam films “Manichitrathazhu”, “Thalavattom” and “Boeing Boeing”. His other Hindi remakes include “Virasaat”, “Billu” and “Ye Teraa Ghar Ye Meraa Ghar”.

Tamil and Telugu filmmaker L.V. Prasad’s Hindi films “Sharada”, “Miss Mary”, “Chhoti Bahen” and “Ek Duuje Ke Liye” were also adaptations of Tamil films. A. Bhimsingh’s “Bhai Bahen” was a remake of Tamil hit “Pasamalar”.

Bollywood saw a series of remakes in the late 1970s and 80s with Jeetendra in the lead in movies like T. Rama Rao’s “Lok Parlok”, “Judaai”, “Maang Bharo Sajana”, “Himmatvala”, “Swarg Narak”, “Jyoti Bane Jwala” and “Pyaasa Sawan”.

Films like “Solva Sawan”, “Sargam”, “Sadma”, “Wo Saat Din”, “Aakhri Raasta”, “Andha Kanoon” and “Eeshwar” were also inspired by southern hits.

Bollywood saw its first anti-woman slant in the 1980s Rajesh Khanna-starrer “Red Rose” adapted from Tamil film “Sigappu Rojakal”. And in 1992, Indra Kumar remade “Enga Chinna Rasa” as “Beta” as part of the continuing ‘south inspires north’ trend.





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