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Bollywood in reverse gear: Pad Man, Pari, Tumhari Sulu, Singham get regional remakes

The trend of regional language hits getting remade in Hindi makes way for regional cinema snapping up Bollywood films with strong plots and characterisation. It’s a success for both commerce and artistry.

bollywood Updated: Apr 17, 2018 17:41 IST
Rishabh Suri
Rishabh Suri
Hindustan Times
Ajay Devgn,Bollywood,Singham
From Singham to Tumhari Sulu, several Bollywood films are being remade in regional languages.

For years, Bollywood has remade regional language films, especially hits from south India, and won box-office gold — examples include Rowdy Rathore, Wanted, Bodyguard, and Baaghi 2. However, there’s a reverse flow being witnessed now, as many Hindi films are being remade into regional languages.

Singham (2011), starring Ajay Devgn, was a big commercial success, and spawned a sequel, Singham Returns (2014). It’s now being remade into Punjabi, with singer-actor Parmish Verma in the lead. Other Bollywood films getting their regional remakes include last year’s Tumhari Sulu and Hindi Medium, and this year’s Pari and Pad Man.


Trade expert Komal Nahta feels happy with this trend. “This shows that even Bollywood writers have started coming up with original ideas; otherwise, only people from the south brought in newer ideas earlier. New concepts are being attempted, and we’ve become braver in exploring new subjects, even those that aren’t universally appealing, but have a niche audience, like (the horror film) Pari,” he says.

Bollywood producers, of course, are making the most of it — any legitimate remake means that the producer of the original film sells the rights and makes money; and sometimes, the original producer also funds the regional language remake, assured of success and a bigger audience.

Bhushan Kumar, who produced Hindi Medium and Tumhari Sulu, says, “I’ve always believed that people all over the world just want a film to be relatable and something original. If they get it, I don’t think there’s any barrier... that it’s a Hindi film, so it won’t connect with a South Indian audience.” He reveals that a south remake of the recent Ajay Devgn-starrer Raid is on the cards, too. “People are already asking us for a remake of Raid in the south. Hindi Medium we’re making in Telugu, and we’ve have also received an offer for a Tamil version,” he says.


Suresh Triveni, the director of Tumhari Sulu, sees it as a “positive step”. He says, “It’s flattering when a film ends up getting remade and reaches a wider audience. Also, in today’s time, vernacular cinema is equally strong, so as a filmmaker, as a storyteller, it feels good.”

Asked if there’s any apprehension about how some other director will treat the story, Triveni says, “That way, your insecurity will never end! It’s beautiful, because the core will remain the same. You can also see what all you missed out in the original, how it can be made better. I’m happy that Jyothika is playing Sulochana (Vidya Balan’s role in Tumhari Sulu). It’s in good hands.”

Anushka Sharma’s Pari might have been an average grosser in its original Hindi version, but trade expert Atul Mohan feels that there are “many subjects that work better in other regions, and vice versa”.

Prernaa Arora, the producer of Pari and Pad Man, says, “Both my films are a part of this new revolution, and it’s a big acceptance. It’s huge revenue stream, and shows that audiences everywhere have great appreciation for [good] cinema.”

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First Published: Apr 17, 2018 17:38 IST