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Regional cinema gets a Bollywood tadka

With a string of regional remakes of popular Bollywood films, we track the role reversal.

bollywood Updated: Jan 07, 2019 11:28 IST
Etti Bali
Etti Bali
Hindustan Times
Bollywood,Bollywood Remakes,South Indian Films
Ajay Devgn-starrer Singham is being remade into Punjabi. Kangana Ranaut-starrer Queen is being remade in four regional languages.

For the longest time, Bollywood filmmakers have taken inspiration from regional films. Rohit Shetty’s latest release Simmba has got cash registers ringing and is proof that remakes of regional films have been a hit time and again. Yet, the trend seems to be finally reversing now as Bollywood is instead providing fodder for remakes to its regional counterparts.

For instance, Vidya Balan-starrer Tumhari Sulu (2017) was made as Kaatrin Mozhi (2018) in Tamil. Kangana Ranaut-starrer Queen (2014) is being made in four languages — Tamil (Paris Paris), Telugu (That Is Mahalakshmi), Malayalam (Zam Zam) and Kannada (Butterfly). The Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Pink (2016) is being remade in Tamil as Thala 59, while Ajay Devgn-starrer Singham (2011) is being remade in Punjabi with actor-singer Parmish Verma in the lead. And recently, actor Siddharth tweeted his desire to remake the Ayushmann-starrer Andhadhun (2018) in another language.

Queen is being remade in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada.

Producer Bhushan Kumar, says, “Many dubbed films work in the satellite market and digital platforms, so the time has come to adapt and remake films in different languages. Punjabi and Marathi films are being made in Hindi, why not make a Hindi film in Punjabi?”

“When done regionally, it creates more viewership in that segment. Some actor or director can get inspired by a subject and want to rediscover it,” says Pink director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury.

Trade analyst Atul Mohan agrees, “It’s good that Bollywood is emerging as a producer of original content.” However, when a film is being adapted in another language, certain changes need to be made to the script and the way actors enact their respective characters, to suit the local markets.

Actor Kajal Aggarwal, who stars in Paris Paris, says, “The innocence, naiveté and vulnerability — I retained those [elements]. I didn’t want to lose the beauty and naturalness of the character. The mannerisms were pretty much my own. I saw Queen when it released, but when I was offered the film [Paris Paris], I tried to ensure that I don’t see it again so there is no influence.”

Bhushan adds, “Language has to be adapted, the songs have to be according to the [Punjab] market. The essence is the same, the setup differs.” But there’s no way to ensure the films would be a success. So what keeps filmmakers going? “All of us try to explore and create something that makes the creators as well as audience happy. It is always conviction that shows on screen. You have to have faith in what you do,” says Chowdhury.

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First Published: Jan 07, 2019 11:27 IST