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Master, Vikram Vedha, Thadam, Kaithi, Ratsasan: It’s South remakes galore in Bollywood

A host of upcoming Hindi films are going to be remakes of hit films from the south film industry. We talks to makers and experts about why this combination always clicks with the audiences.
By Juhi Chakraborty
PUBLISHED ON AUG 02, 2021 05:26 PM IST
Salman Khan has reportedly bought the rights of Thalapathy Vijay’s Tamil film Master.

Remaking hit south films seems to be a sure shot formula for success which many filmmakers in Bollywood have tapped into. While this has been going on for a while, the upcoming slate of remakes of several Telugu, Tamil, Kannada or Malayalm films is proof that Hindi filmmakers are not hesitant to find inspiration from south film industry.

Recently, Salman Khan has bought the Hindi remake rights of Thalapathy Vijay’s Tamil film, Master. He’s also reported to star in it. Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan are all set to star in Hindi remake of Tamil film, Vikram Vedha.

Ranveer Singh and director S. Shankar are teaming for the Hindi-language remake of 2005 Tamil blockbuster, Anniyan. Aditya Roy Kapur will step into the shoes of Arun Vijay for the Hindi remake of the Tamil film Thadam. Janhvi Kapoor will be seen in the Hindi remake of the Malayam thriller titled Helen. Ajay Devgn also has confirmed that he will be doing the official Hindi remake of the Tamil film, Kaithi. Akshay Kumar, Rakul Preet Singh to star in the Hindi remake of Tamil thriller Ratsasan.

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So, what attracts these Bollywood actors towards taking up remakes, despite knowing that many from the audiences would have already watched the original?

“So many makers and actors are drawn to South-Indian hits because well-told stories that have already struck a chord with the audience are a safe bet,” shares producer Anand Pandit.

However, he adds that this trend is not new with actors as South-Indian films were being remade for Hindi film audiences as far back as the 50s.

“Films like Azaad that established the late Dilip Kumar Saab as a comic legend, was made in 1955 and was a remake of Tamil film Malaikkallan. In fact, Dilip Saab starred in many South-Indian remakes like Ram Our Shyam and Aadmi. In the eighties too, Jeetendra ji starred in many hit South-Indian remakes,” Pandit recalls.

Actor Bhumi Pednekar, who was a part of Durgamati, a remake of his own Telugu-Tamil bilingual film Bhaagamathie, shared, “For me, it wasn’t about a South remake. It was a script that I loved and wanted to do it. Of course so many south films are being remade in Hindi and that’s because those films have done well and need to be made in Hindi as it does reach a larger audience that way.”

In fact, the audiences, too, want stories that have a universal appeal. And often, South language films offer something fresh and that’s the reason why there’s a spike in such Hindi remakes.

“South film industry has been always big. The content is beautiful and very high quality. Look at some of these Malayalam films that are world class,” opines actor Aakanksha Singh, who has starred in Tamil, Telugu and Kannda films, while adding, “The director of my first Telugu film, Malli Rava, Gowtam Tinnanuri’s film Jersey is also being remade in Hindi with Shahid Kapoor.”

That being said, it seems that the action genre is what attracts makers in Bollywood mostly. Shailesh Kapoor, Founder & CEO, Ormax Media, feels that all the remakes that Salman Khan has opted for from South be is Ready (2011) or Wanted (2009), have been in the action or action comedy genre.

“The style of action and the shooting of action sequences in the south film industry is little more advanced than how it’s shot in Hindi films. That stands out and attracts filmmakers (in Bollywood). There’s a lot of audience interest in the kind of action that south films have, which is very distinct and very superior. There are other films too being remade from south but mostly it is action,” he explains.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh feels that the appetite for such films was built because of the dubbed versions of south language movies on satellite TV over the years.

“I’d not say that Bollywood lacks originality and that’s why it’s heading south for inspiration. I think that if a good content is made in any other language, it’s absolutely fine to adapt it to suit the Hindi speaking audience,” he says.

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