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Is Bollywood becoming copy-paste-wood ?

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

Poster of Laal Singh Chaddha
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In terms of numbers, India's film industry is the largest in the world; movies are made in India in almost every regional language ( India has 22 regional languages .) In which Bollywood or Hindi Film Industry is largest in terms of budget ( 3500 crore INR) ,and screen distribution. In recent years, Bollywood has made more film remakes ( 12 in 2019, 9 in 2020 and counting )than previous eras of Bollywood. Big studios ( Dharma Productions ) and big stars, in Mumbai were involved in making remakes of previous hit films. Apparently Bollywood makes most remakes as compared to any other film industry in the world.

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If we see in film-history it started back in the 1960's after the release of Blockbuster hit "Sholey", 1975. directed by Ramesh Sippy . At the time, Sholey stayed in the minds of many filmmakers, producers and writers. Many of them wanted to make but they failed.

In some films, they successfully copied the plot and characters of the blockbuster "Sholey." Nobody was daring enough to make a remake of the movie. Director Ram Gopal Verma later remade a "Sholey" that did not work either. The film was called AAG.

When did it all start? Well, we need to do more research on this but significantly after the release of Salman Khan film " WANTED" directed by Prabhu Deva; which was the remake of the Telegu-language action thriller film Pokiri written and directed by Puri Jagannadh. This also opened up options for some producers and big stars!

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Films like Singham directed by Rohit Shetty, Rowdy Rathore directed by Prabhu Deva, Kabir Singh written and directed by Sandeep Vanga were big hits. After south-Indian films, Bollywood made remakes of many Korean films. VISHESH films, Mumbai based production house made films like " Murder 2" inspired by the Korean film The Chaser. , "Awarapan" which was an uncredited remake of the South Korean film A Bittersweet Life. Balaji Motion Pictures film " Ek Villian" was allegedly the remake of the South Korean film " I saw the Devil."

Image Source: IMDB

John Abraham's production's action thriller " ROCKY HANDSOME " directed by Nishikant Kamat! It was an official adaptation of the Korean film The Man from Nowhere!

There is also a tendency in Bollywood of remaking Bollywood classic films that started with Farah Akhtar's remake of Bollywood classic film: "Don." This continues with Karan Johar's "Agnipath", " Apoorva Lakhiya's " Zanjeer", Sajid Khan's "Himmatwala." Nagraj Manjules blockbuster Marathi masterpiece “Sairat” has three Indian versions. Karan Johar made it into a big-budget " Dhadak" and also Kananda, Punjabi versions were made by other producers. Neither of the re-makes was any close to the originals.

Amir Khan, one of the leading actors cum producer is making " Lal Singh Chadda" remake of one of Hollywood's successful films; Tom Hanks starring " Forest Gump."

Image Source: The Indian Express

I feel Bollywood lacks in new ideas and concepts. I feel in Hollywood if you ask any actor to remake Forest Gump, it would be rejected. And will not understand how a Punjabi man can play the role!

Recently, I also watched the Hollywood trilogy: "Before Sunrise", 1994, "Before Sunset, 2004, "Before Midnight", 2014 and ironically I got to know that Bollywood has remade them in a film called " London Paris New York." The list is big.

I do understand that there is a section of the audience who want to watch such films. And do rush to theatres. But what about new ideas and new concepts. There are so many stories in India that have to be retold. Remakes are made in other parts of the world too, but in India big-budget remakes of other films are made which are rarely seen in other parts of the world.



I do feel that Bollywood or Hindi cinema can learn from regional cinema and films like KGF, Bahubali Duology, 2.0. These films would help them embrace new ideas, new scales ,and experiment with new ideas in filmmaking. The motion picture art form has a bigger canvas than any other art form.


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