While the current ethos in Bollywood seems grim since most of the big-budget movies have been facing a lull at the box office, South Indian movies are walking away with all the moolah. Thus, Bollywood filmmakers tapped into the content-rich yet massy movies like Singam (2010) in Tamil and Manichitrathazhu (1993) in Malayalam, which became recipes of bona fide commercial successes as Bollywood remakes of South Indian movies.
With these hits, Bollywood pundits are eyeing the upcoming remakes of successful South Indian movies starring superstar casts. One such highly anticipated film is Vikram Vedha, releasing on 30 September, which has piqued the interest of Hindi movie buffs.
Originally starring R Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi, Vikram Vedha has been directed by filmmakers Gayatri and Pushkar. The same team is returning with a brand new cast for the Hindi-speaking audiences. Saif Ali Khan, known for his gritty, slightly offbeat performances on the big screen, is joining the evergreen heartthrob Hrithik Roshan to give us a riveting film. It also stars the OTT queen Radhika Apte.
So, turn this weekend into a perfect opportunity to curl up with your gang of family and friends, pop some corn kernels and binge watch these masala entertainers.
Arjun Reddy (2017) launched Vijay Devarakonda as a bona fide hero across the country. His intense, gritty lover boy image was much appreciated, despite the criticism garnered due to the misogynistic portrayal of his character by the director Sandeep Reddy Vanga. This Telugu blockbuster was remade into the 2019 film with Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani in lead roles.
Kabir (Kapoor) is a brilliant resident surgeon at the Delhi Institute of Medical Sciences who falls in love with his junior Preeti (Advani). Kabir’s overbearing nature and anger issues add to family opposition, which leads to their breakup and sends Kabir deep into the throes of alcoholism.
Watch Kabir Singh here.
Baaghi 2 is a sequel to Baaghi (2016) and a remake of the Telugu action film Kshanam (2016). Helmed by Ravikanth Perepu, the movie has all the elements fit for a blockbuster. Adivi Sesh and Adah Sharma’s essay lead roles in the original.
Baaghi 2 traces the journey of Ranveer Pratap Singh (Tiger Shroff) who arrives in Goa after his ex-lover Neha (Disha Patani) gives him a call about her missing daughter. All pieces of evidence leading to the girl’s abduction have been erased, and Ranveer is faced with the excruciating task of finding Neha’s daughter while fighting the bureaucracy.
Catch Baaghi 2 for its sleek action sequences and sizzling chemistry between Ranveer and Neha.
Watch Baaghi 2 here.
Telugu film Temper starring Prakash Raj, N. T. Rama Rao Jr and Kajal Aggarwal smashed box office records in 2015, which inspired Rohit Shetty to remake it into Simmba. Shetty continued his Singham trajectory with the Ranveer Singh-starrer to make a commercially successful masala entertainer.
Simmba (Singh) is a corrupt cop from Shivgadh who has a change of heart after a close one gets killed by gangster Durva Ranade (Sonu Sood) and his affiliates. In his fight against Durva, he is joined by Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn) and Veer Sooryavanshi (Akshay Kumar).
Watch Simmba here.
Drishyam (2013) directed by Jeethu Joseph stars Mohanlal in the lead role who has given one of his career-best performances in this thriller. The edgy writing, crisp direction and strong performances make this must-watch movie.
Nishikant Kamat roped in Ajay Devgn to remake this successful caper of the same name. Vijay Salgaonkar (Devgn) has a quiet existence as a cable TV operator in Goa. He is a common man who lives a pretty uneventful life with his wife Nandini (Shriya Saran) and two daughters.
Their life turns upside down after a boy from his eldest daughter’s class, who is also the only son of IG Meera Deshmukh (Tabu), goes missing. Police investigate Vijay and his family for their apparent involvement in the crime.
Rajat Kapoor, Ishita Dutta, Mrunal Jadhav along with Devgn, Tabu and Saran impress the audience with their crackling performances.
Watch Drishyam here.
Kaathala Kathaala is a 1998 Tamil movie starring Kamal Haasan and Prabhu Deva in lead roles. This romantic comedy was remade in Hindi a decade later into Housefull. This soon inspired the makers to create an entire franchise of this successful brand of romantic comedies.
Aarush (Kumar) is jinxed when it comes to relationships and is helped by his friend Bob (Riteish Deshmukh) to find true love. After a series of disappointments, he tries to drown himself in the sea but is saved by Sandy (Deepika Padukone). Aarush invents a web of lies to impress Sandy’s elder brother Major Krishna Rao (Arjun Rampal) and wins her over.
Akshay and Ritiesh have great comedy timing and expertly deliver punches in this mass entertainer.
Watch Housefull here.
Watch Housefull 2 here.
WatchHousefull 3 here.
Watch Housefull 4 here.
Singam, directed by Hari, has Tamil superstar Suriya in the lead role. The movie was an immediate blockbuster that inspired Rohit Shetty and his cop universe.
One of the best Bollywood remakes of South Indian movies, Singham stars Ajay Devgn in the lead. It was released in 2011 and broke all box office records. Shetty came back with a couple of sequels in the film series and a smashing comeback in Sooryavanshi (2021), starring Akshay Kumar and Ranveer Singh along with Devgn.
The first film follows Bajirao Singham (Devgn). He is transferred to Goa, which is controlled by a corrupt politician Jaikant Shikre (Prakash Raj). Singham, being an honest and brave police officer, stands up against the injustices committed by him and makes him look weak and foolish.
The other films in the series follow a similar plot, where Singham continues to be the valiant police officer and performs thrilling stunts. An iconic one is where he effortlessly gets off a moving Mahindra Scorpio as the car swirls to a halt behind him.
Watch Singham here.
Watch Singham Returns here.
Watch Sooryavanshi here.
Pokiri, a Telugu film, which was released in 2006 and starred megastar, Mahesh Babu. It was remade in Hindi by Prabhu Deva with Salman Khan, Ayesha Takia Azmi and Prakash Raj. After the masses received Wanted well in 2009, Khan went on to appear in a few more remakes like Kick! (2014) and Bodyguard (2011).
In Wanted, Radhe (Khan) is introduced as a gangster who switches sides between two main gangs and carries out contract killings. He is in love with Jhanvi (Ayesha Takia) who urges him to change. Gani Bhai (Prakash Raj) of Golden Gang plays a dreaded villain who Radhe pledges to destroy and end the war between the Golden Gang and Datta Pawle’s gang. However, he has yet another side to him which is revealed later in the film.
Watch Wanted here.
A.R. Murugadoss and Suriya delivered a blockbuster in 2005 in Tamil, which soon caught perfectionist Aamir Khan’s attention who starred in its Hindi remake. The original film itself is heavily inspired by the Hollywood classic Memento (2000) starring Guy Pearce and Carrie-Anne Moss.
Sanjay Singhania (Khan) pledges to avenge the death of the love of his life Kalpana (Asin Thottumkal). However, Singhania suffers from anterograde amnesia or short-term memory loss. He uses devices like permanent body tattoos, polaroid clicks and notes to track down the villain Ghajini Dharmatma (Pradeep Singh Rawat).
Watch Ghajini here.
Manichitrathazhu starring Shobhana, Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi is one of the best thrillers in not just Malayalam but the Indian film industry. This 1993 movie has been remade in Hindi, Bengali, Kannada and Tamil languages.
One the best Bollywood remakes of South Indian movies, Bhool Bhulaiyaa is directed by Priyadarshan. It is among the most loved Bollywood films mainly for crackling performances by Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan. After its success, Anees Bazmee helmed its sequel Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, starring Kartik Aaryan, Tabu and Kiara Advani, which became a Bollywood hit in 2022.
The film portrays Avni (Balan) with a troubled childhood who later develops a dissociative identity disorder and is perceived to haunt her husband’s ancestral home. Dr Aditya Shrivastav (Kumar) reveals the suspense of Avni’s mental disorder and tries to cure her through what seems like a traditional exorcism.
Watch Bhool Bhulaiyaa here.
Watch Bhool Bhulaiyaa2 here.
Aayutha Ezhuthu (2004) is one of the most prolific Tamil films of Mani Ratnam. He remade this intense political movie about three men from different backgrounds in Hindi. Yuva had brilliant casting of Ajay Devgn, Esha Deol, Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukerji, Vivek Oberoi and Kareena Kapoor Khan essaying primary roles. One of Ratnam’s most ambitious projects, the movie is known for its gritty plot and superb performances.
Michael, Arjun and Lallan played by Devgn, Oberoi and Bachchan, respectively, belong to three different strata of society. One fateful morning, their paths cross and their lives change all of a sudden.
Alai Payuthey (2000) is a much-loved film by celebrated Tamil filmmaker Mani Ratnam starring R Madhavan and Shalini. Madhavan has ruled for decades as an ultimate heartthrob in the south and Bollywood, thanks to this movie.
Shaad Ali remade his classic with a fresh pairing of Vivek Oberoi and Rani Mukerji. Saathiya remains a cult romantic film with A.R. Rahman’s soulful tracks and sizzling chemistry between the leads.
Aditya (Oberoi) meets Suhani (Mukerji) at a wedding and falls in love with her. After a cute courtship, they agree to get married but are faced with family opposition. Reality hits the young couple after they elope.
Saathiya paints a realistic yet heart-warming story of a young couple trying to survive.
Watch Saathiya here.
Minnale (2001) firmly fixed R Madhavan’s onscreen image as an ultimate lover boy and director Gautham as a name to reckon with in the Tamil film industry. This romantic film was adapted to Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein as the director repeated his male lead and cast Dia Mirza as his love interest.
Fascinatingly, the movie did a lukewarm business when it was released in 2001 but later got a lot of love and traction after it was released on OTT years later. Now, it enjoys the status of a cult classic. One of its songs “Zara Zara” is a love anthem ruling the charts even today.
Madhav ‘Maddy’ Shastri (Madhavan) falls in love with Reena Malhotra (Mirza) and impersonates her fiancé Rajeev ‘Sam’ Samra (Saif Ali Khan) to woo her. Sam, who works in the United States, comes down to Mumbai and Maddy’s true identity is revealed. But who will Reena choose?
Watch Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein here.
Director Priyadarshan was heavily inspired by the 1989 Malayalam classic Ramji Rao Speaking, which he remade into cult comedy Hera Pheri starring Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty and Tabu in lead roles.
The story revolves around three unemployed men devising a plan to earn a quick buck after they accidentally get a call from a kidnapper (Gulshan Grover). They become the middlemen in the situation, which leads to a comedy of errors and confusion.
After the success of one of the top-rated Bollywood remakes of South Indian movies, the makers came up with the sequel Phir Hera Pheri (2006).
Watch Hera Pheri here.
Watch Phir Hera Pheri here.
This evergreen comedy, which is one of the landmark films of ace actor Kamal Haasan, has been remade from 1996 Tamil flick Avvai Shanmugi starring Haasan, Meena and Gemini Ganesan. Within a year, Haasan directed Chachi 420 in Hindi with a stellar cast of Tabu, Amrish Puri, Om Puri, Johnny Walker, Paresh Rawal and Ayesha Jhulka.
The makers hit the emotions of the masses as they showed a story of a divorced couple played by Haasan and Tabu who negotiate their differences in the wake of raising their daughter. In a bid to win over his wife, Haasan dons an avatar of a middle-aged nanny. What happens next is a heartwarming depiction of the young couple learning to overcome their differences and come together, post-divorce.
Watch Chachi 420 here.
(Main and Featured image credit: Courtesy of IMDb)
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