Jul 16, 2008

TOLLYWOOD IN REMAKE MELA - Twist in the tale

The usual trend is for southern films to head north to be remade there, but here are some that have taken the reverse route

About turn! The exclamation comes almost spontaneously as one hears news of a Tollywood filmmaker buying rights to remake a film and that too a Hindi one! Southern films heading northwards for a makeover –– right from Patala Bhairavi and Lava Kusa, to the current Bomarillu, Pokiri and Gajini –– is a usual phenomenon, but the reverse is a rare occurrence, though not totally unheard of. Superhits like Don, Yadon ki Baraat, Amar Akbar Anthony, Lawaris , Hero and Betaab were remade in Telugu in the 70s and 80s and after a hiatus the trend resurfaced again.

It started off with
Nuvvasthanante Vadantana a remake of Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya and was followed by Bale Dongalu, a total ripoff of Bunty aur Babli; Satyameva Jayate, a remake of Khakee, currently under production; and Srisailam which is also currently under production is rumoured to have borrowed heavily from the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Main Hoon Na.

The trend's not surprising given that there are movie buffs in the state who wouldn't mind watching three shows in a row, especially if they happen to be fans of the star! With such a huge market for films in the state, filmmakers are willing to beg, borrow or steal an idea or in some cases buy the idea. According to Vijaya Anand, a movie buff, it's an idea crunch, "It does not matter much if Tollywood borrows from Bollywood or vice versa, because the two borrow liberally from Hollywood," he says as he reels out a list of English films that were plagiarised by Indian movie makers. Producer Shyam Prasad Reddy, however, differs, "It's more of cashing in on the success than the story itself," he says from the business point of view.

Affirming this line of thought is actress Jeevitha Rajasekhar herself who is busy directing Satyameva Jayate, for which she has bought the rights from the producers of Khakee to use some sequences from the movie. She says, "A good movie that has proven to be a success is more likely to appeal to the audience again, as human emotions are the same, no matter what the language." She clarifies that Khakee is not being replicated frame to frame. "Satyameva Jayate is only 20 to 30 per cent Khakee. The story, screenplay and dialogues are being taken care of by Rajasekhar to suit his image with the Telugu audience," she tells us. Since Ankusam and Mogadu he has not played a powerful police officer and with this film he will revive that image to the delight of his fans, she informs.

Actor Milind Soman, who was here in the city recently, tells us that he is playing the role of Ajay Devgan, and explains that everything has been modified to suit the Telugu culture.
"The formula is the same. But, the same sequence can be creatively packaged in 'n' number of ways," say actress Amrita Arora who does not mind if a remake is more of an adaptations and less of a copy. She cites the example of the Tamil movie Kandu Kondain Kandu Kondain which is a total rip-off of Sense and Sensibility –– "The way the story had been treated to suit the Tamil culture has made it a resounding hit," she says. Referring to the remake of Main Hoon Na, she says "It would be fascinating to see how my role is essayed." Sure enough it is also fascinating to see a shift in the way the film industry functions. An industry that's known for its plagiarising ways is now buying remake rights. A new trend indeed!

Hindi films remade in Telugu
THEN Don — Yugandhar Yadon ki baraat — Annadamulla Anubandam
Amar Akbar Anthony — Ram Robert Rahim, Lawaris — Na Desam Hero — Vikram Betaab — Samrat NOW Pyar Kiya to...—Nuvvasthanante Vadantana Bunty aur Babli — Bale Dongalu Khakee — Satyameva Jayate (yet to be released) Main Hoon Na — Srisailam (yet to be released)