When did Bollywood start remaking South Indian films
"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," a quote by Oscar Wilde perfectly fits the Bollywood films that are either direct remakes or inspired by South Indian movies. As Kartik Aaryan's out-and-out entertainer film Shehzada is hitting theaters on Friday, which is a remake of Allu Arjun's Telugu drama Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo, let's decode how the trend of South Indian remakes started in Bollywood.
Let's begin from the beginning!
For the longest time, it was believed that the "regional cinema" could never match high-octane Bollywood movies. In fact, in the '80s, the South industry was engaged in making remakes of popular Hindi films. It might come as a surprise, but superstar Rajinikanth featured in 11 Tamil movies that were actually remakes of Amitabh Bachchan's films. But soon enough, this phenomenon was reversed!
The change in dynamics
We cannot pinpoint the exact timeline when the Bollywood industry started looking out to South cinema for inspiration, but NTR's blockbuster Telugu movie Ramudu Bheemudu released in 1964, was among the first few films to be remade into Hindi, Ram Aur Shyam (1967), starring Dilip Kumar and Waheeda Rehman. But wait, the trend of remakes did not start here but with Kamal Haasan.
Haasan brought the wave of remakes with his Bollywood debut
The trend of remaking South films into the Hindi language started with Haasan who became the first actor to break the language barrier and transcended the boundaries. He identified a lucrative market in the northern belt and eventually made his Bollywood debut. Some of his iconic movies were remade in Hindi, including Sadma, Ek Duuje Ke Liye, Dayavan, and Chachi 420.
The trend was picked up by makers in late '90s
The trend of remakes picked up pace when Judwaa featuring Salman Khan in double roles became a massive success. It was the official remake of the Telugu film Hello Brother. Later, the 1989 Malayalam film Ramji Rao Speaking was remade in Hindi as Hera Pheri, which achieved cult status. Owning to this success, director Priyadarshan tried his luck with more such films.
Action flicks became the real trendsetters
The formula adopted by the director of Hera Pheri worked well at the box office, due to which other filmmakers also jumped right in. Initially, the comedy genre films were the popular choice for remakes, but eventually, action flicks became the real trendsetter. Films like Ghajini, Wanted, Singham, Rowdy Rathore, Bodyguard, Holiday, Force, and, Kick among others received thunderous responses from audiences.
38 films were remade in Hindi in last 10 years
Owing to the fact that South cinema had a zing that Bollywood always wanted, the trend of remakes is still very much alive in the Hindi film industry. Per reports, in the last 10 years, Bollywood has remade over 38 South Indian films, out of which 18 have been massive hits. The actors have now started crossing boundaries to move closer to green pastures.