The Southern Inspiration. Bollywood films inspired by Southern cinema

From Dil Ek Mandir (1963) which is a remake of the Tamil film Nenjil Oru Alayam, to the recent Muni 2: Kanchana that was remade as Laxmii, from a Biwi No 1 of 1995, that was inspired by Sati Leelavati to recent cinema, Bollywood has looked up to Southern hits for inspiration. Here are some films that we have watched and enjoyed that stem from films in the South

Bhool Bhulaiyaa (Manichitratazhu – Malayalam)

Biwi No 1 (1995) — Sati Leelavati (Tamil)

The 2007 horror comedy directed by Priyadarshan features Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Ameesha Patel and Shiney Ahuja in pivotal roles. The movie is centered on Avni, played by Vidya, who suffers a dissociative identity disorder from the problems that occur in her childhood.  The film, which was a critical and commercial success, is a remake of the 1993 Malayalam film Manichithrathazhu, starring Shobhana, Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi. The film is considered one of the best thrillers ever made in India and one of the best Malayalam films ever made. Close to 10 years after the film’s release, it was remade into Kannada as Apthamitra, Tamil as Chandramukhi (this version was also dubbed into Telugu) and Bengali as Rajmohol.

Swades (Chigurida Kanasu – Telugu)

Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Swades was a remake of Kannada film Chigurida Kanasu which was a true story based on the life of an NRI man. While the film did not fare well at box office, it’s Bollywood remake turned out to be a classic watch even today and is considered to be

Kabir Singh ( Arjun Reddy – Telugu)

Kabir Singh is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language romantic drama film written and directed by Sandeep Vanga. It is a remake of his own Telugu film Arjun Reddy (2017) which featured Vijay Deverakonda and Shalini Pandey in the lead roles. “Arjun Reddy” was partially inspired by Vanga’s life as a physiotherapy student. Kabir Singh stars Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani. It focuses on the title character, an alcoholic surgeon who goes on a self-destructive path after his girlfriend is forced to marry someone else.

Simmba ( Temper – Telugu)

Starring Ranveer Singh, Sara Ali Khan, Sonu Sood and Ashutosh Rana in lead roles, Simmba is a 2018 Indian Hindi-language action film directed by Rohit Shetty and written by Yunus Sajawal and Sajid-Farhad. A spin-off of the Singham franchise, the film Is produced by Shetty under his banner Rohit Shetty Picturez and Karan Johar, Hiroo Yash Johar and Apoorva Mehta via Dharma Productions.

It is an adaptation of the 2015 Telugu-language film Temper. The film starred N. T. Rama Rao Jr. and Kajal Aggarwal in the lead roles.

Baaghi 2 ( Kshanam – Telugu)

Baaghi 2 is a 2018 Indian Hindi-language action thriller film produced by Sajid Nadiadwala and directed by Ahmed Khan. The film stars Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani in lead roles. It is a sequel to the 2016 film Baaghi and a remake of the 2016 Telugu movie Kshanam. Kshanam was also remade in Tamil as Sathya (2017) and in Kannada as Aadhya,

Ok Jaanu ( OK Kanmani – Tamil)

The romantic drama “Ok Jaanu” starring Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor kicked off the Bollywood releases of 2017. The film, which narrates the story of a young couple in a live-in relationship, was first envisioned in Tamil.The 2015 film, titled O Kadhal Kanmani or OK Kanmani was written, directed and produced by Mani Ratnam, while the music was composed by AR Rahman. The leading roles were essayed by Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menon.

Drishyam ( Drishyam – Malayalam)

This 2015 thriller starring Ajay Devgn, Tabu and Shriya Saran was hailed by critics as one of the most successful attempts by Bollywood in making a nail-biting drama. However, it was actually a remake of the Malayalam film by the same name, which was released in 2013. In fact, the Mohanlal and Meena starrer became so popular that it has been remade in Telugu, Tamil and Kannada as well. It is currently being remade in Sinhalese as well, under the title Dharmayuddaya.

Singham ( Singham – Tamil)

This Ajay Devgn action film, the title of which literally translates to lion, revolves around an honest police officer Bajirao Singham. Like most Rohit Shetty films, Singham, which was released in 2011, too was a box-office success and had a sequel titled Singham Returns. A spin-off of the Singham franchise, Simmba, a 2018 Indian Hindi-language action film directed by Rohit Shetty is an adaptation of the 2015 Telugu-language film Temper.

The Tamil version of the film, which was released in 2010, had Suriya playing the no-nonsense cop Durai Singam. The sequel to Singam titled Singam II was released in 2013 and “S3”, the third installment released in 2017. The film has also been remade in Bengali under the name Shotru.

Bodyguard ( Bodyguard– Malayalam)

This 2011 romantic action comedy stars Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Hazel Keech. The film, set around a misunderstood love connection between a bodyguard and the woman he is sworn to protect, is the remake of the Malayalam film of the same name starring Dileep, Nayanthara and Mithra Kurian.

Billu ( Kadha Parayumbol – Malayalam)

Initially titled BIllu Barber, this 2009 comedy-drama directed by Priyadarshan stars Irrfan Khan in the titular role and Lara Dutta as his wife. The film also features Shah Rukh Khan as a Bollywood superstar. The film speaks of Billu’s ordinary life that is turned upside down when SRK’s character Sahir comes to his village for a shooting.

The film is a remake of the critically acclaimed 2007 Malayalam film Kadha Parayumbol starring Sreenivasan in Irrfan’s role and superstar Mammootty in SRK’s. In 2008, the film was also simultaneously remade into Tamil under the title Kuselan and into Telugu under the title Kathanayakudu.. Rajinikanth played the superstar in both films.

Ghajini ( Ghajini – Tamil)

The 2008 psychological drama starring Aamir Khan and Asin was written and directed by A.R. Murugadoss. The film explores the life of a rich businessman, who develops Anterograde amnesia, which is the inability to create new memories after the event that caused the amnesia, and is driven by the desire to take revenge on the goon who killed his girlfriend. The film is a remake of the 2005 Tamil film starring Suriya and Asin, which was also written and directed by Murugadoss.

Garam Masala ( Boeing Boeing – Malayalam)

Akshay Kumar and John Abraham played a couple of womanisers who try to date three women simultaneously in Garam Masala.  Garam Masala is the remake of director Priyadarshan’s own Malayalam film Boeing Boeing, which in turn is based on a French play of the same name. The 1985 film, starring Mohanlal and Mukesh remains a cult classic and was remade into Telugu film Chilakkottudu and Kannada film Nee Tata Naa Birla as well.

Saathiya ( Alaipayuthe – Tamil)

The 2002 romantic drama produced by Mani Ratnam and Yash Chopra has Vivek Oberoi and Rani Mukerji playing the romantic leads. With AR Rahman composing the soundtrack, the film had every reason to be the super-hit it was. It is a remake of the Tamil film Alaipayuthey, which was co-written, co-produced and directed by Mani Ratnam. The 2000 film saw Shalini and R Madhavan as the protagonists.

Hera Pheri ( Ramji Rao Speaking – Malayalam)

The 2000 comedy film starring Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty and Tabu is one that enjoys a cult status among Pan-Indian audiences, much like the 1989 Malayalam film Ramji Rao Speaking, on which it is based. Paresh’s comic genius was widely appreciated in the film. The film spawned a sequel Phir Hira Pheri in 2006, which brought the trio back together, but replaced Tabu with two new female leads, Bipasha Basu and Rimi Sen. After a long delay, the third part of the comedy series, tentatively titled Hera Pheri 3, is set to release in 2018.

Virasat ( Thevar Magan – Tamil)

This 1997 drama film starring Anil Kapoor, Tabu and Pooja Batra is considered to be a classic and is recognized not only for its melodious music, but also for the social message – education is a tool to uplift people. The film is a remake of director Bharatan’s 1992 Tamil film Thevar Magan starring Kamal Hassan, Revathi and Gouthami. It has also been remade into Kannada by S Mahendar under the title Thandege Thakka Maga. In Telugu, the Tamil film was dubbed and was given the title Kshatriya Putrudu.



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