What’s quite surprising and what some of you may already know is that Bollywood is the largest film producer in the world, producing around 1000 films every year. What’s even more surprising is that Hollywood does not even take second place behind the bright lights of B-town. However, quite a considerable amount of Bollywood movies have been influenced and inspired by the big Hollywood blockbusters. Some have been utterly ridiculous remakes, others have gone on to be great success stories, some are scarily close to the originals whilst others lightly reflect their American counterparts. So, we have separated the wheat from the chaff and given a round up of our best and worst Bollywood remakes.
1. Bang Bang (2014)
A remake of Knight and Day, a Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz movie, Bang Bang was released last year and did extremely well, being one of the most awaited movies of 2014. Starring Hirtikh Roshan and Katrina Kaif as the lead roles, both were praised for their performances in the movie. Bang Bang features very similar scenes and stunts to the original and has even been said to be better than Knight and Day itself. Even Hirtikh himself stated that movie was better than the original, saying ‘Why would I do something if I know it can’t be done better?’ Its figures from the Box Office certainly back him up. The film’s open day grossing was the highest ever for a Roshan movie and the trailer was the most watched teaser in the first 24 hours of release compared to any other. In comparison, Knight and Day didn’t do particularly well in the Hollywood box office and was actually the lowest grossing film for Tom Cruise and also received quite bad reviews. Quite a stark difference between the success of the films and proving that the original is not always better.
Winner: Bang Bang
2. Chachi 420 (1997)
Translated in English to ‘The Cunning Aunt’ it’s no surprise that this movie is loosely based on the American classic Mrs Doubtfire. Despite having slightly different plots, the themes of both movies are quite similar. Both follow the story of a divorced man who dresses up as an elderly lady in order to get closer to his children. However, the reception of both films was quite differed. Mrs Doubtfire, starring popular and much loved comedian Robin Williams, is an adored classic, heartfelt comedy by both children and adults alike. However, Chachi 420 was not as well received with a less child-friendly story line. It’s fair to say that Mrs Doubtfire could never be replicated by Bollywood or Hollywood alike.
Winner: Mrs Doubtfire
3. Kyon Ki (2005)
Bollywood were quite optimistic when they attempted to remake the Oscar-winning, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which has cemented itself as a classic and as Jack Nicholson’s most iconic performance. It’s no question then that Priyadarshan gave his best shot at directing Kyon Ki which draws inspiration from the Hollywood blockbuster but it unfortunately didn’t live up to the successes of the original. Living up to the expectations of a film which won six Golden Globes and six Academy Awards (not forgetting that Oscar) would be quite a feat. Starring Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor, the story is very much similar to the original. Khan, the killer of his wife, is taken to a mental institute where he befriends the inmates. Priyadarshan had two movies being released on the same day, one was a success; unfortunately this was not Kyon Ki.
Winner: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
4. Players (2012)
Featuring an ensemble cast, a huge budget and filmed in various foreign locations worldwide, Players was one of the most highly anticipated Bollywood movies of 2012. It had a lot to live up to, being heavily influenced by the very popular Hollywood blockbuster, The Italian Job, starring Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron. Like all Bollywood remakes, there were scenes which were adapted to suit the Indian audience but with the rights bought from the Hollywood movie the scenes were very similar. The cast of Players was star-studded, starring Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor and Bipasha Basu to name but a few. Despite this, the movie didn’t do as well as expected in the box office. Many say it was cursed by the jinx that the first released film of the year in Bollywood always fails at the box office!
Winner: The Italian Job
5. Hum Tum (2004)
Hum Tum is an Indian romantic comedy starring Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji and is loosely based around When Harry Met Sally. However, very unlike the original American movie, the Bollywood version also features two animated characters aptly named Hum and Tum which represent the state of the main characters’ relationship throughout the movie. Like When Harry Met Sally, Hum Tum did extremely well, winning Filmfare awards and was the seventh highest grossing film of that year. The same can be said for Hollywood’s version, which was nominated for an Oscar and is regarded as a romantic comedy classic!
Winner: Close call – we say Hum Tum (we like the animated characters)
What can we expect this year?
This Year – The Fault in Our Stars (2015)
The trend of Bollywood recreating Hollywood is certainly not coming to end just yet as we can expect more in the coming year. The Fault in Our Stars is a romantic US movie based on the best-selling book of the same name. Predominantly a film about love, there is also a strong central theme of cancer. The story is based on a young teenage girl suffering from cancer who meets a boy who has recently recovered from the disease. The film then follows their love journey. The movie was a massive Hollywood success grossing over a quarter of a billion worldwide and going on to win multiple awards and gaining great critical acclaim. In 2015, we can expect the film to be turned into a Bollywood film, again using the same name. Deepika Padukone and Varun Dhawan have agreed to play the main roles, according to the Bombay Times, and will begin production in March. Considering the success of the US movie, it will be interesting to see whether the Bollywood version will live up to expectations. Deepika Padukone has a considerable amount of highly successful movies already under her belt, however, many have criticised Deepika being to old for the role.
Can you think of any more Bollywood remakes that you really enjoyed or wish you hadn’t bothered watching? Let us know through our Facebook, Twitter or Google+ pages! If you enjoyed this blog then take a read of Bollywood vs Hollywood – Who’s Richer?