Bollywood And Remakes Have Reached A Crossroad: Is Originality Dead?

Bollywood has had a long history with remakes. Even before remakes were celebrated, publicly announced and official adapted, Hindi cinema made their own inspired versions of films they were inspired by. While Sholay was based on The Magnificent Seven, Ek Ruka Hua Faisla was adapted from 12 Angry Men, Amitabh Bachchan’s iconic film Satte Pe Satta was based on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. For years they have proven to bring filmmakers commercial success even before films were made for minting money, however, it seems like that’s all Bollywood is capable of doing now.

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After years of Hollywood and South Korean adaptations, now South Indian movies are all the rage in Bollywood. Some of the biggest upcoming remakes in Bollywood include Saif Ali Khan and Hrithik Roshan’s Vikram Vedha. The film based on the Indian folktale of Baital Pachisi, in Hindi remake of the 2018 Tamil film Vikram Vedha led by Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi. Akshay Kumar’s upcoming film with Emraan Hashmi titled Selfie is the remake of a 2019 comedy-drama starring Prithviraj and Suraj Venjaramoodu.

Other than the ones in the pipeline, Hindi filmmakers continue to announce new remakes every month. 2005 blockbuster Anniyan is set to be remade in Hindi led by Ranveer Singh. The psychological thriller will see the actor playing a triple role originally played by Vikram. Meanwhile, Sanya Malhotra is set to star in The Great Indian Kitchen Hindi remake, Kartik Aaryan recent revealed he will be starring in Hindi remake of Telugu film led by Allu Arjun and Pooja Hegde. Janhvi Kapoor is also set to lead a remake of Helen which was a Malayali survival thriller. The list is every ending, there must be more in pre-production, others are yet to be announced.

With the likes of it, Bollywood in recent times has released more remakes and sequels than original films. Apart from minting money, the films haven’t done much entertaining for the audience. Recent releases like Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha, Shahid Kapoor’s Jersey, and Rajkummar Rao’s HIT are all proof the industry needs to take a break from remakes. The audience has also started to voice their opinion about Hindi remakes and why they don’t work. While Boycott Bollywood has impacted these releases, reviews and public opinion on the film have been clear on social media. They still enjoy watching these actors on screen, but they don’t want to see the same story with a different voice, like watching a dubbed version of the movie.

Remakes were an expression of art in the early days, filmmakers adapted stories to a new setting, to a new country. They had different visions, and some even explored different styles of filmmaking. Now most of them are copies — scene by scene. They can be watched side by side without much of a difference. The purpose of remakes was to make the story known far and wide across the world, unmissable stories that had to be seen and understood were adapted even if only for entertainment, without any social issue attached to them. Now, unfortunately, most are not well thought through.

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Janhvi’s Dhadak based on Sairat failed to do justice to the original, Rx100’s Hindi remake Tadap was called lousy masala. In a time when global movies are available in different languages, with subtitles, it’s not hard to guess why the audience refuses to watch Hindi remakes. It’s about time to give a shot to original stories and scripts, it’s not like Hindi movies are not capable of moving their audience. Original movies in Bollywood have done it for decades. Its time for the industry to return to its core, and to think about its audience.

Cover Image: Instagram


John Colin

I am a technology journalist with over two decades of press experience. I have spent much of the last ten years, focusing on open source, tech gadgets, data analytics and intelligence, Internet of things, cloud computing, mobile devices, and data management. I'm a senior editor at Mashable's covering data analytics, venture capital, (SaaS) applications, cloud and enterprise software out of New York.

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