Originality is a term conspicuous by its very absence in Bollywood. Remake, Inspiration, Tribute-whatever may be the excuse, there’s no denying to the fact that there’s a dearth of original ideas in Bollywood. Though not high on creativity, at least these filmmakers have mastered the art of ‘Copy-Cut-Paste’, which is no less challenging. As per the requirements of this art, these filmmakers need to Copy the original film, Cut out what’s unnecessary or objectionable with respect to Hindi cinema and Paste the requisite amount of masala to Bollywoodize it, which most often comes in the form of song-dance, melodrama and things alike.

Moreover gone are the days when audiences (and even critics) groused on rehashed versions. Off lately the viewers have lived up to remakes. As far as the final product is engaging, audiences no more mind adaptations. Talking about 2004, like every other year this year too had it’s share of reworks. East, West, North or South, the filmmakers didn’t hesitate to borrow inspiration from any directions. The level of inspiration varied from film to film.

Paisa Vasool High Heels and Low Lives
Aetbaar Fear
Paap Witness
Hawas Unfaithful
Who Red Rock West
Murder Unfaithful
Masti The Seven Year Itch
Yuva Amores Perros
Hum Tum When Harry Met Sally
Mujhse Shaadi Karogi Anger Management
Ishq Qayamat Unfaithful
Phir Milenge Philadelphia
Hum Kaun Hai The Others
Rakht The Gift
Tumsa Nahin Dekha Arthur
Shukriya Meet Joe Black
Inteqam Basic Instinct
Naach In The Mood For Love
Ab…Bas Enough
Musafir U -Turn
Aabra Ka Dabra Harry Potter series
Tum? Summer of 42′
Krishna Cottage The Ring
Deewar The Great Escape
Taarzan – The Wonder Car Christine
Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa Return To Me
Aitraaz Disclosure

The Bollywood recycle factory

Popcorn Khao MAST Ho Jao can easily be tagged as a zillionth version of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Rok Sako To Rok Lo essentially had shades of Mansoor Khan’s Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander, which in turn was a remake of Breaking Away. Even the paltry Kaun Hai Jo Sapno Mein Aaya coming from the aptly titled production house ‘Inspired Film’ was directly inspired from the parivar sudharo andolan film like Biwi Ho To Aisi, Bawarchi, Hero No. 1, et al. with a Kal Ho Naa Ho kinda climax.

In 2005

The year 2005 also assure a hoard of rephrased works coming your way. Just check out the formal list as of now. (There might be a lot more inclusions by the year end).

Sarkar The Godfather (Eng)
Rang One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest (Eng)
Main Aisa Hi Hoon I Am Sam (Eng)
Jaane Hoga Kya The 6 th Day (Eng)
No Entry Charlie Chaplin (Malayalam)
Jo Bole So Nihaal Crocodile Dundee (Eng)
Bold Phool Bane Angaray (Hindi)
Anjaane- The Unknown The Others (Eng)
Ae Watan Shaheed (Hindi)
Teri Meherbaniya Teri Meherbaniya (Hindi)

Blatant remakes:

Unfaithful had 3 Hindi versions in 2004 itself – the biggest hit of the year Murder, the average grosser Hawas and the less known Ishq Qayamat. Apart from the content, the makers of Ab Bas even derived the movie title from the original English film Enough with a literal translation. Thrillers like Rakht and Hum Kaun Hai were self-proclaimed remakes of The Gift and The Others respectively. More Bhatt blatancies include Paap (Witness). Aetbaar (Fear) and Tumsa Nahin Dekha (Arthur).

Selective Inspiration:

The Anil Kapoor – Mahesh Manjrekar and Sameera Reddy story angle of Musafir was evidently inspired from U-Turn. Akshay Kumar used Anger Management techniques to alleviate Salman Khan in Mujhse Shaadi Karogi. Vatsal Sheth’s car connection in Taarzan – The Wonder Car had flashes of Christine.

Faintly reminiscent:
The Deewaar POW runaway reminded of The Great ESCAPE. While Yuva was structurally similar to Amores Perros, Rituparno Ghosh’s Raincoat thematically reminded of Gulzar’s Ijaazat with a very similar setup – an estranged couple meeting once again in an isolated setting. Aitraaz had the sexual harassment theme with a male being the victim, derived from Disclosure.

Leave a Comment