Bollywood is relentless. Producing films year after year, it has achieved a longevity that few other industries have been able to emulate. In fact, it’s one of the largest film industries in the world, delivering movies on a seemingly endless conveyor belt for audience entertainment.
Malayalam cinema is renowned for its excellent storytelling and Malayali audiences severely criticize its films. So if a Malayalam movie does well in Kerala, chances are it will work elsewhere as well.
The Hindi film industry is known to keep an eye on regional cinema. If something clicks regionally, they are more than willing to recreate the formula for their Hindi speaking audience. And most often they try to recreate Kerala movies.
Here are 10 Bollywood movies that are actually remakes of Malayalam movies:
1. Katha Parayumbol – Billu Barber
Based on the classic story of the friendship between Krishna and Sudamas, Katha Parayumbol was a contemporary account of Mr. Mohanan. Sreenivasan plays Balan, a barber who is childhood friends with superstar Ashokraj, played by Mammootty. In the Hindi remake, Irfan played the role of the humble barber, while Shah Rukh Khan played the character of Mammootys. The script for the original in Malayalam was written by Sreenivasan himself, and it has met with wide acclaim. It has also been redone in Tamil and Telugu.
2. Manichitrathazhu – Bhool Bhulaiyaa
Manichitrathazhu is possibly one of the most iconic Malayalam films ever made. With talents like Mohanlal and Shobana leading the cast, it had to be a success. No wonder filmmaker Priyaradshan decided to risk making a Hindi remake. While Bhool Bhulaiyaa was a decent movie on its own, despite the presence of Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balans, the Hindi version pales in comparison to Manichitrathazhus cult status.
3. Bodyguard – Bodyguard
Directed by cinema mainstay Siddique, the Malayalam movie had actor Dileep leading the cast alongside a recently returned Nayanthara. It’s another movie that was remade in Hindi by the same director. Bollywood superstar Salman Khan starred and added his own charm to the film. Beside him was actress Kareena Kapoor.
4. Talking Ramji Rao – Hera Pheri
Another cult classic from Kerala, Ramji Rao speaking is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. The chemistry between the actors, Mukesh, Saikumar, and Innocent contributed to the excellent comedic timing throughout the film. His Hindi remake, Hera Pheri was also an unexpected success, thanks to a great change put in place by Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty and Paresh Rawal.
5. Vellanakalude Naadu – Khatta Meetha
There is a pattern emerging here – Priyadarshan seems to be responsible for the majority of these remakes of Malayalam in Hindi. By this point in their careers, Mohanlal and Shobana had managed to forge a successful chemistry. Akshay Kumar starred in the Bollywood remake alongside Tamil actress Trisha. The Hindi version has managed to do decently well for itself.
6. Perumazhakkalam – Dor
With Meera Jasmine, Kavya Madhavan and Dileep, Perumazhakkalam was critically acclaimed but failed to produce box office numbers. The same problem was rife Pain, his Bollywood remake starring Ayesha Takia, Gul Panag and Shreyas Talpade.
7. Drishyam – Drishyam
Drishyam was a cinematic phenomenon that resulted in several remakes in many regional languages. The Malayalam superhit had Mohanlal playing the lead role of George Kutty, and the Hindi remake had Ajay Devgn taking on that mantle.
8. Traffic – Traffic
Released in 2011, Traffic was based on an actual incident that happened in Chennai. Sreenivasan and Kunchacko Boban, as well as a well-written screenplay by Bobby Sanjay made it a success. However, the Hindi version starring Manoj Bajpayee and Jimmy Shergill exploded at the box office, barely breaking even.
9. Pokkiri Raja – Boss
With Mammootty and Prithviraj Sukumaran, Pokkiri Raja was a masala artist, he did not fare well with reviews but still managed to generate a net profit. Akshay Kumar was roped to recreate magic in Hindi with Aditi Rao Hydari and Mithun Chakraborty. However, the film received mixed reviews.
10. Ayyappanum Koshiyum Redo (Work in progress)
The 2020 action thriller was well received by audiences. Now John Abraham and Arjun Kapoor have been confirmed as part of Ayappanum Koshiyums Hindi remake. John would reprise the role of Biju Menons from the original while Arjun Kapoor would step into the character of Prithviraj Sukumarans.
It looks like Bollywood has amassed a number of inspired remakes by Malayalam originals. Have you been able to guess any of them? Let us know in the comments section below.
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