17 Most popular Bollywood films that are a remake of Korean movies
Inpiration or plagiarism? Read on to discover some of the famous Bollywood films that were copied or remade from Korean movies.
All of the movie buffs out there must have noticed this thing with many Hindi films. For ages, the Bollywood industry has toyed with the idea of remaking, remixing, and ripping off infamous movies and/or songs - be it Bollywood's own old epic songs or movies from foreign lands. This inspiration may come from high-rated movies in Hollywood, Tollywood (Telugu movies), Kollywood (Tamil movies), Mollywood (Malayalam movies), and other well-performed films from the West. Bollywood has also taken content from the far East, including Japanese and Korean films.
At times we do love Bollywood's dramatic depiction of the original movies and songs - some perform much better than the original ones. However, there are cases when Bollywood has been harshly criticized for ruining the entire vibe and storyline of the original song or movie (you can take Neha Kakkar's latest remix as an example).
As the Korean industry sweeps in massive waves across the entertainment world - songs, series, and movies alike - we thought people should know how Bollywood is copying Korean content (also, we have already seen and know about Hollywood and South remakes).
So, today, we have a list of 17 popular Bollywood films that are a remake of Korean movies. Now, we leave it up to you to decide how the Hindi version of the successful original Korean films performed - did you actually like the copied version more? Was it a hit or a miss? Should Bollywood have just left those Korean films untouched?
Read on and tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!
Top 17 popular Bollywood films that are a remake of Korean movies
1. Radhe (2021) - The Outlaws (2017)
Inspired from the Korean film The Outlaws (which was released in 2017), Radhe did not perform well at the box office. The Outlaws was an R-rated crime action-thriller. It was a super duper hit, becoming one of the highest-grossing Korean films. On the contrary, Radhe is a tired, incoherent, and pretty faithful Salman Khan starrer remake which even the fandom of Salman Khan could not save from being average.
2. Te3n (2016) - Montage (2013)
Based on the Korean film Montage (which was released in 2013), Te3n performed fairly well at the box office owing to the veteran actors, including Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Vidya Balan. With only some minor character tweaks in Teen, the essential storyline of the Korean remake was kept the same.
3. Awarapan (2007) - A Bittersweet Life (2005)
Based on the Korean film A Bittersweet Life (which was released in 2005), Awarapan was not exactly a hit at the box office. The original Korean film follows the story of a hitman who has to keep an eye on his boss’ mistress. While on the job, he learns that the boss is exploiting her and decides to rescue her. On the contrary, the Bollywood version keeps the plot and tweaks the part where the girl is a victim of human trafficking. This uncredited remake of the Korean film just could not deliver the same magic either in terms of acting, cast, or dialogues. However, the songs of Awarapan were a massive hit!
4. Barfi (2012) - Lover’s Concerto (2002)
Inspired from the Korean film Lover’s Concerto (which was released in 2002), Barfi became one of the most appreciated, highly anticipated, super-hit Bollywood films. Although it was a copy of the South Korean movie, this Hindi remake won the hearts of audiences and critics alike with the splendid performances of the stars.
5. Bharat (2019) - Ode to My Father (2014)
Inspired from the Korean movie Ode to My Father (which was released in 2014), Bharat failed to impress the viewers and the critics despite its huge box office collection. The Korean film emphasized patriotism and nationalism, depicting the history of South Korea from 1950 to 2010, arising from a nostalgic appraisal of the past. All of these traits made it a perfect idea to remake this film into an Indian adaptation. However, even with dance numbers, macho bluster, and love interests, the director and actors simply could not match the true essence and charm of the original Korean movie.
6. Ek Villain (2014) - I Saw the Devil (2010)
Remade from the Korean movie I Saw the Devil (which was released in 2010), Ek Villain was a major flop at the box office. While the original Korean thriller was a hit due to its gore scenes depicting hardcore violence, Ek Villain, on the other hand, was an extremely Bollywoodised romantic thriller, making the plot more inconsistent, sentimental, and not that great.
7. Dhamaka (2021) - The Terror Live (2013)
Inspired from the Korean movie The Terror Live (which was released in 2013), Dhamaka received an average response at the box office and from viewers and critics alike. The Hindi remake did justice to the original Korean film, and the acting of Kartik Aaryan as a journalist was much appreciated.
8. Zinda (2006) - Oldboy (2003)
Copied from the Korean movie Oldboy (which was released in 2003), Zinda could not grab the viewers' attention for long. Almost anyone who watched Oldboy, the neo-noir masterpiece cult thriller South Korean film, will agree to the fact that this movie should not have been allowed into a Hindi remake. Even the cast of iconic actors like John Abraham, Sanjay Dutt, and Lara Dutta could not save the unofficial Bollywood version. However, John Abraham did win the Filmfare Award for Best Villain for this movie.
9. Jazbaa (2015) - Seven Days (2007)
Remade from the thriller Korean movie Seven Days (which was released in 2007), Jazbaa failed miserably. Probably the only good thing to happen to this Hindi remake was the depiction of a platonic friendship which is obviously unusual for (well) Bollywood. Another thing that gave this movie a little bit of life at the box office was the return of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on the silver screen after five years and the duo of her and Irrfan Khan. While the Korean actress Kim Yun-jin won an award for her acting, Aishwarya, on the other hand, could not win the audience with her performance.
10. Singh Is Bliing (2015) - My Wife is a Gangster 3 (2006)
Based on from the Korean movie My Wife is a Gangster 3 (which was released in 2006), Singh Is Bliing (honestly) was a slap to the face of the viewers and critics. Apart from the theme of a woman gangster, nothing - absolutely nothing - about this Indian adaptation of the original Korean movie did justice to it. While Korean fans loved their movie, Bollywood fans did not like the movie to that extent.
11. Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015) - Masquerade (2012)
Inspired from the period Korean film Masquerade (which was released in 2012), Prem Ratan Dhan Payo could not perform that well. Although this highly anticipated Bollywood remake marked the return of the actor-director duo - Salman Khan and Sooraj Barjatya, the movie failed to deliver the vibe of the original Korean movie Masquerade. Within all the unnecessary thumkas, jhumkas, and posh settings, the true storyline in the Hindi remake is lost somewhere. On the contrary, Masquerade is considered among the top three K-films of all time.
12. Murder 2 (2011) - The Chaser (2008)
Taken from the Korean film The Chaser (which was released in 2008), Murder 2 was a psychological thriller. Amongst all the movies in this list, this is possibly the only Bollywood remake that really took inspiration from the original 2008 Korean movie The Chaser, which was based on a real-life serial killer. Both movies did well at the box office.
13. Rocky Handsome (2016) - The Man From Nowhere (2010)
Based on the Korean film The Man From Nowhere (which was released in 2010), Rocky Handsome is the official remake that performed fairly at the box office. Both - the original and the remade - movies follow the same storyline of a former secret agent who runs a pawn shop. He revengefully goes out in search of his little neighborhood friend after she goes missing. The only major difference is that the Korean movie The Man From Nowhere was one of the highest-grossing films in 2010, and its Indian remake Rocky Handsome received mixed reactions from the audience and the critics.
14. Ugly Aur Pagli (2008) - My Sassy Girl (2001)
Copied from the Korean film My Sassy Girl (which was released in 2001), Ugly Aur Pagli was hilarious with good chemistry between the onscreen duo - Ranvir Shorey and Mallika Sherawat. However, this Hindi remake was a flop. On the contrary, the original Korean movie My Sassy Girl was so critically acclaimed and a mega blockbuster that it was remade into Nepali, Chinese, and Indonesian films. Even, Bollywood remade it, but the director and the actors could not add the original spice and vibe to their Bollywoodised version.
15. Do Lafzon Ki Kahani (2016) - Always (2011)
Copied from the Korean movie Always (which was released in 2011), Do Lafzon Ki Kahani was a flop at the box office. The storyline of the original Korean film Always was kept intact in the Hindi remake. However, the actors could not deliver on the plot, and the audiences and the critics could not accept and appreciate this Hindi remake. Some movies should just left be untouched, right?
16. Jawaani Jaaneman (2020) - Scandal Makers (2008)
Based on the Korean movie Scandal Makers (which was released in 2008), Jawaani Jaaneman could not impress the viewers and the critics. Once again, Bollywood took over the entire storyline of the original Korean movie Scandal Makers with minor tweaks in the characters - while the protagonist in the Korean film is a radio jockey, the protagonist in the Bollywood remake is a property broker. So much for originality? With a cringe-y title, this Hindi adaptation failed horribly at the box office.
17. Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story (2013) - My Gangster Lover (My Dear Desperado) (2010)
Inspired from the Korean movie My Gangster Lover (My Dear Desperado) (which was released in 2010), Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story was yet again another flop Bollywood remake. The plot revolves around a small-time gangster who falls in love with an engineering graduate girl. While the original Korean film was critically acclaimed and was even remade in the Tamil language, the Hindi remake was simply not up to the standards. Although the director and the actors tried their best, the original is original - right?
Remakes and remixes are the new cool, especially in the entertainment industry. However, perfecting the art of remixing is not everybody's cup of tea. With maximum flops, it is high time that Bollywood should either learn this art or accept the truth and let the original movies breathe.
Now that you went through our curated list of 17 popular Bollywood films that are a remake of Korean movies, let us come back to the question we asked you in the beginning - how many of these inspired (or unofficially copied) Bollywood movies did you like?
Do you think Bollywood should just leave the Korean films (or any other language movies, for that matter) untouched - and start producing more authentic content?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!
With a marked inclination toward Interiors and a Post Graduation degree in Interior Design from VIFT Bangalore, Anubhuti... Read more