Mirroring The Industry: Leading from the front, with no remakes, no recreations, and sheer magic of big screen

Ranveer Singh, Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff, Salman Khan and others taking the South remake route, but not when working with Aditya Chopra or Karan Johar. Why? Pinkvilla discusses.
Mirroring The Industry: Leading from the front, with no remakes, no recreations, and sheer magic of big screen Mirroring The Industry: Leading from the front, with no remakes, no recreations, and sheer magic of big screen
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There is a strong southern influence on Bollywood at present – ranging from the overdose of south remakes, to the influx of southern names coming on board Bollywood films in the capacity of directors and actors. At-least 50 South Indian films are gearing up for a Hindi remake, and many top stars of Bollywood are now inclined towards working either in remakes or with the South Indian directors, primarily because their taste buds are more in the commercial space. While the Southern culture is not giving the top grossers of all time, it is certainly providing a cushion to the industry with constant flow of hits, and steady grossers.

Be it Ajay Devgn, Hrithik Roshan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, or Ranveer Singh, Siddharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan, Kartik Aaryan or even Ranbir Kapoor, every single actor today is in some way or the other related to the South Industry. Same is the case with producers – from Sajid Nadiadwala, to Bhushan Kumar, from Jayantilal Gada to Murad Khetani, from Ashwin Vardhe, from Ekta Kapoor to Aanand L Rai – who are drawn towards bringing south to north via remakes.

But then, there’s Aditya Chopra, who is silently creating his own content, at his own pace. Probably, that’s the reason, why his banner is at the top of game today. Every person in the industry aspires to be Aditya Chopra, but well, none is succeeding in that – reason being? Adi is churning out original content and sticking to the basics of cinema. He is going ahead with his conviction without an attempt to ape someone else. In the last one year, the producer has held on to the release of four films – Bunty Aur Babli 2, Shamshera, Prithviraj, Jayeshbhai Jordaar – which is basically locked at-least 500 crores. In the same span, he green lit four more films – Pathan, Tiger 3, Ajay Devgn – Ahan Pandey’s and Vicky Kaushal – Manushi Chillar’s next - investing Rs 700 to 800 crores more.

Every person in the industry aspires to be Aditya Chopra, but well, none is succeeding in that – reason being? Adi is churning out original content and sticking to the basics of cinema.
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Of these eight films, not a single one is a remake. This probably has not got as much attention in the media as it deserves. He is the one creating content by himself, away from the industry trend, green lighting script on the merit. Interestingly, a glance at discography of YRF suggests that the production house has also stayed away from the trend of recreations and few of the most successful music albums over the last few years have come from their banner. He is backing his in-house talent, bringing stories to the spectacle and probably running an alternate universe in Bollywood, that’s unlike anything others are practicing. There’s Bollywood and then, there’s Adi-wood, which is literally working with every top male and female star of the industry on original scripts.

There’s also Karan Johar, probably, the second most successful in the showbiz today. Though there is a massive gap between the first and second spot on all grounds – ranging from choice of content to the scale, a glance at the filmography of his production house also suggests that there has been a conscious effort to stay away from remakes. However, KjO too has opted for the safer route to get easy publicity by remixing old classics, but well, probably he couldn’t hold back on to the temptation of grabbing the eyeballs without much of an attempt. KjO’s game plan has been similar to Adi, by bringing about a mix between a wholesome commercial entertainer and a small content driven gem. Karan had announced a remake of Dear Comrade, but that has been shelved (Simmba being the exception). He has been tempted there, multiple times, but by and large, it has been a series of original films. Whole and sole, he is the second most original in the industry, after Adi, who hasn't had any "remake" under his kitty.

However, over the last decade, he has found more success in the later space, with is big screen spectacles failing to really leave a mark, and some of them even suffering on the visual front. None the less, it’s commendable to stay away from the South Remake trend and make an attempt to churn out original content, as with digital boom, the regional content is available to our audience at the matter of a click.

While working with others, Salman, Akshay, Tiger or even Ranveer, among others are taking the Southern route, but it’s Adi and KjO, who are going to them with original ideas, that does justice to their stardom and presence
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While working with others, Salman, Akshay, Tiger or even Ranveer, among others are taking the Southern route, but it’s Adi and KjO, who are going to them with original ideas, that does justice to their stardom and presence. Probably, there has been a talk of a remake in Adi's den. They are probably able to push their writers to churn out scripts by organically weaving in the on-screen personality of the superstars. The other producers are probably visualizing a superstar in the shoes of the one in the original film. That’s the stark difference in approach.

And in today’s time, when the industry is at the rock bottom when it comes to creation of original content, it’s time for leaders to drive the vehicle and create a new trend instead of following the already established template. It’s time to think beyond the box, it’s time to invest more time in original content and fresh stories, balance between art and commerce and make Hindi cinema climb the ladder of success. More than the scale and star-cast, others should take learnings on the script front from the two market leaders. There’s a lot that this industry has to offer, and it’s just a bit of rectification that’s needed. Let’s press the reset button and work together to scale new heights. Remember, the top five grossers of Bollywood today - Dangal, Tiger Zinda Hai, Sanju, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sultan - are all original ideas, and not remake. Let's learn from the south, let there be the South influence and work with able directors from there. But is there a need for so many remakes? It's time to rethink, because even the fans want to see something original.

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Anonymous 4 weeks ago

Tiger Zinda Hai was a remake.

Anonymous 4 weeks ago

Very well written himesh bhai. Nice article. All things written are absolutely true. Kudos to Adi chopra for not indulging in remakes.

Anonymous 4 weeks ago

achaaa original hai yeh aditya - thugs of hindustan kya thi? bakwas hollywood copy