Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Remakes - I

Its déjà vu time in Bollywood as old classics are being upgraded and brought back to the screen for the new generation. Farhan Akhtar’s Don, with Shah Rukh Khan, has just been released while Ram Gopal Verma has started filming his version of Sholay (this one’s supposed to be set against the backdrop of the Bombay underworld, RGV’s favorite subject). No such remakes have been announced yet in Tamil cinema too but there has been talk of remaking old Rajni movies like Billa. Vijay has supposedly even picked Murattu Kaalai as his choice if he were to star in a Rajni film remake.

Remakes ofcourse aren’t new to us. Just that so far, remakes meant remakes of films from other languages. Our directors have been looking to other languages for inspiration for a long time. And a number of our actors and actresses (some more than others!) have relied on remakes to give them box office success.

It’s easy to see why remakes are so popular. The source films, usually successes, provide a pre-packaged stories(and often screenplays, scripts and songs too!) that have been accepted by a sizeable number of viewers. Viewer tastes are difficult to judge but the director of a remake already has in hand, a story that has been accepted by viewers. So his job comes down to changing the screenplay to suit his target viewer sensibilities. The size of that job varies depending on the language of the source film. The task becomes pretty simple when remaking films from other South Indian languages since the culture and hence, viewer tastes, are pretty similar. So the changes that need to be made when adapting it to a film from one of those languages are pretty minor.

But these minor changes play a big factor in the remake’s success. While what viewers enjoy is probably similar from one state to the other, how they want it presented differs widely. For instance, loudness, whether in the heroism, comedy or sentiments, are a trademark of Tamil and Telugu films while Malayalam films are known to be more natural and subtle. Remakes made without these considerations in mind are bound to fail.

And then there are the people involved in making a film. Everyone (the actor, the actress, the director and the music director to name a few), plays a significant part in the film. They bring in their style, their experience, their connection to the audience, etc. to the film. In other words, each of them adds their own unique touch to the film. Additionally, there are the dynamics of the team when these people work together. But the remake replaces one or more of these people. The new people are ofcourse talented and have their own style but it is not necessary that they fit the film or its characters and they work as well together. When they don’t, the remake fails.

I cannot think of a single remake that I liked better than the original. The remake could be a very good film on its own but when compared to the original, there is something that keeps it a notch below. Naayagan, Avvai Shanmugi(yes, I do consider it to be a remake, whatever Kamal may say!) and Perazhagan would probably qualify as very good remakes. Seenu, Engirundho Vandhaan and Rishi would count among the worst. Chandramukhi and Ghajini would fall somewhere in the middle. They definitely didn't recreate the magic of their respective originals but managed to include other things not found in the original, that made the films work as a whole. And then there are movies like Pattiyal, Gilli, Jayam - remakes that I really liked but whose originals I haven’t seen. I'm not sure how much my opinion of these movies would change if I saw the originals.

So go ahead and let me know the movies you consider the best and the worst remakes. And yes, I'd like to know if there are any remakes you think are better than the original...

To be continued...

66 Comments:

At 11:45 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan said...

recently saw Omkar.. Othello in Hindi.. fantastic.

:)

also saw Vasoolraja on Sun TV. have seen munna bhai once, vasoolraja also once before.. still enjoyed watching it.

 
At 11:51 PM, Blogger Bart said...

The remakes that I can think of:
* En Bommukutti Ammavukku - a decent remake (can't say if it was better than original)
* Gilli - In my view, certainly was better than the original
* Baasha - I liked it better than "Hum"
* Marupadiyum - Was few notches below "Arth"
* Priyanka - Was a pathetic remake of "Damini"
* Satya - a decent remake of "Arjun"
* Kaasi - a decent, recent remake of the good original, "Vaasanthiyum, Lakshmiyum Pinne Nyanum"
* Chidambarathil Oru Appasamy - pathetic attempt at "Chithavishtayaya Shyamala"

## The worst remake award goes to "Engirundho Vandhaan" for spoiling the highly energetic original, "Chitram". Also shared by "Seenu" for doing the same honours to "Bharatham".

## The best remake award goes to "Varusham 16" for giving one of the evergreen tamil classics equalling (if not slightly bettering by having a better lead pair) the original "Ennennum Kannettante". The same award goes to Fazil for many other mid-80s classics like "Poovizhi Vaasalile", "Poove Poochoodava", "Arangetra Velai" which were remade from his/ others' malayalam originals...

 
At 12:18 AM, Blogger Rajesh Thiagarajan said...

I would like to add one to the "I have seen the remake but not the original" list.

Kurudhi Punal --- Drohkaal.

I have not seen the original but the Kurudhi punal still remains one of the best a wellmade, slick, down-to-earth cop movies in the tamil film industry.

-Rajesh

 
At 12:19 AM, Blogger skanda said...

"Patiyal" is a remake of which film..i thought it was a original film...

 
At 1:33 AM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Kurudhi Punal still stands the best remake.

 
At 1:43 AM, Blogger Rajesh Thiagarajan said...

skanda -> Pattiyal is a remake of "Bangkok Dangerous".
--Rajesh

 
At 1:44 AM, Blogger narayanan said...

I second bart on
Basha, it was very well packaged compared to Hum.
Chidambarathil oru Appaswamy is a pathetic remake of the national award winner.

Mr. Bharath looked a lot more stylish than Trishul.

Titanic(1997) was better than Titanic(1958).

Psycho(1998) was a pathetic remake of the classic Psycho(1960).

Idhayathai Thirudadhe, Siraichalai and Unmai(1998) were 2 movies that were really good which made me overlook the fact that they were dubbed movies.

Nerukku Ner was a pathetic rehash of the Agni Natchathiram concept.

Jamai Raja did'nt look as stylish as Mapillai, donno which inspired the other.

Priyamanavale was equally good as its Anil Kapoor,Kajol starrer original.
~~~~~
skanda,
Pattiyal was remade from Bangkok Dangerous.

 
At 1:45 AM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Worst Remakes

Chandramukhi (from Manichitrathaz)
Seenu (from Chitram)
Vaseegara and Youth (both from some telugu movie)

 
At 2:12 AM, Blogger narayanan said...

more...

Thee (from Deewar) Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein(from Minnale) are awful remakes.

I liked Bama Vijayam better than Teen Bahuraniyan, Coolie better than Uzhaippali.

I somehow feel Mounam Sammadham is almost a remake of CBI Diary Kurippu, the plot, settings is almost the same. Except that the movie was tuned to include Amala (in turn the romance and a few songs).

 
At 2:21 AM, Blogger narayanan said...

2 more..

Kaante qualifies to the worst remake category.

Pallandu Vazhga was'nt a bad remake. But I liked Do Ankhen Barah Haath better.

 
At 3:23 AM, Blogger Sridhar Raman said...

It's not fair to include Avvai Shanmugi as a remake of Mrs. Doubtfire. I don't recollect any of the Delhi Ganesh, Manivannan, Gemini, Nazar characters in the original (it's been quite long since I saw the original though).

And let's say even if it was considered a remake, MD was a success mainly for its original idea. Not because of excessive humour. On the other hand, AS was an absolute gem...miles ahead of the "original".

 
At 3:27 AM, Anonymous F e r r a r i said...

I would like to see a remake of Vikram(Kamal,sathyaraj,dimple,amjad khan one) :D

 
At 4:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the last 10-15 years Hindi movies have churned out so many remakes from Tamil, starting from Dayavan(Nayagan) to Gol Maal(London). Of all not because of quality for a reason unknown Anil Kapoor(King of Remakes) is the only successful guy who made a career out of remakes. He successfully acted in Bhagyaraj,Kamal and even Parthiban's puthiya pathai. Sometimes a movie not many Tamil fans might even remember have been huge hits in Hindi like Salman-Akshay starrer Mujshe Shaadi Karogi(Pandyarajan and Karan played these roles in the original Tamil movie).

Tamil has been hugely inspired by English,Malayalam and Telegu majorly. Pooveli(A walk in the clouds),Unnal Mudiyum Thmabhi(The original Telegu movie starred Chiranjeeve and is the only time KB won a national award) and Military(Hitler).

The remake list is endless, but my take is usually theoriginal movie has a novelty or charm about it that some how always is missed in the remakes and if you have seen the original it would be very hard to really like the remade version.

On a lighter note Bashaa was remade from Hum and was dubbed in Hindi again as ManickBashaa.

 
At 5:58 AM, Anonymous Shailaja said...

The Tamil Movie "London" itself is a remake of "Fish Called Wanda". And "Thenali" is a Remake of "What About Bob?". Ther is also Tamil remake of ther Movie "A Bronx Tale" but I forget the Name of it.

 
At 6:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Rajini made his career out of remaking Hindi, mostly Amitabh, movies (sorry BB!!):
Billa - Don
Thee - Deewar
Velaikaran - Namakhalal
Baasha - Hum
Thillu Mullu - Golmaal
Panakkaran - Laawaris
Annamalai was the remake of a Shatragun Sinha movie and Arunachalam was the remake of a Naseerudin Shah movie! I am sure there are lots more in this list!

SK

 
At 6:53 AM, Blogger Shailaja said...

Arunachalam is Remake of an english movie.

 
At 6:58 AM, Anonymous ram said...

BB, nice write up...agree that sometimes the remakes w/o those minor changes can lose a lot when they're seen by another audience than their target audience. Remember watching, and reading ur review of, Sudhandhiram (Arjun *er, frame by frame, dialogue by dialogue, camera angle by angle remake of Ghulam) and feeling the same way...

My fav. remakes:
Nayagan
Avvai Shanmugi
Baasha
Rettai Vaal Kuruvi (ee-adichaan-copy of Micki and Maude but wildly entertaining, nevertheless)
Thillu Mullu (Visu's script was terrific!)
Kadamai Ganniyam Kattupaadu (havent seen the original but the Satyaraj movie was very well-made)

(to be continued...as i recollect more!)

Shailaja, I was reminded of "A Bronx Tale" while watching the Ajith-Vikram starrer, "Ullaasam."

 
At 7:20 AM, Blogger Munimma said...

Wasn't shahenshah (Amitabh) remade into Tamil (Rajini, of course) with Amala, has the song maanin iru kangal konda maane maane, what is the name of the movie?

Trishul was much more powerful than Mr. B, Great screenplay and dialogs and good chemistry.

I liked Ek Duje ke liye as much as I liked Maro Charitra, but of course, the hindi one was more pleasing to the eye.

I think comedies fare better when it comes to remakes. Recently watched Pyar ke side effects, a good movie, but a hodge podge of many other movies.

Kalyana parisu was nazrana, both were good.

1g4t has not much of a value in bolly/kolly wood.

 
At 8:37 AM, Blogger Me too said...

Weren't Rajadhi Raja a remake of Pokkiri raja and Arunachalam a remake of Padikadhavan? (Or do they seem so?) ;)

 
At 8:39 AM, Blogger Shailaja said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how can u forget K. Balaji's films - almost all his films were remakes.

Rage of the angels - Raajavinde Magan - Makkal en pakkam
Qurbani -Viduthalai
Don - Billa
Swathi - Revathi

 
At 8:44 AM, Blogger Shailaja said...

Ram, yeah thats it. Ok actually its not really a remake but it has too much similarities ;).
Do u know the orignal of Arunachalam , also? Its definitely an english movie

 
At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel Munnabhai MBBS is a much better than Vasulraja MBBS. Sajay Dutt and Arshad Warsi were more apt for the role than Kamal and Prabhu.

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

sundar, saw 'omkara' recently too. great movie. has there been a movie version of 'othello'? but felt 'vasoolraja' didn't even come close to 'munnabhai' even the 1st time i saw it...

bart, nice list... haven't seen many of those originals u've listed though... agree with u on the worst list. karthik in mohanlal's role and p.vasu in venu's role?! oh the humanity!! never new V16 was a remake!

rajesh, i've read from many fans that 'kurudhippunal' is a great remake of 'drohkaal'. i haven't seen the original either...

skanda, as a couple of others mentioned, 'pattiyal' is a remake of 'bangkok dangerous'. i learned that from a comment in my 'pattiyal' review and filbert confirmed that it was a real remake since he saw the original...

narayanan, i think both 'maappillai' and 'priyamaanavale' were remakes of telugu movies. the hindi versions were remakes too :)

srivatsan, seen purely as a remake 'chandramukhi' was poor but it managed to adapt it well to rajni's image and thats why i thot i was average...

sridhar, i said 'remake' and not 'copy'. when we remake hollywood pics, it is usual to add characters to make it a tamil movie. but the central concept of a man dressing up as a woman to take care of his child was why i call it a remake...

ferrari, thats for the second part :)

anon, a couple of yrs back almost every single hindi film i saw was a remake. situation seems to have really improved lately, esp. this year. agree about the novelty/charm bit. its difficult to describe but it makes it tough to like the remake if we've seen the original...

SK, i agree. there's a few more in the list. but 'gol maal' wasn't an AB movie :)

shailaja, the 'spend money in specified time' part of 'arunachalam' is from richard pryor's 'brewster's million'.

 
At 10:38 AM, Anonymous vijay said...

Balaji, Nayagan was definitely not a remake. It did have a couple of nods to Godfather in maybe a couple of scenes, but thats about it. Would you say Casino was a remake of Goodfellas or The Departed was a remake of Casino? The theme, even the treatment is similar and one of the characters, that of Joe Pesci's is similar in both Goodfellas and Casino. Yet they are not called remakes of each other. They just belong to the same genre.Avvai Shanmughi is more of a remake, albeit very well indianized and very different from the original. Only the concept has been borrowed.

I would reserve the word "remake" only for films like Don which faithfully reproduces the original except for the style aspects, going to the extent of even borrowing specific lines from the earlier movies and even retaining some songs. At the MOST, Nayagan can be called a mild adaptation of Godfather. It was inspired mostly by Varadharaja Mudhaliar's life. Manirathnam hasnt said anywhere that he attempted to remake Godfather like how RGV said about his Sarkaar.
To me the word "remake" is closer to a copy(although with permission) than it is to a mild inspiration/adaptation. Hence it has to be used with better discretion.

 
At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

often times when the remake is comparable to the original, it just matters which one you saw first, because whichever one you see second, you will automatically be comparing to the original. (i would think you would feel that way if you saw the original of jayam or m kumaran after seeing the remake). my hindi friends saw "alai payuthey" (courtesy of me) before seeing it remade as "saathiya" in hindi and they enjoyed the tamil original more, despite the language barrier.

 
At 11:14 AM, Anonymous ram said...

vijay, I think the definition of "remake" in the context of thamizh cinema is pretty hazy...one could argue that nerukku ner is a "remake" of agni nakshathram while others might say it just took the screenplay format (several thinly connected threads tied at the end when two guys, who were at loggerheads with each other, unite). i think its more a question of how strongly the "remake" evokes the original...even though Nayagan is like the ultimate movie of all time in my opinion, I still do think it is heavily inspired by Godfather...there're several scenes that are taken from Parts I and II and "indianized."
so, unless thamizh directors have the guts to put a title card (like they do sometimes in English movies), "based on the script by..." (Kamal stated this in Kuruthi Punal but that was an exception - even he's been "inspired" by a lot of movies but rarely if ever ack-ed them), we'll continue to have this debate...

 
At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is a strech, but I think Golmaal had AB in a guest role (the lawyer, played by Kamal in Thillu Mullu)!

SK

 
At 6:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you guys serious? Kurudhi Punal can't even hold a candle to Govind Nihalani's original masterpiece Drohkaal. This should go into the category of worst remakes. How can you even compare the over-the-top acting of Kamal/Arjun to the brilliant performances of Om Puri and Naseerudin Shah

Drohkaal is a film which should have never been remade.

Just like the Godfather, both Sarkar and Nayagan were terrible remakes

 
At 7:18 PM, Blogger skanda said...

Anon, Govind nihalani had once said that "Kuruthipunal' was so much better than his own film...

 
At 8:53 PM, Blogger raj said...

Ah! That Kurudhi punal debate again. I think it is tough convincing kamal devotees that DrohKaal was better. They always keep quoting Govind. It is common among film personalities to make such pseudo-modest statements. Kamal himself - doesnt he jokingly say "I am afraid of this new brigade of actors" in reference to someone as small as Jeeva in film functions? Should Jeeva fans go on a rampage and claim "Kamal himself said Jeeva is capable of bettering me" then?What rubbish!

I think all you kamal fans know who this thing (filmi wallahs' praise for one another)works but hide behind it to claim Kurudhi Punal was better.
No doubt KP was a great film in the tamil context. But it could not capture the raw emotion and the sheer shock of Om Puri betraying Naseeruddin Shah's character. There the theme was brought out better because Om Puri could afford to going beyond the normal filmi hero and could actually betray his friend - which was what the movie was about - the sheer monstrosity of everyone's survival instincts which would lead you to even betray your best friend. Kamal, ofcourse, had to modify it as Arjun betraying himself rather than the hard-hitting scene of Kamal blurting out Arjun's name to nasser after being subject to threats on his family - that is when he understands what the viswanath character(Amrish puri in Hindi) went through. That is when he helplessly reflects on the futility of discussing rights and wrongs of this betrayal. All this was unfortunately lost in the Tamil version - production values wise, it was undoubtedly better but I think Droh Kaal was more honest in portraying its protagonist as falling rpey to normal human instincts.
Why am I telling all this? It is going to fall on "Govind himself said Kp's better" deaf ears, isnt it?

 
At 8:59 PM, Blogger Babs said...

Actually Arunchalam is a funny story of remake..Like BB said It was remake or 'Brewster's Millions' (1935) then (1945) I guess then by Richard Pyror in (1985) then in Hindi Malamaal, then in Tamil :-)

I thot 'Oceans 11' was betta than Original, old one was more of singing & dancing with invisible paint as the main twist but new one had wonderful thril factor n ok believable heist.

I agree with Vijay in regards to 'Remake'..Its more of reproducing the old version for new audience...like "Gone in 60 seconds", that needed a remake as we have sexy new cars now, but "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory" was too early for a remake....the original still had betta effect, settings & backdrop cmp to the new one...even the chocolate river was betta in old. War of the Worlds is probably betta than original. 12 Angry Men was awesome but then I did not see the original (1950's).

Anon,
You may be right about Drohkaal but what good is it to Tamil audience without a remake. Btw Sarkar or Nayagan is not remake of GodFather like others said its more of inspiration and influence than anything.

 
At 9:24 PM, Anonymous vijay said...

"I still do think it is heavily inspired by Godfather...there're several scenes that are taken from Parts I and II and "indianized.""

I agree, but a few scenes being similar doesnt constitute a remake. Its mild inspiration at best. The father-daughter tussle,Kamal's romance/marriage, his "baptism" as a child seeing his father die,were all freshly presented. Mani himself said that the movie was based on Varadaraaja mudhaliar's story. Its an Indian gangster/mafia don's story with maybe slight nods to Godfather,courtesy Kamal. A remake is more often than not quite obviousor its intent made obvious in advance by the film crew. For example, MagaLir mattum was a remake of 9 to 5. Every character in the former had a parallel one in the latter.

 
At 1:14 AM, Blogger Zero said...

Reg. Kuruthippunal, I am just reprising what I said elsewhere.

It was fantastic, alright, but Kamal copped out (w.r.t. the original) on one major plot point considering the theme being dealt with, apart from other "commercial compromises".
Where the film bettered the original was in its presentation. It was technically superior. But, quite shied away from the raw portrayal.

Reg. Nihalani saab's comment, he was just being nice, I guess.

 
At 1:29 AM, Blogger Zero said...

Not to forget the change of the film's title from Drogi to Kuruthippunal while making it, which signified the refrainment from delving into the original's theme.

And, Balaji, I knew what the second part is going to be. Thinking really hard if I've any choice myself. Edhuvume agappada maattengudhu!

 
At 5:40 AM, Anonymous raj said...

zero, thats just what I have been saying around the web about KP in the past few years :-). Just a few weeks back, I had said exactly the same thing in Ferrari's blog in a discussion with Bala(Karthik) including the title change fiasco. That was really sick. Looks like Kamal had started out with an intention to remake Drohkaal as it is but the fans' outburst forced him to tone down the droham part. IMO, that really detracted from the movie's basic theme. Also, note how Kamal's character cops the bigger award in the end(posthumously). Here's a guy who had veered away from the straight and had harboured naxalites in his own home and only then turned against them heroically whereas Abbas had kept his principles till the end and discharged his duties impeccably before falling prey to the Naxalites. Who deserved the bigger award? Arjun's Abbas or Kamal's character? Just because Kamal is ulaganayagan, it had to be done this way. Actually, this is the fault of Kamal fanatics not Kamal.

 
At 6:18 AM, Blogger Zero said...

Raj, just checked your first comment and the discussion you were referring to (quite long it was, so didn't go through entirely). Right.

My disappointment was only on copping out in the plot itself rather than just the titular cop-out (which one could live with). Forced to look at Kuruthippunal, I think it was a superbly made film and one can't complain much about a writer not delving into a theme deeply. But, keeping in mind that it was indeed remade from Droh Kaal, it was rather disappointing to have evaded such a fascinating angle.

(Anyway, I was mentioning the same here: http://www.naachgaana.com/item/4424 some time ago; A very, very long thread in which Kuruthippunal surfaced just a bit.)

 
At 6:49 AM, Blogger Zero said...

And, to prod a bit more on the "commercial compromises", the idea of making a full-fledged "police drama" out of the intense original story also didn't go very well, with an unnecessary train-jumping sequence et al.

But, Kamal Haasan's dialogue (and writing, in general) was of the highest order and really enhanced the film (though there was a wee bit of "verbosity" compared to the original). That's why, all that said, I still love Kuruthippunal, but, at the same time, Droh Kaal was the better of the two films when viewed on the same platform.

 
At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sathileelavathi was She Devil,Mard was maaveeran and if you keep digging you will finally find that the only original contribution from Tamil cinema is that of twins who share more than genes. When one of them is hit the other will react :).

 
At 9:25 AM, Anonymous ram said...

Raj and Zero, I havent seen Droh kaal as yet but I've been thinking about the plot point you mentioned and I must confess that I really think Kuruthipunal would've been lifted to another level had Kamal betrayed Arjun in that powerhouse scene where Arjun saves his friend...I really think Kamal made a huge mistake in changing that scene...but yes, I remember saying at the time of the movie's theatrical run that Arjun was the hero for having been sincere till the very end...the Kamal character was more human but then idealism on the screen always appeals to us, right?

 
At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Ravi said...

Panchatantram- remake of Very Bad Things

 
At 1:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some very good points Raj, I agree. I still say Kuruthipunal can't even hold a candle to Govind Nihalani's original masterpiece

'what good is it to Tamil audience without a remake'

this is very silly argument. it is like saying Reservoir Dogs is better than Kaante but what good is to hindi audience without remake

'Mani himself said that the movie was based on Varadaraaja mudhaliar's story'

yes Mani sir can say he was also influenced by Varada, Ramu ji can say he was also influenced by Thakeray, and Mr Scorsese can say he was also influenced by Whitey Bulger

But at the end of the day, Nayagan and Sarkar were still largely remakes of the Godfather, just as Departed was still largely a remake of Infernal Affairs

 
At 1:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, I should add, anyone who knows anything about life of Varada knows that the similarities between him and film Nayagan are very superficial and minimal

Same can be said about life of Thackeray and film Sarkar

These are just things directors say so people will not criticize them for doing silly remakes

 
At 2:53 AM, Blogger Zero said...

Anon, just wondering how Nayagan is a *remake* of Godfather!
It had quite many scenes lifted (or inspired, as one'd like to call it) off Godfather (and also Once Upon A Time In America) alright. But, does it really qualify as a remake? Without even exploring the primary plot of "the reluctant son taking Charge of the family business"?

While, at the other end, Sarkar obviously does (and RGV stated categorically so himself). And, nobody is talking about Thevar Magan?

 
At 8:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'It had quite many scenes lifted'

Yes not just many, but too many scenes and themes lifted from Godfather, both 1 and 2. Nayagan in a sense is even worse than Sarkar. Kamal in second half of film tries to ape Brando performance. In Sarkar, story is lift, but at least none of the actors try to ape the Hollywood counterparts

‘and also Once Upon A Time In America’

Yes I remember, the one boat smuggling scene is lift from Once.. In America. What was Mani sir thinking?

'Sarkar obviously does (and RGV stated categorically so himself)'

Yes RAmu ji admit from the beginning, it is GF lift, but it was still a bad film

'And, nobody is talking about Thevar Magan?'

Yes Thevar Magan is better than NAyagan/Sarkar. Also Ramuji’s earlier Gaayam is also one that is better

And I watched Don last night, another silly remake, only stupid NRIs can like it

 
At 12:16 AM, Blogger Zero said...

So, we do agree that Nayagan doesn't qualify as a remake of Godfather, don't we?

Talking about merits of these films, Sarkar was obviously the way below and least likeable film for me. I love Thevar Magan (easily the best Indian Godfather adaptation) and Nayagan (despite all the lifts/inspirations).

 
At 9:12 AM, Anonymous vijay said...

Going by Mr. anonymous's assertions, every film should be a remake of something else from the past :-)

 
At 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'I love Thevar Magan (easily the best Indian Godfather adaptation)'

Yes I agree about Thevar Magan also, it is a very good film, I would say though it is 2nd best GF adaptation. Ramuji’s Gaayam is obviously the best one(it was also co-written by Mani Sir)

I still say the the rest - Nayagan, SArkar, Aatank Hi Aatank were terrible remakes

 
At 7:10 PM, Blogger Babs said...

Mr.Anony, what do u think of Sholay then...just wondering
wud u call it remake of Magnificient Seven, ok with two instead :-) which was remake of Akiro Kurosawa's Shichinin no samurai, and yeah he only wrote the Hollywood version too. It was a classic example of how to indianise a classic.....

"And I watched Don last night, another silly remake, only stupid NRIs can like it "

Another foolish attitude..generalizing...grow up kiddo

"this is very silly argument. it is like saying Reservoir Dogs is better than Kaante but what good is to hindi audience without remake"

why? why is it silly....btw I didn't like Kante.....but isn't it just matter of opinion....ok u may find the remake silly but why is the argument silly....

 
At 7:24 PM, Blogger narayanan said...

Departed was still largely a remake of Infernal Affairs

I thought it was some HK movie.

 
At 10:28 PM, Blogger srivatsan said...

First of all if you guys feel Nayagan and Thevar Magan are remakes of *God Father*, it makes me laugh. Agreed that crux is borrowed there is a lot of difference between making a movie in Tamil and English

BTW I did not like the Original GF movie itself (yes I like Al Pacino and De Niro). Book is a lot better than the movie itself. So can be said for LOTR, Titanic and numerous other movies.

Time Magazine has included both Nayagan and GF in the century's top 100 films (They obviously won't include a copy!!). Just because Kamal imitated some actions of Brando you can't blame the whole movie.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1119352,curpg-1.cms

I can show 1000s of crap English movies (which even got oscars!!). On the other hand I found a lot of Italian/French movies damn good.
If you ppl still believe that only US can make movies, please do so :), Indians can also make movies. I don't ask you all to watch Vijaykanth movies but there are plenty of original thought movies out there.

 
At 10:41 PM, Blogger skanda said...

What do u guys think of tamil movies being made in other languages, like in hindi and tamil...i think that times that the remakes were far more better compared to the original...i can think of the telugu version of "Kushi" which was really entertaining the "Tagore" remake from "Ramanna"...atleat director from other languages do a far better job than we do with thier movies....

 
At 11:27 PM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Telugu cine field had some awesome directors. You need good artists too, nowadays ppl and even good artists like Vikram/Kamal are looking for Masala stuff movies than real talent (they have been made to look bcos of flops)

I can only hope some one like K.Viswanath and Singeetham spring back!!. It's a pity that men who shaped artists Kamal are not directing movies nowadays.

*Salangai Oli* is a far far better movie than *American Beauty* which won 5 oscars!!. Even Worse I believe no national awards were given for this movie apart from SPB/Ilayaraja(?), pity :-{

 
At 11:37 PM, Blogger Maverick said...

Balaji
Talking about remakes, have you seen 'The Departed'?

And do you have a list of remakes of movies that weren't successful?

 
At 12:01 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

mav, no haven't seen it yet.
r u asking about non-successful remakes or remakes of non-successful movies? if its the former, the list is quite long. 'mazhai' and 'aadhi' would be a couple of recent remake flops. if its the latter, i'm not sure there are any since remakes are typically made from hits...

 
At 12:29 AM, Blogger narayanan said...

was 'Piriyadha Varam Vendum' a hit ? the Telugu remake was a big hit right ?

 
At 12:31 AM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Even something-something was below par original.

Balaji, what abt Varalaaru and Captain movie's review, eager to read them both :-)

 
At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Ravi said...

"What do u guys think of tamil movies being made in other languages, like in hindi and tamil...i think that times that the remakes were far more better compared to the original...i can think of the telugu version of "Kushi" which was really entertaining the "Tagore" remake from "Ramanna"...atleat director from other languages do a far better job than we do with thier movies.... "

SJ Suryah directed all three versions of Kushi and Murugadoss directed both Tagore and Ramana. Maybe they realized some mistakes in the originals and rectified them in the remakes.

Saathiya was basically a carbon copy of Alai Payuthey, but Mani did a better job than Shaad Ali, who brought few touches of his own.

 
At 1:11 AM, Blogger Maverick said...

Balaji
I was asking about the latter. Remakes of non-successful movies! I know there isn't any logic behind them but I want to know how many of such remakes happened?

 
At 4:30 AM, Anonymous raj said...

ravi,
ARM didnt direct Tagore. I think a guy called Gunasekhar/or possibly Jayant Paranje did.

 
At 12:39 PM, Anonymous Ravi said...

Raj, you're right, ARM didn't direct it. It was VV Vinayak.

South Indian filmmakers used to remake their own films in Hindi regularly. Sridhar remade most of his films. B. Nagi Reddi remade many, and I know I've seen a few remakes of A. Bhimsing's films.

 
At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Another foolish attitude..generalizing'

I am not generalizing, pick up and read any paper. Don is doing good business in US/UK, but not here. Only stupid NRI audiences likes it… maybe you are one of them

'what do u think of Sholay then...just wondering'

Yes Sholay is best example of bad remake. Yes MAgnificent 7 was its main source of inspiration, among other films

'was a classic example of how to indianise a classic....'

Certain things can't be Indian-ized, such as American westerns. I have seen many hindi westerns from the bollywood like Sholay and others and they were all terrible

This is the problem when lifting Hollywood film. These silly directors take the films out of context without fully understanding the source material.

'Time Magazine has included both Nayagan and GF in the century's top 100 films'

This is the same Time critic which called Sarook Khan’s Devdas a masterpiece! haha.. What a silly fellow, and Devdas itself was a bad remake

 
At 2:56 PM, Anonymous ram said...

an earnest request to those who engage in arguments...please refrain from "personal" attacks...I dont own this blog but as an avid reader, I feel that the arguments are a lot more interesting and engaging when we all refrain from attacking the person...making comments like "Only stupid NRI audiences likes it… maybe you are one of them" (just to cite an example) is all in poor taste...we all have interesting things to say abt topics related to cinema; why leave a sour taste in the mouth while doing so?
Amen!

 
At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I shudder to imagine if all classics are remade to suit tastes of today...think Sivaji's string of melodramas being remade using current crop of character actors (if any qualifies by the way!) & MGR's hits remade by Vijay or Vikram with CGI action sequences.

Remaking requires some finer nuances of fine tuning to suit respective audience tastes...I wonder if that logic ever applies to Tamil or Indian movies. As long as you have a willing producer & a adventurous director, any movie in any language is a potential remake for Tamil / Indian moviemakers. All you may need is to insert a couple of songs / duets, an item number or two, 3 fights (explosions optional)and a climax, you have an "original" Indian movie!

 
At 9:24 PM, Anonymous ram said...

anon, i think Priyadarshan is pretty shrewd when it comes to remakes...he borrows elements from various films or simply remakes his own films in other languages but i think he does a decent job of adapting it to suit the milieu...

 
At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Departed is a remake of Infernal Affairs. A very poor one. Balaji when can we expect Varallaru's review? After the previous uproar are you gonna stay clear of ajith?

 

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