Top 10 Bollywood Movies That Were Remakes of South Indian Films

Top 10 Bollywood Movies That Were Remakes of South Indian Films

Remakes have become extremely popular nowadays. But even the old films, the ones that are now revered as cult classics, most of them drew inspiration from some form of art of another. While remakes have the reputation of being lower grade copies of the original form of art, movies in question here, many remakes have also come to be known for their representation of the original film in a unique way.

Many such remakes have garnered a lot more widespread fame and fortune than the originals that they were inspired from. Here is a list of 10 such classic Bollywood movies that were remakes of South Indian films.

Top 10 Bollywood Movies That Were Remakes of South Indian Films

1. Hera Pheri (2000)

This iconic comedy movie is a remake of the Malayalam film ‘Ramji Rao Speaking’ which was released in 1989. This inspiration, in turn, was loosely based on the English television movie ‘See The Man Run’ which was released in 1971.

A sequel to this movie was released in 2006 titled ‘Phir Hera Pheri’. ‘Hera Pheri’ (2000) is the first film of the ‘Hera Pheri’ franchise.

Story: Ghanshyam, more commonly known as Shyam (played by Suniel Shetty), relocates to Bombay from his hometown, a small village, to claim a job offer at a bank, that he is entitled to by bank policies, as his late father Sunderlal, who was an employee at the same bank, died in a fire at the bank while on duty several years ago.

His competitor for the same job is the daughter of another ex-employee, who had lost his life in the same manner as Shyam’s father, Anuradha Shivshankar Panikar (played by Tabu). Shyam rents a room from Baburao Apte (played by Paresh Rawal) who is a gullible but kind-hearted garage owner who has severe myopia.

Another tenant of Baburao Apte is, Raju (played by Akshay Kumar), who detests working hard but dreams of making it big in life. Raju is broke and never tries hard enough to keep any job he gets. He has also not paid his due rent to Baburao for several months now. Shyam has come to Bombay in hopes of securing the job at the bank and work hard to return the Rs. 35000/- that he had borrowed earlier from Kharak Singh (played by Om Puri), a fellow villager.

Kharak Singh is in a hurry to retrieve his loaned money back from Shyam to organize his sister’s wedding. Baburao is in desperate need of money as well, to pay off his debtors from whom he had taken money to keep his garage open and functional. On top of this, Baburao is an addicted alcoholic who needs at least one bottle of liquor at the end of the day.

To add to the never-ending chaos, Baburao frequently gets a series of the wrong number calls on his landline telephone, all asking for some Deviprasad (played by Kulbhushan Kharbanda). However, one day he gets a call from a local criminal mastermind, Kabira (played by Gulshan Grover), who demands a huge ransom to spare Deviprasad’s (who he thinks he’s calling) granddaughter’s life.

The trio, Raju, Shyam and Baburao decide to mediate between Deviprasad and the kidnappers, as well as keep some the money obtained this way for themselves to dispel their financial gloom. True to Murphy’s Law, anything that could go wrong with their plan, goes wrong and things get even more chaotic and hilarious as the trio end up on the run from the police, Kabira, Kharak Singh and more wrong numbers, all the while looking for a shortcut to end their problems in one fell swoop.

Director: Priyadarshan

Main Cast: Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Paresh Rawal, Tabu, Om Puri, Gulshan Grover, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Asrani, Mukesh Khanna and others.

IMDb Rating: 8.2 / 10

Genre: Comedy

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Interesting Read: 10 Indian Royals Who Spent Fortunes on Some of the Most Absurd Things

2. Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007)

Bhool Bhulaiyaa, released in 2007, is an official remake of ‘Manichitrathazhu’, a Malayalam film released in 1993. The original Malayalam film was also remade into a Tamil film, named Chandramukhi and released in 2005, and a Bengali film, named Rajmohol released in 2005 as well.

Story: Badrinarayan Chaturvedi adopts Radha at a young age after the demise of her parents. As a result, Badrinarayan’s nephew, Siddharth, and Radha spend a lot of time together, and the family plans on getting them married when they come of age. Siddharth moves to America when he grows up. When he returns a few years later, he brings along his wife, Avni, whom he married in America.

The family is taken aback at this development as they had started preparations for him to get married to Radha when he heard of Siddharth’s return. Belonging from a noble bloodline, a proper coronation ceremony is organized for Sidhharth back home, and he moves into his ancestral bungalow along with his wife, Avni.

Avni makes the most of this by exploring the house from top to bottom. She even manages to procure a key to the forbidden part of the house and opens it out of curiosity. This unleashes a resentful spirit bent on revenge which leads to a series of horrific and disastrous events. Radha becomes the major suspect, and Siddharth is forced to call in his psychiatric friend Dr Aditya Shrivastav, who is considered crazy by most people. Dr. Aditya tries to shed some light on this mystery which seems to be occult. His attempts further put everyone’s life in danger, making the movie a classic Bollywood rollercoaster ride.

Director: Priyadarshan

Main Cast: Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Ameesha Patel, Shiney Ahuja, Paresh Rawal, Manoj Joshi, Rajpal Yadav, Asrani and others.

IMDb Rating: 7.3 / 10

Genre: Horror, Comedy

Where to Watch: You can buy it from YouTube or Google Play Movies

3. Swades (2004)

This Bollywood classic has been inspired from a novel titled ‘Chigurida Kanasu’ written by author K. Shivaram Karanth which was based on a true-life story. This novel was developed into a Kanada film under the same name in 2003, a year before Swades was released.

Story: Mohan Bhargav, is an NRI settled in the United States of America. He works at NASA, and his professional duties comprise of measuring the precipitation. Upon getting a little more homesick than usual, he decides to travel to India thoughtlessly all the while thinking about his life there, his late parents and Kaveriamma, his nanny.

He decides to check on Kaveriamma while in India and gets to know that she has relocated to Charanpur which is famous for the presence of the marks of the footsteps of Maa Sita and Lord Ram while on their 14 years long exile from the kingdom of Ayodhya. When he finally manages to locate Kaveriamma, she is overjoyed to see him and introduces him to Gita, a young attractive woman.

Mohan gets smitten by her which leads to various instances of him getting involved in day-to-day local issues of the town. His love for Gita makes him resolve that he will help the local people out to the best of his abilities. The rest of the movie follows his journey of acceptance and overcoming hurdles in his path to help the local people as well as prove his worth to them.

Director: Ashutosh Gowariker

Main Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Gayatri Joshi, Kishori Ballal, Rajesh Vivek and others.

IMDb Rating: 8.2 / 10

Genre: Drama

Where to Watch: Netflix

4. Ghajini (2008)

Ghajini, released in 2008, was a remake of the Tamil film by the same name directed by the same director as well, A. R. Murugadoss, which was released in 2005. Both the movies went on to become blockbuster hits.

Story: Sunita, a focused medical student, is keen to find out more about and study the particular case of Sanjay Singhania, a patient suffering from short term memory loss. He runs into him on purpose and tries to become friends to serve her purpose. Soon she finds out that he wants to kill an outwardly innocent person named Ghajini Dharmatma. She saves his life by warning him beforehand.

A series of diaries come across her later written by Sanjay. This helps her understand with the help of clues that how a successful businessman like Sanjay ended up in this state. Sanjay repeatedly forgets and tries to remember his past with the help of diaries, photographs and tattoos all over his body.

He has also scribbled notes and put up images all over his flat. He is bent on carrying out his sole objective of killing Ghajini in cold blood. But Ghajini is no ordinary foe. The rest of the movie follows Sanjay’s attempts filled with action-packed sequences.

Director: A. R. Murugadoss

Main Cast: Amir Khan, Asin, Jiah Khan, Pradeep Rawat, Riyaz Khan and other.

IMDb Rating: 7.3 / 10

Genre: Action, Thriller

Where to Watch: You can buy it from YouTube or Google Play Movies

5. Drishyam (2015)

Drishyam, released in 2015, was inspired from a Malayalam film released in 2013. The original Malayalam movie was also adapted into movies of other languages including, Kannada as ‘Drishya’ released in 2014, in Telugu as ‘Drushyam’ released in 2014 as well and in Tamil as ‘Papanasam’ released in 2015.

Story: Vijay Salgaonkar, a local businessman in the cable operating field, lives in a small town in Goa with his family of four, his wife, elder daughter Anju, younger daughter Anu and himself. His only passion in life is watching films, and his family means the world to him.

On a camping trip, Sam Deshmukh son of IG Meera Deshmukh and business tycoon Mahesh Deshmukh shoots an MMS of Anju changing clothes. He then blackmails her for sexual favours. While resisting him, Anju accidentally ends up killing him. Her mother Nandini informs Vijay of the whole incident, and he takes it upon himself to fend for and protect his family at all costs.

He uses his brains to confuse the police, dispose of Sam’s body and protect his family. The rest of the movie follows the extreme lengths he is willing to go to in order to protect his family while always being under the suspicion of his arch-rival Inspector Gaitonde.

Director: Nishikant Kamat

Main Cast: Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Shriya Saran, Ishita Dutta, Kamlesh Sawant, Rajat Kapoor and others.

IMDb Rating: 8.2 / 10

Genre: Thriller

Where to Watch: Netflix

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6. Nayak: The Real Hero (2001)

Nayak: The Real Hero, released in 2001, was a remake of the Tamil film ‘Mudhalvan’ directed by the same director, S. Shankar, which was released in 1999. The original music and soundtrack from the Tamil film, composed by A. R. Rahman, was reused in the Hindi version with Hindi lyrics in place of Tamil. Both the movies went on to become blockbuster hits.

Story: Shivajirao Gaekwad, a reporter of Q TV, accepts a challenge of the CM of Maharashtra Balraj Chauhan and gets the opportunity of being the CM of the state for a day.

The movie follows his story as he takes over the job assisted by his witty personal assistant Bansal and suspends 46000 corrupt officials, arrests 12 ministers including Balraj, order to sweep the whole state and much more only to find out that his honesty may cost him and his loved ones dearly after that one day is over.

Director: S. Shankar

Main Cast: Anil Kapoor, Rani Mukerji, Amrish Puri Paresh Rawal, Saurabh Shukla, Neena Kulkarni, Shivaji Satam and others.

IMDb Rating: 7.8 / 10

Genre: Political, Action, Thriller

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

7. Virasat (1997)

‘Thevar Magan’ was a Tamil film written by Kamal Hassan. They played the lead role in it as well. Virasat, released in 1997, was an adaption of this film in Hindi with Anil Kapoor in the lead role.

Story: Shakti Thakur returns to his hometown in India after studying from London. His girlfriend Anita comes along as she loves him and wants to marry him, but his family disapproves. He longs to return abroad just after a few days in India as his zamindar dad is at loggerheads with his zamindar uncle and both are arch enemies.

After the sudden demise of his father, he decides to take his place and care for the family. A local girl Gehna also comes into the picture. The rest of the movies follows the competition between the two girls and Shakti’s struggles to adjust and takeover.

Director: Priyadarshan

Main Cast: Anil Kapoor, Tabu, Amrish Puri, Pooja Batra, Neeraj Vora and others.

IMDb Rating: 7.5 / 10

Genre: Action, Drama

Where to Watch: You can buy it from YouTube or Google Play Movies

8. Sadma (1983)

The Tamil film ‘Moondram Pirai’, directed by Balu Mahendra, inspired its own director to write, direct and film an adaption of this movie. This adaptation was titled Sadma. Kamal Hassan and Sridevi, the reigning superstars of the time, played the lead roles in both the films. Both the movies went on to become blockbuster hits.

Story: Laxmi, a fairly modern girl, loses her memory after a car accident and starts behaving like a 6-year-old after coming out of a coma. She ends up in a brothel after running away and becomes friends with a kind and single male school teacher, Somu, who helps her out. They get along very well, without any hint of the fact that the police are looking for her and her ‘supposed’ kidnappers.

Director: Balu Mahendra

Main Cast: Kamal Hassan, Sridevi, Gulshan Grover, Silk Smitha and others.

IMDb Rating: 8.4 / 10

Genre: Romantic, Drama

Where to Watch: You can buy it from YouTube or Google Play Movies

9. Paheli (2005)

The movie Paheli is based on folklore, which had many adaptations even before the release of this movie. Released in 2005, Paheli was inspired from a short story written in Rajasthani by the author Vijayadan Detha. The movie also took references from ‘Nagamandala’, a movie in Kannada released in 1997, which in turn was based on a play by Girish Karnad, under the same name.

Story: Bhanwarlal is a Bania who lives in Rajasthan with his wife and two sons, Sunderlal and Kishanlal. Gajrobai and Sunderlal are married and have a son together. Sunderlal loses the annual camel race event to Thakur and leaves home out of shame to never return. Kishanlal is married to Lachchi and leaves for Jamnagar the next day to expand business only to return after 5 years.

Lachchi is overjoyed when he returns only after a few days giving the reason that he met a sage who told him that he would find 5 gold coins every morning. So, his family is happy at his return too. Four years later it is time for the camel race again, and this time Bhanwarlal wins much to the chagrin of Thakur. To add to this joy, Lachchi gets pregnant.

However, to the horror of the family, on the day of the delivery, they find out that an imposter has been claiming to be Kishanlal all this while. No one is able to decide who is real and who isn’t as they both look exactly alike. They take this matter to the king to be settled in court. The rest of the movie follows the unravelling of this mystery.

Director: Amol Palekar

Main Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, Anupam Kher, Rajpal Yadav and others.

IMDb Rating: 6.5 / 10

Genre: Fantasy

Where to Watch: Netflix

Interesting Read: 13 Essentials You Must Stock Up To Stay Germ-Free and Healthy

 10. Saathiya (2002)

The Tamil film ‘Alaipayuthey’ released in 2000 and directed by Mani Ratnam was remade into a Hindi version titled Saathiya by Mani Ratnam’s assistant director Shaad Ali. A. R. Rahman composed the music content for both the films while the lyrics in Hindi were penned down by Gulzar.

Story: Love alone cannot guarantee the success of a love story. While most love stories start with a couple falling in love and end with marriage, Saathiya starts at the ending, the life after marriage as well. Aditya and Suhani meet, fall in love, elope together and get married. But they soon find out love alone does not do the trick. The rest of the movie finds out if their bond passes the test of time.

Director: Shaad Ali

Main Cast: Rani Mukerji, Vivek Oberoi, Shah Rukh Khan, Tabu, Sharat Saxena and others.

IMDb Rating: 6.8 / 10

Genre: Romantic, Drama

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

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