When there are a number of movies from other languages being remade in Kannada, it is a matter of pride to see an original Kannada movie being remade in other languages. Over the years, Kannada movies have brought in a spate of family dramas and musicals, which have influenced films in other languages.
Movies like Mallamma Pavada have been remade into five different languages, including Bhagyaraja’s Enga Chinna Rasa in Tamil and Anil Kapoor’s Beta in Hindi. Another popular Anil Kapoor movie, Laadla, too was a remake of the Kannada film Anuraga Aralithu, which was also made in Tamil and Telugu. One of the most popular political satires, Antha, starring Ambareesh in the popular role of Kanwarlal, was also remade in the Jeetendra-starrer Mawaali.
While critics keep complaining about the number of Tamil and Telugu movies being remade in Kannada, movies like A, Om, Bindaas, Golmal Radhakrishna, and others have inspired film-makers in those languages. In fact, Telugu actor Ravi Teja got his big break when he acted in the remake of Puneeth Rajkumar starrer Appu.
Director Prakash, whose rights of the film Vamshi has been bought by producers in the Telugu industry, says that it is always a nice thing to see one’s film being remade in another language. “In any industry, for that matter, a nice film will always be liked and remade,” says Prakash. “There used to be a time when Kannada directors had a big name, thanks to their original stories. In fact, if you go to Chennai even today and they still remember names like Puttanna Kanagal.
Yes, there is a gap today and scales have dipped but that shouldn’t stop one from
coming out with good stories,” he says.
Today, the percentage has declined drastically but there are still some film-makers in the Kannada industry, who stick by an original script and make a mark not only for themselves but for the industry as a whole. Recently, movies like Jogi, Mungaru Male and Josh have crossed borders.
Apart from the originality of the script, other factors too attract producers from other languages. Says director Prashanthraj, whose film Love Guru, will be dubbed in Malayalam, “First of all, the film is divided into a mass film or a class film. The setting of the film is also one of the major factors that is looked into while re-making a film as it has to suit a particular culture. Apart from that, the commercial aspect is also important because at the end of the day, the movie has to give the returns.”
While most of the original films have shown a bright success on the box office, their fate after being remade may not necessarily be the same. While Mungaru Male was a huge success in both Kannada and the Bengali remake Prem Kahani, the Telugu remake Vaana was a flop.
“A lot depends on the kind of budget invested on the remake version and even the mentality of the people of the particular region. People, who watch Telugu movies like a lot of fights and style in their films, while in Karnataka, people enjoy stories. A remake will be a sure hit only when the mentality of the people matches with the way the film is shot. Else, there is very little chance of it working out,” says Krishnappa, producer of Mungaru Male.