Indian movie remakes that just didn’t work

This fear of remakes comes from the fact that there have been far too many bad ones.


A section of the Internet is blasting the Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Tony Vinciquerra.

Reason: Variety reported him as saying that a remake of Norman Lear 1987’s cult classic ‘The Princess Bride’ may soon happen.

Sometimes the mere mention of a remake can be infuriating. The justification in favour of remakes is that the newer generation must also get to experience what an older generation did.

Critics of this defence say this spoon-feeding teaches kids to think they can skip the classics.

The full extent of the fanbase of the ‘The Princess Bride’, which the Guardian rated as the 23rd greatest science fiction film of all time, was visible for the first time on Twitter on Wednesday.

The hero of the film, Cary Elwes, responded saying, “There’s a shortage of perfect movies in this world. It would be a pity to damage this one.”

Someone suspicious that actor Seth Rogan may be behind the film, tweeted to him asking if he is the culprit. “I would never dare,” Rogan tweeted back.

This fear of remakes comes from the fact that there have been far too many bad ones. Producers keep pushing for them because they churn out a good deal of money nonetheless.

Metrolife looks back at 5 Indian films that have given people fear of remakes.

5. Life in a… Metro

The 1960 Billy Wilder classic ‘The Apartment’ is one of the best Hollywood films of all time.

It centres on a likeable, fumbling man played by Jack Lemmon, who lets his superiors use his apartment as a pad for their extramarital affairs in hopes of a promotion.

It is one of the funniest sad movies of all time, and Bollywood, much to the misery of anyone who has watched the original, decided to Bollywood-ise it with Life in a… Metro

4. Kyon Ki

Even with a somewhat impressive curriculum vitae, director Priyadarshan has a reputation for rip-offs. Sometimes he rips off his own movies.

While the director has made dumbed down versions of his own Malayalam movies for Bollywood — Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Khatta Meetha — ‘Kyon ki’ deserves a special spot for having created two layers of dumbing down.

Milos Forman’s Jack Nicholson-starrer ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ was a classic, adapted from Ken Kesey’s novel of the same.

In 1986, Priyadarshan made a simpler version of the original in Malayalam called ‘Thalavattam’, toning down the themes and injecting melodrama. The film went on to become a classic of sorts. ‘Kyon Ki’ is a remake of ‘Thalavattam’ and it feels like ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ snorted cocaine.

We don’t know if Forman ever watched ‘Kyon Ki’. We hope not.  

3. Karzzzz

The 2008 film ‘Karzzzz’ had more ‘z’s in its name than the 1980 original ‘Karz’ because you might as well sleep through it.

‘Karzzzz’ was made at a time when Himesh Reshammiya’s popularity was at its zenith.

But Bollywood’s most notorious kisser from the 2000s decade just didn’t have it in him to smooch this ambitious project.

2. Chandramukhi

The film that gave Malayalis trust issues. The original, the Mohanlal-starrer Manichitrathazhu (1993), is a realistic study of mental illness, shot with passion and expertise.

The 2005 Rajinikanth-starrer was none of these. Made as a star vehicle, the film even went so far as to change crucial elements of the plot and insert unnecessary songs and dances.

The worst addition, surely, was (one of) Rajinikanth’s character(s) saying “Lakalakalakalakalaka” for god knows what.

Don’t ask a Malayali about this film.

1. Aag

The film that gave the whole of India trust issues. One has to be careful while handling cult classics, and Ram Gopal Varma threw that caution to the wind.

If Basanti was riding a horse cart in the original Sholay (1975), she was riding an auto in the remake, which came out in 2007.

Was Aag an elaborate ruse to troll a film he did not like and its clearly massive fan base?