Top 5 Bollywood remakes of Tollywood movies


Bollywood has churned out numerous films remade from some other regional languages. A major source for such remakes is South-Indian films like Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. The recently released Ajay Devgn and Tabu starrer ‘Drishyam’ is also remake of a hit namesake Malayalm film that starred Mohanlal and Meena in the lead roles. The original film was directed by Jeethu Joseph, while the Hindi version was helmed by Nishikant Kamat.

Remakes are not a new trend in Bollywood. It has been going on since decades. Let’s take a look at a few of the many Hindi films that were remade from releases down South.

Ram Aur Shyam - Ramudu Bheemudu (Telugu)

One of the oldest known remake-film is ‘Ram Aur Shyam’ that released in 1967. The film starring Dilip Kumar in double role was directed by Tapi Chanakya and produced by B Nagi Reddy. The film also starred Waheeda Rehman, Mumtaz, Nirupa Roy and Pran. The film was a remake of the director’s Telugu venture ‘Ramudu Bheemudu’ that released in 1964. The original film starred late Tollywood superstar N T Rama Rao and was produced by D. Rama Naidu.

The story revolves around twin brothers who get sperated at childhood. One of them grows up under the guardianship of a wicked relative who tortures him and wants to usurp his property. The other is adopted by a family and becomes a streetwise person. A turn of events makes them find themselves in each others’ places. The smart brother, on knowing the intentions of the wicked relative settles scores with him, while his gullible twin enjoys the affection of the foster family. Eventually, truth is revealed and the twins reunite.

Ek Duje Ke Liye - Maro Charitra (Telugu)

Ek Duje Ke Liye which released in 1981 was directed by K Balachander which he remade from his Telugu directorial ‘Maro Charitra’ of 1978. The Telugu film featured Kamal Haasan, Saritha in the lead with Madhavi and Sarath Babu appearing in key roles. For the Hindi remake, Kamal Haasan reprised his role while Rati Agnihotri replaced Saritha. Madhavi too appeared in the Hindi remake. Balachander also made it into Tamil and Kannada versions, before directing it in Hindi.

The romantic tragedy film is about a couple who belong to different cultures and despite being hardly able to speak each other’s languages, they fall in love. Their girl’s family oppose their relationship and make every effort to separate them. Circumstances take such a turn that both of them end their lives by jumping off a cliff.

Sadma - Moondram Pirai (Tamil)

Balu Mahendra's directorial ‘Sadma’ which released in 1983 was a remake of the director’s own Tamil Film ‘Moondram Pirai’ which released in 1982. The Tamil film starred Kamal Haasan and Sridevi in the lead roles, who were also the lead actors in the Hindi version. Silk Smitha too was part of both versions. Besides, ‘Sadma’ also cast Gulshan Grover while the original Tamil film saw Poornam Vishwanathan and Y. G. Mahendra in supporting roles. Also, musician Ilaiyaraaja composed the soundtrack for both the films.

The film is an emotional story of a young woman who regresses to childhood after suffering severe head injuries following a car crash. She is kidnapped and sold in a brothel from where she is rescued by a lonely man who eventually falls in love with her. However, when she is cured she forgets whatever happened after the accident, and the man is once again left lonely and heartbroken.

Woh Saat Din - Antha Ezhu Naatkal (Tamil)

Anil Kapoor’s fist film as lead actor ‘Woh Saat Din’ released in 1983. It was directed by Bapu and produced by Surinder Kapoor. The film also featured Padmini Kholapure and Naseeruddin Shah and Master Raju. The film was a remake of the 1981 Tamil film ‘Antha Ezhu Naatkal’ which starred K.Bagyaraj and was also directed and written by him. Director Bapu remade it into Telugu titled ‘Radha Kalyanam’ before making it in Hindi.

The film’s story revolves around a poor musician and his sidekick who move to a big town. They live as tenants at a house where a young woman falls for the musician. When her family finds out, she is married off to a widower who has a child and an ailing mother. The woman attempts suicide but her doctor husband saves. When he knows the reason behind her extreme step, he promises to reunite her with her lover. But eventually, she decides to hold on to her marriage.

Virasat – Thevar Magan (Tamil)

‘Virasat’ which released in 1997 was directed by Priyadarshan and Produced by Mushir-Riaz duo. The film starred Anil Kapoor, Tabu, Pooja Batra, Amrish Puri, Milind Gunaji and Govind Namdeo. ‘Virasat’ was a remake of Tamil film ‘Thevar Magan’ which came out in 1992. The Tamil film was produced and written by Kamal Haasan who also played the lead role. It also starred Sivaji Ganesan, Nassar, Revathi and Gouthami in pivotal roles. ‘Thevar Magan’ was directed by Bharathan.

The film tells the story of a man who returns to his village after finishing his studies in London. He brings along his girlfriend whom he intends to marry and settle in a city. However, circumstances compel him to stay back in his village. He also marries a village girl, while his girlfriend returns to her home.

The list of remakes in Bollywood is unending and more films will be added to it in times to come. As ‘Drishyam’ director Nishikant Kamat said, a film in vernacular remains restricted, but when it is remade in Hindi, it travels across the nation as the language is spoken pan-India.