TOLLYWOOD KA DEEWANA
It started off with 'Wanted' and then they got 'Ready' for more! Now there are several Telugu flicks in the pipeline being remade in Hindi. B-Town has clearly acquired a taste for our masalafilms
Bollywood, my darlings, has found a new muse. Since a little over a year now, Hindi cinema has taken the southern spice route straight to mana Tollywood and B-Town folks are watching Telugu films like never before. 'Need a hit? Look to T-Town' seems to be the mantra. And why not? If Box Office records are anything to go by, then the Hindi remakes of most Telugu flicks have been huge moneyspinners at the cinemas.
The man to start it all was Hyderabad's favorite, Salman Khan. "Wanted", which was a remake of Mahesh Babu's "Pokiri", revived Sallu's career and since then there has been no looking back. These days, Salman sticks to Telugu movie remakes. The star is currently working on "Kick", the remake of the Ravi Teja-Ileana starrer by the same name. "Movies from Tollywood have that masala that was for long lacking in Hindi cinema. Apart from the star factor and script, the success of Telugu remakes further proves that the audience laps up the whole 'masalamelodrama-naach-gaana' package," says producer Bhushan Kumar, who tasted BO success with "Ready", the remake of the Ram-Genelia starrer. Sources from the Salman camp confirm that the actor is also interested in remaking the recent Ram-Hansika hit, "Kandireega". "Salim uncle saw "Kandireega" and was mighty impressed with it. He spoke to Salman suggested a remake in Hindi. Nothing is finalized yet, but Salman's camp is interested as the film also stars his good friend Sonu Sood," says a source close to Salman. Following Salman's example are Ajay Devgn and Akshay Kumar, with "Maryada Ramanna" and "Vikramarkudu" ("Rowdy Rathod"), respectively. Mahesh Babu's "Dhookudu" too, is being eagerly awaited as many B-Towners are in the race to bag the remake rights.
While many are left scratching their heads wondering at the success of Telugu remakes, trade analysts suggest that it's the novelty factor that works in their favor. "Telugu cinema brings that novelty factor for the Hindi movie audience. The plot and subject too needs to be strong," says trade analyst Komal Nahta. "It also has to do with the timing of the film. For e x a m p l e, "Singham" came at a time when the 'India A g a i n s t Corruption' campaign was on. Hence, the movie about an upright cop fighting corruption, struck a chord with the a u d i e n c e, " explains Nahta.
RETURN OF THE ACTION HERO
For the longest time, Hindi cinema screens were deprived of outa n d - o u t action flicks. The last action hero flick perhaps was in the early 90s. With Telugu remakes, the Hindi movie viewing audience has re-discovered its love for the genre. "It all began with "Ghajini" and " Wa n t e d " . Earlier Hindi cinema thrived on action flicks, then, the trend changed. Now, it seems the movies have come full circle. But that needs to be backed up by a strong script. For example, the concept of the undercover cop ("Wanted") appealed to the audience a lot. Hence the film worked," quips Nahta.
NO SLOWING DOWN
If anything, the trend of remaking Telugu movies in Hindi is here to stay. "You pick up any South Indian film — Telugu, Tamil or Malayalam — the stories are pan Indian. There are just slight adjustments that need to be made to match the sensibilities of the audience of a particular region," explains filmmaker Siddique, of the recent blockbuster "Bodyguard", which is also being remade in Telugu starring Venkatesh. Nahta too voices a similar opinion, "All said and done, Telugu writers are more experimental by nature and don't shy away from bringing to the fore the unthinkable and the new. Personally, I foresee a lot of Telugu flicks being remade in Hindi".
With Telugu remakes setting the cash registers ringing, rest assured, there's no stopping this juggernaut.
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A still from 'Wanted'