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Remakes Minting Wonders

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By: Arya Aiyappan
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Remakes are the rage of the age. Every language has to its credit a number of remakes, reiterating the same idea and narrating the original story in a singular manner. Though debates and controversies surround the issue of remakes, regarding the pertinent question of fidelity to the original, ethics of remaking and the style of presentation, what strikes at the heart of the issue is that filmy world is by and large an industry thriving on business.

Film industry like any other is business oriented governed by the economical constraints; therefore the idea of remakes of super hit films and classics only justifies the concept. The crux of the matter is to make the maximum returns from an original idea, exploiting it to its tether end. The success rates of remakes have been reasonably fair, with some movies which tasted success at the box office than its original, some reasonably fair and some virtually failing to raise a stir.

Many remakes have been made in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, and many other languages. Some of the remakes made in Hindi are from Malayalam Bhagam Bhag (Mannar Mathai Speaking), Chup Chup Ke (Punjabi House), Hera Pheri (Ramji Rao Speaking), Hulchul (Godfather), Garam Masala(Boeing Boeing), Kyon Ki (Thalavattom), Doli Sajaake Rekhna(Aniyathi Praavu), Gardish (Kilukkam), Bengali Parineeta and Tamil Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein (Minnale), Viraasat (Thevar Magan), Nayak (Muthalvan), Run (Run), etc. Some of the recent movies in Hindi are remakes of earlier Hindi movies, which are to-date acknowledged as classics like Don, Umrao Jaan, Devdas, and Sholay.

Movies remade in regional languages like Tamil, Malayalam have amassed great reviews on release. Some of the Tamil movies are remakes of Hindi films Vasool Raja MBBS (Munna Bhai MBBS), Badri (Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar), and Malayalam films Chandramukhi (Manichitrathazhu), Kaasi (Vasanthiyum, Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum), Maja (Thommanum Makkalum), Peralagan (Kunjikoonan). In Malayalam too one can easily trace the remakes like Kaliyattom (Othello), Kannaki (Antony and Cleopatra), Satyam (Kakka Kakka), etc.

The emerging trend of remakes and the logic that governs them is purely simple - either the passion for the original version which has captivated the mind of the director or the popularity and the box office achievements which can trigger the urge to remake the film. The idea of remaking films, especially classics is in itself a challenging task, a driving force. As proved that treading on safe grounds is by far the best option, remakes also tend to reduce the risk and give the flexibility of experimenting with the time-tested formula.

Remakes do brisk business and can be a good money churner, provided the directors' artistic potential and creative master strokes can lend charm and sparkle to films with a glorious past and commendable history of narration.

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