According to a report in Variety, Parineeti Chopra will set to step into the shoes of Emily Blunt in the Indian adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ best-selling novel, The Girl On The Train. The American adaptation directed by Tate Taylor didn’t quite garner critical acclaim like the novel, but it earned rave reviews for its leading lady and made an estimated $173 million worldwide. A decent sum for a mid-sized film with a reported budget of $45 million. The producers behind the American film are joining hands with Reliance Entertainment, and Parineeti Chopra has her first role she can sink her teeth into since 2014’s Hasee Toh Phasee.
But this isn’t an exception. There have been many recent ‘official remakes’ in India, and the number just seems to increasing.
#1 Criminal Justice:
The Hotstar show starring Vikrant Massey, Pankaj Tripathi & Jackie Shroff, is a remake of the HBO original, The Night Of. While the original show had a far more individualistic and grittier tone to it, the Indian remake can’t quite escape the Bollywood gaze of jails a la Madhur Bhandarkar & Sriram Raghavan films. The ensemble is solid, but it doesn’t quite deliver something new to the fans of the original.
Salman Khan-starrer (and potential blockbuster?) Bharat, that charts the journey of a man born on the day that India got its independence, is an official remake of a Korean film called An Ode To My Father. While the original film is a more nostalgic, melodramatic look at a man’s journey alongside his country’s many ups and downs, the Hindi version seems to be all about its star – Salman Khan. Who is to judge?
Sujoy Ghosh’s Badla was an official remake of Spanish thriller, An Invisible Guest, that became well-known around the world after it began streaming on Netflix. Ghosh’s film remained largely faithful to the original, only tweaking a few things here and there. But it didn’t even try to localise the adaptation, choosing to (unnecessarily) set it in Scotland.
#4 Fanney Khan
Anil Kapoor’s atrocious film from last year, was an adaptation of Oscar-winning Belgian film, Everybody’s Famous! While the original film won everyone over with its quirks & disjointed humour, the Bollywood version was a slog. With a running time of nearly three hours, Fanney Khan was one bad decision after another.
Salman Khan’s production, where he launched his family friends Zaheer Iqbal & Pranutan Behl, was an official remake of 2014 Thai film, Teacher’s Diary. With the original film not setting the bar too high, it was appalling that the Bollywood version couldn’t even meet that.
‘Remaking’ films has been pretty much a rite of passage for most filmmakers in Bollywood, the only difference is now they’re actually acknowledging their source of inspiration. Just look at films like The Killer and Partner, that butchered their original films Collateral & Hitch respectively.