650 CRORES: Why you should bet on a South film remake!
Lata Srinivasan (BOMBAY TIMES; July 9, 2012)
The latest Bollywood remake of Vikramarkudu, Rowdy Rathore (which was made as Siruthai in Tamil) smashed the opening weekend collections with over 50 crore. Vikramarkudu has been made in four other languages and has proved to be a superhit every single time. So does a South Indian filmmaker hold the secret formula to on-screen success?
Take a look at the number of South remakes that have made more than Rs 100 crore at the BO in B-Town – Wanted, Bodyguard, Ready, Housefull 2, Ghajini, Singham and the latest Rowdy Rathore. These movies, together, have collected well over 650 crore proving that the South Indian directors know how to drive fans to theatres and set cash registers ringing.
Many may feel that the trend of remaking South movies started with A R Murugadoss’s Ghajini. But the fact is the trend has existed since the time of Jeetendra and Sridevi – their Himmatwala was a remake of the Telugu film. So why are South movies a good bet for B-Town filmmakers today? Murugadoss feels mass action movies are making a strong comeback with fans, edging out the so-called class, popcorn, multiplex films that were ruling the roost in the past decade. Another important factor is quality content in the south movies thanks to topnotch technical teams, creative writers and professionals.
While local sensibilities definitely vary across the country, one undisputable fact say directors and producers, is that a good story and universal theme will work anywhere. One interesting theme that runs across many of these south remakes today is the triumph of good over evil. For a filmmaker today in Bollywood, the shortest route to the 100 crore club is to remake a South blockbuster – and some of them have adapted it successfully. If Ready, Bodyguard and Wanted have made Salman Khan bankable at the BO today, it’s thanks to these remakes. And other heroes like Ajay Devgn and Akshay Kumar are following this success mantra. So no matter how big or small the hero, a South remake seems to be a sure-shot success for them too.
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