Malayalam remakes click in Kollywood

Kamal Haasan knew that the gripping storyline — of an ordinary family whose life turns upside down one day — would appeal to local audiences. From Papanasam.  

Undoubtedly, it’s the season for cinema from God’s own country. If 36 Vayathinile, a remake of Malayalam film How Old Are You, got Jyotika back in the reckoning in Kollywood, Kamal Haasan’s latest release Papanasam, the Tamil version of the Malayalam hit Drishyam, has got audiences raving about it.

Malayalam remakes are hot now in the Tamil circuit; half a dozen remakes are on the cards. Younger stars are looking towards Kerala to pick scripts that will work for them. It isn’t just them; popular stars over the years have looked to Mollywood to create a turning point in their careers.

Either the film strikes gold, or the star is lauded for doing something different. It’s a win-win situation, in any case. Here’s a look at some remakes that the biggies of Tamil cinema opted for…

Original: Drishyam (2013)

Remake: Papanasam (2015)

Kamal Haasan can certainly smell a good script anywhere. The actor knew that the gripping storyline — of an ordinary family whose life turns upside down one day — would appeal to local audiences. Roping in the same director (Jeetu Joseph) to helm the Tamil remake was a masterstroke that worked in the film’s favour.

Original: Manichitrathazhu (1993)

Remake: Chandramkuhi (2005)

Why can’t a serious film be dumbed down and still become a hit? P. Vasu did exactly the same thing, adding his own elements of ‘masala’ to an old Malayalam storyline and tailor made it to suit a superstar. As Saravanan, Rajinikanth (who already met with success with Muthu, a Malayalam remake) brought in his own unique mannerisms to the character. Jyotika’s performance was much appreciated too.

Original: How Old Are You (2014)

Remake: 36 Vayathinile (2015)

Coming back to facing the camera after a long while, Jyotika chose the perfect comeback script — one in which she played a sari-clad, middle-aged woman giving the lead protagonist role a new flavour. In a way, it reminded audiences of her Mozhi days — a script with clean, powerful dialogues that convey a message beautifully. The Malayalam original (directed by the same filmmaker) also saw a comeback — by Manju Warrier — to films after a gap of many years.

Original: Kunjikoonan (2002)

Remake: Perazhagan (2004)

There’s a violent, grim college student on one hand, and then, there’s a lovable, happy-go-lucky hunchback. Both these roles were played by Suriya, who was lauded for his performance, especially that of the hunchback. Dileep played the dual role in the Malayalam original.

Original: Kireedam (1989)

Remake: Kireedam (2007)

Many fans of Ajith are praising his outing as a cop in the recent Yennai Arindhaal, but cut back to 2007, and you had the star dreaming of joining the police force in director Vijay’s debut film. Much like Chandramukhi, this film – a classic in Malayalam starring Mohanlal – was ‘repackaged’ after 17 years with fresh elements to suit the Tamil audience.

Original: Aniathipravu (1997)

Remake: Kadhalukku Mariyadhai (1997)

When you have a love story with the couple hailing from different communities, it always makes for an interesting film. That’s perhaps why this Malayalam film starring Kunchako Boban and Shalini was remade with Vijay in Tamil almost immediately, and turned out to be a turning point in his career. Music played an important role in the success of both films.

Original: Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum (1999)

Remake: Kasi (2001)

Vikram has played the lead in many critically-acclaimed films, but is still remembered for his portrayal of a blind poet and singer in Kasi. The film was helmed by Vinayan, who had made the same script into a Malayalam film a couple of years ago with Kalabhavan Mani in the lead.

Upcoming remakes of Malayalam films

● Hit flick Bangalore Days’ Tamil remake features Arya, Bobby Simha, Rana Daggubati and Sridivya in main roles.

● Critically-acclaimed Shutter is being remade with Sathyaraj in the lead role.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 3:22:18 AM |

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