New Delhi, Oct. 19 -- Last year, filmmaker Rohan Sippy adapted the French comedy Apres Vous (2003) to make Nautanki Saala, a novelty, because when Bollywood isn't busy borrowing from South Indian films, they're using Hollywood movies as inspiration.
Today, Hindi filmmakers are looking beyond Hollywood. French and Korean films seem to be topping their remake or adaptation wish-lists. "Non-Hollywood films don't release in India, and it's also easier to get their rights. All the major Hollywood studios have their offices in India, so they would rather make their Hindi remakes on their own," says filmmaker Sanjay Gupta, whose 2002 film Kaante was loosely inspired by Reservoir Dogs (1992).
While filmmaker Karan Johar is remaking the French hit, Hors de Prix (Priceless; 2006) with actor Sidharth Malhotra, director Ramesh Sippy is adapting the French rom-com, De Vrais Mensonges (2010), starring actors Rajkummar Rao, Rakul Preet Singh and Hema Malini.
Rohan feels that non-Hollywood films are closer to Indians' cinematic sensibilities in terms of culture and emotions. "Since they can't invest millions in their films, the focus is on characters, performances and script. They might be 'small' films, but they connect with our audience," he adds.
COMING UP NEXT
Also on the cards is Mohit Suri's remake of the 2011 French hit, The Intouchables, reportedly starring actors Varun Dhawan and Aditya Roy Kapur. Korean film, My Girlfriend Is An Agent (2009), has apparently inspired Sajid Khan's yet-to-be-titled next, and actor John Abraham stars in Nishikant Kamat's next, an adaptation of the 2010 Korean film, The Man From Nowhere. Even actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's comeback film, costarring actor Irrfan Khan, is believed to be a remake of Korean film, Seven Days (2007). Irrfan also stars in Tigmanshu Dhulia's Yaara, a remake of French drama, Les Lyonnais (2011). Actor Saif Ali Khan, too, is set to be seen in a remake of the Japanese novel, The Devotion of Suspect X.
"Hollywood now comes across as mostly predictable, formulaic and maybe improbable to remake in India due to their sheer mounting and budget," says Gupta, who is directing the Aishwarya-Irrfan-starrer. "It (such films) certainly brings a lot of freshness to the table, but I hope our filmmakers don't kill the idea," says exhibitor-distributor Akshaye Rathi.