Tamil cinema turns to Bollywood for story ideas

Chennai, Sep 16 (IANS) A new trend has started in the Tamil filmdom - the filmmakers are increasingly remaking Bollywood hits.

"The success of 'Poi Solla Porom', remake of Bollywood hit 'Khosla Ka Ghosla', has made the move more pronounced,” said a spokesman from 4 Frames, a company owned by multilingual director Priyadarshan.

“As Mumbai based corporate houses wish to replicate their successful formulae all over India, the Tamil industry has become a target area," added the spokesman.

There are other commercial reasons, according to well-known distributors.

"Tamil films are a big draw amongst the Indian diaspora abroad because of a large Sri Lankan population based in all the major cities of the world. Before long, south Indian films' saleability too will rival Hindi films globally," said Kalaipuli Sekharan, head of Tamil Nadu Distributors' Association.

Apart from 'Poi Solla Porom'-“Khosla Ka Khosla”, a number of ongoing projects are inspired by Hindi movies.

"Guru En Aalu", "Villu" and "Agean" are said to be remakes of "Yes Boss," "Soldier" and "Main Hoon Na", respectively, according to industry insiders.

And these have the backing of top stars.

“'Villu' has Vijay playing the lead and Ajith Kumar heads the cast of 'Agean', said a publicist.

Also, Moser Baer and director P. Vasu are busy adapting last year's big hit "Jab We Met" and Shah Rukh Khan starrer "Baazigar", respectively.

However, there are a few misgivings as well.

"Movies are creative statements of directors. Tamil film subjects have a lot in common with those from the four southern states. When non-native stories are thrust on us by producers, adjusting the screenplay to the tastes of our audience is always a challenge. But we are helpless as many of the Tamil remakes of Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada movies have fallen by the wayside," said director Ameer, who has not done a single remake so far.

In the past, movie moguls AVM, Prasad Productions, Chinnappa Devar and K. Balajee, an actor himself, were known for specialising in remakes.

While AVM, Devar and Prasad rehashed their own hits from Tamil to Hindi and vice versa like "Do Kaliyan", "Ek Duuje Ke Liye", and "Haathi Mere Saathi", Balajee remade most Hindi silver jubilee hits into Tamil including "Don", "Dushman", "Deewar", "Haath Ki Safai", "Muqaddar Ka Sikander", and "Namak Haraam".

Except for a few exceptions, most of the remakes were flops.

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