Taking ‘inspiration’ is a common phenomenon.
But the thin line between inspiration and blatantly lifting often gets blurred. Most of the films in this list were released in the previous decade, when Hollywood, piracy, and the Internet weren’t as common.
So you could take a Hollywood film, localise the context – add a comedy track, songs, family sentiment, and serve it hot to the audience. Let’s take a look at these films that were ‘inspired’ by Hollywood hits. Unfortunately, the Internet gave away their secrets.
1. MAANAVUDU DAANAVUDU (1999)
Superstar Krishna plays a CBI Officer who is trying to nab a terrorist. One of them is Krishna with a scar, and the other without.
Crucial scenes from the film (which reveal the two characters), are heavily inspired from Face Off, the John Trovolta-Nicholas Cage superhit from 1997. The face changing scene in Maanavudu Daanavudu employs graphics that look like a Photoshop edit in progress. The film sank at the box office, in spite of the presence of Soundarya and Ramyakrishna at their peak.
2. MAA NAANA CHIRANJEEVI
Jagapathi Babu is happy with farming at his village, but gets cheated by his wife who is influenced by her rich friends. She soon departs, and Babu along with his son land in Hyderabad for a better life.
While ‘the Pursuit of Happyness’ scaled the emotions to peaks with a great screenplay and got Will Smith a nomination at the Academy Awards, the remake was a neat dud with poor screenplay and the unconvincing struggle the father-son go through. Somewhere it was… Meh!
3. OKA ‘V’ CHITRAM
Oka ‘V’ Chitram starring Aadi and other newcomers, brought in a surprisingly different story in its plot. While the film didn’t do very well at the box office, people like us (who appreciate a good plot) were pleasantly surprised with the refreshingly new plot.
However, the production values of the film very abysmal, and the film sank in spite of being helmed by Teja at his peak. However, further research revealed that Oka ‘V’ Chitram was a rip-off of Bowfinger, the hilarious comedy starring comic legends Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy. The story of a struggling director who can’t afford a major star, so they shoot all his scenes without his knowledge. Watch Bowfinger if you have time free, it’s very funny!
One would think that directors would think twice before copying a film by a legend like Martin Scorcese, but that’s not the case. Homam, released in 2008, was a rip-off from the Hollywood hit The Departed (2006).
Starring JD Chakravarty (Matt Damon) and Jagapathi Babu (Leonardo di Caprio), Homam also stars Mahesh Manjrekar in the iconic role of Jack Nicholson. Homam won decent reviews initially, and the actors were applauded for their roles. Within a week, word-of-mouth got around that it was lifted from The Departed, and comparisons between the two films makes Homam pale in comparison.
5. ACTION 3D
The first comedy 3D film in Telugu, Action 3D, starring Allari Naresh, Raju Sundaram, and Vaibhav, didn’t set the box office on fire. Even with good promotion and the hype of the ‘First comedy 3D film’, Action 3D bombed.
Adding to the debacle was the fact that audiences were now well acquainted with Hollywood films. Action 3D released in 2013, and the Indian audiences had already downloaded and watched The Hangover on their PCs. In spite of romantic numbers where Naresh throws flowers in 3D, the audience didn’t take to the film kindly.
Did we miss any other poorly made remake? Let us know in the comments section below.
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