Translations are a tricky thing to get right. Whether in literature or in movies, translations don’t always hit the target as the originals do but there are instances when the greatness transcends the language limitation and that is when a work of art truly strikes gold.
Malayalam cinema has consistently produced gems and it has appealed film-makers to recreate the magic in another language. The ones which have worked are simply a delight for every cine-buff out there. Here are top five such remakes that you need to put in your must-watch list:
Based on the premise of a wrong number, this was a path-breaking and a hugely quirky movie. No other movie elicits the kind of laughter this one does and in both the language versions. In fact, this Malayalam fare has also been remade in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada but the Hindi feature titled, Hera Pheri managed to secure unexpected popularity and steadily reach heights. Memorable performances from this movie have reached meme status in everyday life, such has been the success of it.
All the versions of this Malayalam cult movie, Kannada, Tamil, Bengali and Hindi were equally acclaimed and popular. A story encompassing royal obsession, execution and haunting replete with an ancestral palatial mansion, this movie became the beacon of the psychological horror genre. Mohanlal led the star brigade of this feature offering followed by none other than Rajnikanth in the Tamil Chandramukhi and the unforgettable Akshay Kumar in the Hindi, Bhool Bhulaiyya.
A barber and the advent of a celebrity in his village and later, in his life is the premise of this movie which has a comical take but ends with heart-warming notes. An implausible friendship and the truth that a barber vouches for makes this movie truly a delightful watch. Although the Tamil and Telugu versions enjoyed lukewarm responses at best (these versions carried significant changes in storyline) the Hindi version, Billu had spectacular performances from Irrfan Khan and Shah Rukh Khan and was a runaway hit.
A romantic action comedy—easily a non-formula story with great comical sequences and an unexpected ending. The soaring success of this Malayalam hit saw the Tamil and Hindi versions of the same name chart blockbusters too. Of course, the adorable pair of Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan made the Hindi version a resounding and enjoyable watch.
A psychological family thriller that shattered box-office records, this was an exceptional and stunning movie with an unexpected and shocking twist at the end. But what made this racy movie novel and satisfactory was the execution of the plot, the near misses that kept us at the very edge. Powerhouse actors like, Mohanlal, Kamal Hassan and Ajay Devgn featured in the Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi versions respectively.
The movie industry might have its own regional ‘woods’ but somewhere good cinema finds praise across languages.
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