Hollywood has been churning out movies, and remakes of said movies, for decades now, whereas Bollywood is relatively new on the scene. So it’s no surprise that the latter takes inspiration from its Western counterpart. But sometimes the similarities are just too striking…
Despite the title, this is no trashy remake of the Johnny Depp/Juliette Binoche chocolate-fuelled shenanigans of Chocolat, but rather an unusual interpretation on Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects. The plot is slightly different, insomuch as the suspects are two Indians who are accused of orchestrating a terrorist attack in London on Christmas eve, and the legendary character of Keyser Soze becomes notorious terrorist Murtaza Arzai. Needless to say, Singer’s version comes up trumps. You can watch Chocolateand other Bollywood movies on Eros Now.
Main Aisa Hi Hoon
Main Aisa Hi Hoon (which means I am Like This)takes the essence of I Am Samand translates the action to India. Ajay Devgan plays Indraneel Thakur, a mentally-handicapped coffee shop worker who struggles as a single parent to raise his daughter, Gungun. Gungun’s mother, Maya, disappeared shortly after her daughter was born, but when Maya’s father comes to India to retrieve his granddaughter, a custody battle ensues. The only noticeable difference is that in the Sean Penn version, Sam loses custody of Dakota Fanning, whereas the Bollywood remake prefers a happier ending.
Heyy Babyyis a thinly disguised copy of Three men And a Baby. Where the original had the power-trio of Selleck, Danson and Gutternberg, the Bollywood-ised version has a more underwhelming cast. Plot-wise, the films are near identical apart with the exception that all three men are womanisers (just Danson in the original) and all three are flagged up as possible fathers of the baby. It’s also, somewhat bizzarely, set in Australia.
The inspiration behind The Killeris unmistakably Michael Mann’s Collateral. In the original, a cab driver, played by Jamie Foxx, unwittingly picks up Tom Cruise’s grey-haired, suave professional hitman, and is forced to drive him between hits, unaware that the final target is his love interest, a US prosecutor (Jada Pinkett Smith). In the Bollywood version, cabbie Nikhil picks up Vikram, a sharply-dressed killer-for-hire, whose only distinguishing features are his black hair and a dancer girlfriend. Otherwise the plot’s pretty darn similar.