It is no secret that Bollywood has a long-standing tradition of “borrowing” movies from Hollywood. The most recent example of this is ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ an official remake of the Tom Hanks-starrer, Forest Gump. This got us thinking, what are some other big-name Bollywood projects which were adapted or took some heavy inspiration from movies coming out of Sin City?
Let’s be honest. It wasn’t Robin Williams we first saw dressing up as a maid in order to win his daughter back. It was Kamal Hasan. Back then, most of us weren’t aware that the oh-so-iconic movies of us 90s kids were in fact inspired by a Robin William epic. Regardless though, we still would recommend having a go at both the movies (unlike some entries on our list).
While this may not exactly be a page-by-page comparison, the character design and the overarching plot of Agneepath are eerily similar to Pacino’s Scarface. Of course, the biggest omission here was Amitabh Bachchan now saying “say hello to my little friend” in his deep voice.
Laal Singh Chaddha isn’t the only Aamir Khan classic that finds its roots buried in Hollywood. Many might not know, but the 1992 hit ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar,’ was in fact borrowed from a popular American movie called Breaking Away. Things get even worse when you find out that even the crux of the movie is the same, apart from the cycle race part.
The similarities here might be a little to make out, but take a closer look and you’ll see Dead Poets Society’s DNA being plastered all over Mohabbatein – Shah Rukh Man being a Robin William-type mentor? Check. Existential college kids? Check. Loads and loads of poetry? Double check. Regardless of the similarities though, Mohabbatein paved its own path and became a cult classic in Bollywood.
If there’s anyone fit enough to play the role of Vito Corleone in a Hindi remake, it’d probably be Amitabh Bachan. Perhaps this is what Ram Gopal Varma saw when he made the Sarkar trilogy over the years. Both movies follow the same themes of showcasing the dark underbellies of their world, infected by gang wars, power grabs, and at the center of it a ruthless mafia boss.
A movie no one asked to be remade in Hindi, ‘Players’ was both a bizarre and yet successful adaptation of The Italian Job starring Mark Walberg and Edward Norton. However, instead of those two, we had to contend with Abhishek Bachan and Neil Nitin Mukesh. The “similarities” end there though, as the Italian Job went on to make $176 million while Players was able to cross only the Rs 75 crore benchmark.
Apart from its problematic portrayal of trans women, Sangharsh was one of the few Hollywood adaptations which managed to do well with the audience. Inspired by Silence of The Lambs, the movie follows the plotline as its Hollywood counterpart, with Preity Zinta’s character recruiting the help of Akshay Kumar, a falsely implicated genius, to catch a serial killer, played by Ashutosh Rana.