1) Kurudhi Punal / Drohkal
- As they say, we should always start from
the best. This is one rare remake, where
the maker of the original came out in public
and acknowledged that the remake was much
better than the original. Not just Govind
Nihlani but also the association which sends
Indian movies to the Oscars was completely
awed at the way this film was shot.
2) Vasool Raja MBBS / Munnabhai
MBBS - "This movie did not
take me anywhere. I did it for friendship's
sake" is what Kamal had to say about
Vasool raja. I agree. The original was definitely
ahead but the remake wasn't a bad one either.
It did have its own moments of magic coupled
with some very witty humor thanks to the
great language that Tamil is.
3) Virumandi / Rashomon, Life of
David Gale - Though brilliantly
conceived and executed, this film at its
release received some criticism from a few
quarters which pointed out that the film
misses out on its main aim – talking
about the journalist interviewing a capital
punishment accused. This aspect and only
this aspect of the film is actually taken
from the Kevin Spacey starrer - Life of
David Gale. The screenplay is taken from
the Akira Kurosawa classic - Rashomon. This
can't even be called a copy because the
Rashomon screenplay is so famous that it
is now called "The Rashomon Effect",
which is ‘employed’ as a screenwriting
4) Anbe Sivam / Trains, planes and
automobiles - Well this is not
even an inspiration. Anbe Sivam just takes
the ‘two people with opposing views
traveling together’ concept and beautifully
mixes it with its own emphasis on love,
God, communism, humor, charity, art and
5) Thenali / What About Bob? -
The entire plot is lifted in from the Bill
Murray starrer but is credited to Crazy
Mohan. A few scenes especially the interview
sequence is completely lifted. But here
again, Kamal improvises with some spectacular
original acting like in the long “ellam
siva bayam” dialogue where he makes
us laugh first and then makes us weep. Only
a few actors can do that through a single
dialogue. Kamal is one of them.
6) Avvai Shanmukhi / Mrs Doubtfire-Tootsie
- Though the plot is a straight lift from
the Robin Williams comedy- Mrs. Doubtfire,
the original inspiration for this role is
from one of Kamal's favorite actor’s
movie - Dustin Hoffman's Tootsie. Kamal
delivers an unforgettable performance as
the super maami in this complete rib tickler.
Crazy is at his best too.
7) Sathi Leelavathi / She Devil
- Not exactly a copy or even an inspiration
but both films deal with a very common issue.
The stress in Sathi Leelavathi however is
intelligent humor unlike the completely
slapstick She Devil. And the Coimbatore
accent from Kamal completely steals the
8) Devar Magan / The Godfather
- Intelligent script writing at its peak.
To take the ‘son rises’ soul
of the Godfather and effortlessly insert
it into a magnificent rural setting is no
mean task and Kamal the writer breezes through
Trivia - It was a bet between two friends
on who will remake the Godfather first.
Mani won the bet, but Kamal made the better
9) Sathya / Arjun - Suresh
Krishna's brutal portrayal of the angry
young unemployed is actually a scene by
scene take from the Sunny Deol starrer.
The romance track in Sathya however was
much more watchable thanks to some exceptional
performances from Kamal and the super elegant
10) Enakul Oruvan / Karz
- The mutual admiration between Kamal and
Rishi Kapoor is obvious, both being masters
of romance in their own right. Kamal liked
Rishi's Karz and decided to star in its
Tamil remake yielding some decent results
at the box office.
11) Raaja Parvai / Butterflies are
free, Graduate - The Hoffman fan
in Kamal rises to the fore again, this time
dedicating an entire climax to him through
his first screenplay- Raaja Parvai. But
the rest of the story is taken from this
classic called ‘Butterflies are free’
- A neat attempt at remaking.
12) Magalir Mattum / Nine to Five
- An unfortunate brutal rip off credit to
Kamal's pen. I am not really sure about
what was in his mind at this point of time.
Though he tried his best to make the movie
as Indian as possible.
Some other mild inspirations - Nammavar
(To sir, with love), Panchathantiram (Things
gone wrong), Nala Damayanti (Don’t
remember the movie's name) have mild tinges
Movies remade from Kamal's - Well there
are plenty of them, a very high number indeed.
Many of Anil Kapoor's works are taken from
Kamal movies like Virasat (Devar Magan),
Eshwar (Swathi Muthyam) etcetera. An article
on this is coming up soon.
So let us hope film makers like Jayam Raja
take the cue from Kamal Haasan and make
some intelligent adaptations instead of
indulging in costume remaking.
Happy filmmaking! Happy remaking!
KRISH KING NISHANTH,