‘Awarapan’ And 8 Other Bollywood Movies That Were ‘Inspired’ By Korean Films

Snigdha Nalini Oreya

Bollywood movies have often looked towards films from the West to adapt for the Indian screens. There are times when these movies have taken inspiration from the Far East also. There are Indian movies that have been inspired by Japanese, Korean, and even Thai films.

We compiled a list of Bollywood movies that were copied from South Korean films. Read on to find out which movie was inspired by which Korean film.

1. Bharat (2019)

Bharat is based on a 2014 South Korean film – Ode To My Father. The Korean film depicts the history of South Korea from 1950 to 2010 from the eyes of an ordinary man who witnesses the events that shape the history of his country. The Bollywood movie, starring Salman Khan, used the same template but it traced the history of India post-independence. It roughly follows the same time period as the Korean film.

Source: Masala

2. Zinda (2006)

This movie was copied from a cult South Korean film – Oldboy. The movie had an ensemble cast of Sanjay Dutt, John Abraham, Lara Dutta, and Celina Jaitly. The Korean thriller went on to win the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2004., The Bollywood film only saw John Abraham winning a Filmfare Award for Best Villain. It follows the same plot of a man captivated for 14 years. It was also under investigation for violation of copyright but no legal action was taken.

Source: BOllywoodMDB

3. Singh Is Bliing (2015)

This Bollywood movie was loosely based on a 2006 Korean film – My Wife Is a Gangster 3. Both films follow the same theme of a woman gangster. It stars Akshay Kumar and Amy Jackson.

Source: IMDb

4. Awarapan (2007)

Awarapan proved to be a box office failure. It is based on A Bittersweet Life. The Bollywood movie makes it clear that the girl was a victim of human trafficking. This was not implied in the Korean film and is possibly the only change the Hindi movie made to the plot.

Source: The Movie Database

5. Ugly Aur Pagli (2008)

Ranvir Shorey and Mallika Sherawat play the lead roles in this Hindi movie. It is a copy of a 2001 Korean film – My Sassy Girl. The Korean film was based on a true story of an engineering student and a girl he met on a platform. It was a blockbuster and has been remade in Chinese, Nepali, and Indonesian to state a few. It has been reported that the Bollywood movie also lifted scenes directly from the Korean film.

Source: MUBI

6. Jawaani Jaaneman (2020)

Jawaani Jaaneman is based on a 2008 hit Korean film – Scandal Makers. The plot of the Bollywood movie is loosely borrowed from the Korean film barring a few instances. For eg: in the Bollywood movie we have a property broker while in the Korean film the protagonist is a radio jockey.

Source: Amazon

7. Jazbaa (2015)

Jazbaa is based on a 2007 South Korean film – Seven Days. The Korean film revolves around the life of a lawyer whose daughter disappears. The Bollywood movie, starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, used the same template. The maker of the Bollywood film has gone on record to say that he does have the rights to a Korean film and it is not Seven Days, but the plot speaks otherwise.

Source: Scroll

8. Murder 2 (2011)

It is reported that this Emraan Hashmi movie is based on a 2008 Korean film – The Chaser. The Korean film was inspired by a real-life serial killer. The Bollywood movie follows a similar plot except for a few minor changes. Both films went on to win several accolades.

Source: Gulf News

9. Ek Villain (2014)

This movie was based on a gory South Korean thriller- I Saw The Devil. The Korean thriller was noted for its scenes depicting hardcore violence and gore. The Bollywood film follows the same plot of a man who is out for revenge when his lover is killed by a serial killer. It stars Shraddha Kapoor, Siddharth Malhotra, and Riteish Deshmukh.

Source: IMDb

The line differentiating inspiration from plagiarism is thin and Bollywood often toys with this line.

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