The recent releases in Bollywood have unmistakably shown that there is a distinct lack of noteworthy scripts. Apart from a few new releases like Gangubai Kathiawadi, Jalsa, or Jhund, the Hindi cinema industry relies heavily on adaptations. And, among the remakes, Hindi adaptations of regional films have been increasingly popular in recent years.
Some of the regional masterpieces, such as The Great Indian Kitchen, have also been chosen to be remade this year. Although we hope Bollywood gets it right, its history suggests we should be wary.
In fact, we would prefer Bollywood didn’t attempt such remakes at all, especially these regional films.
Aamis, an Assamese film written and directed by Bhaskar Hazarika, is a very romantic film about food and much more. And, as we all know, Bollywood can scarcely make a male-female romance without making it toxic.
2. Asha Jaoar Majhe
The film is about a lower-middle-class married couple who work hard, day and night, to keep their lives afloat during the recession that hit India. The slow-paced film depicts the nameless couple’s existence without relying on any dialogue. It’s not Bollywood’s forte to say so much without saying anything.
3. The Disciple
The Marathi movie explores the quest for excellence as well as the burden of legacy. It’s about a person’s determination to keep his passion and purity for his craft alive in a world that doesn’t wait for anyone. And so far in that league, Bollywood has given us Bunny from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani.
4. Super Deluxe
Although Vijay Sethupathi’s outstanding performance was the anthology film‘s main appeal, each episode was exceptional. Bollywood’s anthology films, on the other hand, have only been able to deliver one or two new narratives in the past, despite having excellent filmmakers on board.
While Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui did a lot of things right, it’s nothing compared to what Nagarkirtan accomplished, and that was years before mainstream Bollywood even addressed LGBTQ stories. Bollywood should definitely draw notes from the film in order to develop a trans-inclusive film, but just don’t try to remake this masterpiece.
6. Kumbalangi Nights
The film doesn’t strive to be mainstream to attract viewers, and it doesn’t have the conventional ambitions of ‘art’ movies, but it somehow falls between the two styles of films. The Malayalam film is a poignant essay about human interactions that discusses a number of contemporary socio-political topics in a subtle approach. And subtlety isn’t something you’ll see in many Bollywood films.
Although courtroom dramas aren’t new to Bollywood, there are only a few prominent films in the genre. This multilingual film, on the other hand, which is focused on a Dalit activist-poet who is accused of being “responsible” for a sewage cleaner’s “suicide” is surely class apart.
Nana Patekar’s Natsamrat is indicative of how much regional cinema has progressed in comparison to Bollywood. The Marathi film revolves around the abuse and abandonment of the elderly, which we have seen in films like Baghban and Avatar. However, instead of the clichés and needless melodrama that are typical of this genre, this film is incredibly thought-provoking and hard-hitting.
Thithi, a blunt and scathing look at poverty by Raam Reddy, blurs the boundaries between reality and cinema. The film’s success is based on the rawness of the plot and the non-actors’ flawless performances. Meanwhile, Bollywood continues to rely on stardom to highlight important concerns.
10. Cinema Bandi
We all love movies, and Cinema Bandi is a homage to that love. The Telugu film revolves around a motley crew of villagers assembled to attempt to shoot a film despite all odds. Sounds like something we would get from Bollywood? In fact, we have seen Hindi films made about films, but they have merely peeked into the industry and how it works.
11. Minnal Murali
The Malayalam superhero flick, which finally brought us a homegrown superhero, did what Bollywood has failed to do with several attempts and with large budgets. The Basil Joseph directorial’s seamless narrative and realism set it apart from prior Indian superhero movies.
If you haven’t seen these cinematic masterpieces yet, you should do so before Bollywood actually remakes (read: ruins) them.