Top 10 Bollywood Remakes of Malayalam Movies

Mollywood – one of the smallest Indian film industries in terms of audience and movie releases. But its quality in movie making is matching with Bollywood and other big film industries of India. Many of its movies have won national level and international acclaims, despite being low budget movies. In the past 20 years or so, many of its classic hits have been remade to Hindi, and have drawn attention of national level audience to Malayalam cinema. Among all directors, Malayalam’s own film director Priyadarshan has played a significant role in popularizing many of Malayalam hit themes to North Indian audience who could connect easily to comedy themes. Read more. Through this column I would like to list best 10 remakes of Malayalam movies which achieved commercial success in Bollywood.
1. Hera Pheri from Ramji Rav Speaking This iconic comedy film achieved a cult classic status across India, and played a significant role in reviving the careers of Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal. The movie was directed by Priyadarshan, who gained immense popularity in Bollywood with a string of success remakes later. Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal too did comic roles repeatedly on Bollywood screen reprising the roles of Mohanlal and Innocent played in many of the originals. Suniel Shetty too was benefited with the film’s success. Paresh Rawal became a permanent fixture in Priyadarshan movies after that.
The original version was directed by Siddique-Lal, and Ramji Rav Speaking (1989) happened to be the duo’s debut movie too which was a huge blockbuster. The movie marked the acting debut of actor Saikumar, and the lead actress Rekha in Malayalam movies. Later Siddique too put foot in Bollywood with the huge blockbuster, Bodyguard.
2. Bodyguard from Bodyguard Bodyguard was originally made in Malayalam by Siddique starring Dileep and Nayanthara. Despite getting mixed reviews and moderate success, the director attempted the subject in Tamil and Hindi. Same movie was made into Kannada and Telugu languages by other directors and the movie was a huge hit in all these remakes. The script was very much altered in the Hindi version, and received mostly negative response from critics. But the movie starring Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor was a huge hit and entered 100-crore club, and its songs were chartbusters.
3. Drishyam from Drishyam – It’s one of the latest Bollywood remakes of Malayalam. Similar to Bodyguard, this crime thriller was later made in all the south Indian languages and Hindi, and remained successful in all versions. The original version was directed by Jeethu Joseph and starred Mohanlal, Asha Sharat and Meena in the lead roles. It’s the highest grosser Malayalam film up-to-date and its Hindi version starring Ajay Devgan, Tabu and Shriya Saran too was a box office hit of 2015. The movie was directed by Nishikant Kamat.
4. Houseful 2 from Maattupetti Machan – It’s one of Akshay Kumar’s successful comedy remakes, helmed by a director other than Priyadarshan. The second of the successful Houseful series, the movie included an ensemble star cast of Akshay Kumar, Asin Thottumkal, John Abraham, Jacqueline Fernandez, Ritesh Deshmukh, Zarine Khan, Shreyas Talpade and Shazahn Padamsee, a trend that was quite common in Malayalam cinema in the 1990s. The movie was directed by Sajid Khan. 

A screen shot from Right Now song of Housefull 2 featuring all its lead actors

Original version, Mattupetti Machan was directed by Jose Thomas who has done many slapstick comedy movies in Malayalam. It’s one of the successful remakes starring Mukesh in the original. Garam Masala, Hera Pheri, Hulchul, Heyy Baby, Golmaal: Fun Unlimited etc are a few more.
5. Garam Masala from Beoing Beoing – Both the versions were directed by Priyadarshan and were huge hits at box office. Originally the movie is inspired from a French drama of 1960 with the same name. Original version released in 1985 starred Mohanlal and Mukesh in the pivot roles, and their chemistry was widely accepted by Malayali audience, and they together starred in several blockbuster comedies. Released Hindi version exactly 20 years later, Akshay Kumar and John Abraham played lead roles. Similar to the original version, the chemistry between the lead actors was loved by audience, and they together starred in several comedy hits later (Dezi Boys, Houseful 2 etc).  
6. Bhool Bhulayya from Manichitrathazhu – Fazil’s Manichitrathazhu is one of the most popular movies ever made in Malayalam cinema, and it met with critical and commercial success. Remade to several Indian languages, Hindi version was directed by Priyadarshan. Priyan did full justification to the remake, unlike other remakes which tampered the original script. The lead roles of Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi and Shobana were reprised by Akshay Kumar, Shiney Ahuja and Vidya Balan respectively. It’s regarded as one of the top movies of Akshay Kumar’s career which played a significant role in establishing him as the new superstar of Bollywood in 2007.  
7. Hulchul from Godfather Godfather is the longest running Malayalam film, originally released in 1991 directed by Siddique-Lal. It’s the second film of the duo successfully remade to Bollywood by Priyadarshan. Akshay Khanna and Kareena Kapoor reprised the roles of Mukesh and Kanaka in the original, and the movie included a huge star cast of Amrish Puri, Arshad Warsi, Sunil Shetty, Jackie Shroff, Paresh Rawal and Arbaaz Khan and fared well at box office too.
8. Hungama from Poochakkoru Mukkuthi Yet another successful comedy remake helmed by Priyadarshan. The director was on a success streak for a few years in the first half of 2000s. Poochakkoru Mukkuthi was the debut film of Priyadarshan, and was a commercial hit. The movie also began the successful association of Priyadarshan with Mohanlal, who joined hands together for many hit Malayalam movies belonging to different genres. Shankar, Menaka, Nedumudi Venu and Sukumari also starred in the film. He later remade the movie to Bollywood starring Akshaye Khanna, Aftab Shivdasani and Rimi Sen, and was a commercial hit. The comedy sequels featuring Paresh Rawal and Shoma Anand formed the crux of the story.
9. Chup Chupke from Punjabi House The Priyadarshan movie is best known for some of the hilarious comedy scenes of Rajpal Yadav, and the movie starred Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor in the lead roles. Chup Chupke (2006) is a remake of Malayalam super hit Punjabi House (1998) starring Dileep, Jomol and Mohini, and the original was directed by Rafi Mecartin.
10. Julie from Chattakari It’s one of the early successful remakes. The movie also grabbed the attention of many for its bold subject. The movie was repeatedly made to several languages including Hindi version. Lakshmi reprised the titular role in most of the remakes including Hindi, and was one of the bold themes explored in Indian cinema till then. Despite getting a major break in Bollywood, Lakshmi continued with south Indian movies, and only made a re-entry to Bollywood with Priyadarshan’s Hulchul, where she reprised the iconic role of Philomina played in the original. 
Aap Ki Kasam, The Train and Amar Deep are some of the successful remakes starring Rajesh Khanna, and Phool Aur Kaante and Heyy Baby among the movies of present era since 1990s. Though several family dramas and movies based on social issues were remade to Bollywood, success rate is high with comedy remakes. Read more about Priyadarshan remakes and his success streak with comedies

Read the stories of a few more inspirations and copies of Bollywood. Click on the images to read. 

Read a few more articles on Malayalam cinema, on different general discussions. Here is the page link. Click on the images in the gallery to read
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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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