Beginning with a not so happening first half, the year witnessed some major disasters towards the end along with content driven films making their presence felt. However the inspiration list grew longer with more ‘real life’ inspired films in comparison to the official remakes in 2015 going with the new trend. The following is the complete inspired/borrowed or similar theme movies list as BTC’s annual feature.
Here we go…..!
1. I – Beautifully incorporates the concept/fairly-tale of “The Beauty and The Beast” in its revenge theme.
2. Baby – Loosely takes the structure of its final hour from the award winning English flick “Argo” (2012).
3. Dolly Ki Doli – Has its concept and initial execution similar to Punjabi film “Ronde Saare Vyah Pichhon (RSVP)” (2013), also said to be inspired from real life news stories.
4. Khamoshiyan – The basic plot of a corpse in the bedroom reminds you of the one in Hitchcock’s cult classic “Psycho” (1960).
5. NH 10 – Follows the same pattern earlier seen in English film titled “Eden Lake” (2008) with the addition of current in-news theme of “Honour Killings”.
6. Hey Bro – Loosely inspired by the theme of English flick “Twins” (1988) which also there in “Humse Badhkar Kaun” released in 1998.
7. Dilliwali Zaalim Girlfriend – Follows a similar pattern of “Khosla Ka Ghosla” (2006) wherein the ‘plot of land’ is replaced by ‘a car’ and the key character of “Khurana i.e. Boman Irani” is replaced by Jackie Shroff playing a Punjabi businessman.
8. Ek Paheli Leela – A similar concept talking about a renowned sculptor killing a beautiful girl (his subject) and her lover in the past, finding them again in the rebirth was earlier seen in B. Subhash’s hit English (adult) movie titled “Divine Lovers” released in 1997 featuring Marc Zuber, Himent Birje and a few foreign artists.
9. Broken Horses (English) – After 25 years director Vidhu Vinod Chopra remakes his own cult Hindi film “Parinda” (1989) while moving on to Hollywood.
10. Mr. X – Taking references from many entertaining films made on ‘The Invisible Man’ in the past (both in English and Hindi), the film (made by Bhatts) completes an interesting circle as it has the same title & subject used by Nanabhai Bhatt (in his 1957) directed film “Mr. X” featuring Ashok Kumar in the lead role.
11. Oh Yaara Ainvayi Ainvayi Lut Gaya (Punjabi) – The storyline & its style of narration straight away reminds you of films on post love marriage disputes mainly Shah Rukh’s “Chalte Chalte” (2003) with an added angle of divorce and court room drama.
12. Welcome 2 Karachi – A similar interesting theme of someone unknowingly getting into Pakistan territory facing the terrorists groups was recently seen in the award winning movie “Filmistaan” (2014).
13. P Se PM Tak – Director Kundan Shah gets stuck in the fascination of using a corpse as an entertaining prop in the storyline as seen in his cult film “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron” released three decades back. But this time he even makes the corpse speak, walk and dance through a remote control and some electronic gadgets fitted in the body by an eccentric scientist. Plus the ugly get-up of the minister in the film also reminds you of the one tried by Kamal Hassan in his film “Mayor Saab” (1991).
14. Hamari Adhuri Kahani - The husband returning back into the life of his wife partially reminds you of the basic plot of “Sleeping With The Enemy” followed by 3 Hindi films in the past. Plus a sequence, where the wealthy hotelier brings the girl to meet his mother living in Shimla (playing piano) made me recall a similar scene in the 1957 English classic “An Affair To Remember” (that might not be taken as inspired).
15. Dil Dhadakne Do – Though not directly but the basic idea of the changing relationships in a party does remind you of the much enjoyable and enlightening Govind Nihalani’s “Party” released in 1984, as if this time the new updated party was organized on a cruise.
16. ABCD 2 – Along with having its share of real life inspiration from an actual Mumbai dance group, the film can still be easily called a clever mix of “Step Up” (2006) series of the west, the last half an hour of Farah’s “Happy New Year” (2014) and the basic plot of replacing an injured co-dancer also seen in Yash Chopra’s “Dil Toh Pagal Hai” (1997) hinting towards a love triangle (that had its own traces in English film “42nd Street” released in 1933).
17. Guddu Rangeela – Its key plot of two boys kidnapping a girl falling into another trap reminds you of several similar movies from “Ruthless People” (1986) to “Fargo” (1996) and our own “Love Ke Liye Kucch Bhi Karega” (2001). Plus a few dialogues straight away make you recall the epic “Sholay” (1975).
18. Bahubali – With its graphical sequences reminding you of films such as “Troy”, “Thor” “300” and Rajamouli’s own “Magadheera”, its storyline has traces of “Mahabharata” and one of the film’s poster and an early sequence is highly inspired from English film “Simon Birch” released in 1998.
19. Bajrangi Bhaijaan – Revolving around a similar plot as seen in Mehreen Jabbar’s Pakistani film “Ramchand Pakistani” (2008) wherein too an 8 year old kid and his father unintentionally cross the border into Indian Territory, the film also has traces of “Gadar” (2001) and “Shaheed-e-Mohabbat Boota Singh” (1999). Plus the opening sequence of Nawazuddin is simply lifted from a real life viral-video of a Pakistani reporter (having a similar name) circulated a few years back on the social networks (here is the link).
20. Welcome Back - A sequel made on almost the same storyline of its original “Welcome” with a few added sub-plots making a minor difference.
21. Katti Batti - A film on the same ages old theme of a terminally ill person sacrificing his or her love for all, as earlier seen in director’s own “Kal Ho Na Ho” (2003).
22. Singh is Bling – A complete scene to scene lift from the Korean film “My Wife is a Gangster” (2006) as if made by a loyal follower of Korean cinema.
23. Meeruthiya Gangsters – Clearly accepting a heavy Tarantino influence, the film begins focusing on a group of goons discussing their latest crime with the camera constantly revolving around in circles and has an ‘ear cutting scene” too strongly indicating towards QT’s “Reservoir Dogs” (1992).
24. Kis Kisko Pyar Karoon – Follows the same pattern as seen in David Dhawan-Govinda’s 1996 hit “Saajan Chale Sasuraal” and “Sandwich” released in 2006.
25. Bhaag Johny – The basic concept has its clear inspiration taken from Germany’s “Run Lola Run” (1998) visible in its title too as “Bhaag Johny”. Also reminds you of other cult films having a similar base such as “Groundhog Day” (1993) and “Melinda And Melinda” (2004).
26. Calendar Girls – It’s the director’s 4th film on the same subject and happenings portraying them from a different angle since his “Page 3” released in 2005.
27. Pyar Ka Punchnama 2 – Exactly follows the same pattern/progression and conclusion as seen in the original, so its more of a remake instead of a sequel of the original hit.
28. Shandaar - Has several sequences reminding you of typical Karan Johar film revolving around A Big Fat Indian Wedding, an overweight character is close to the one seen in “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” (2015) and there is an old dead lady too who is made to pose as alive taking you back to the classic “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron” (1983).
29. Shareek (Punjabi) – Traces of Tiger (Amitabh Bachchan) from “Hum” (1990) can be seen in the character of Jimmy Shergill.
30. Prem Ratan Dhan Payo – Its basic plot is a take-off from famous novels such as “The Prisoner of Zenda” and “The Prince and the Pauper” [with the shades of “Bawarchi” (1972)], already adapted several times in the West as well as in numerous Hindi films changing the theme from Kings to Dons since the mid of last century.
Ironically Rajshri earlier made a film with a similar subject as “Rakta Bandhan” released in 1984 featuring Mithun Chakravorthy playing the twin role of a simple villager and a dacoit. Moreover the highly outdated mirror sequence towards the end also reminds you of the famous climax of Bruce Lee's “Enter The Dragon” (1973).
31. Hate Story 3 – It clearly takes its references from various sources including “Indecent Proposal’ (1993), the faulty cold drinks and blame game taken from our own “Corporate” (2006) and the terrace scene where the two heroes meet, faintly make you recall a similar one in “The Devil’s Advocate” (1997).
32. Judge Singh L.L.B. (Punjabi) – Follows the same structure of the much appreciated and award winning Hindi film “Jolly LLB” released in 2013 with some intelligent additions in the script.
33. Mukhtiar Chadda (Punjabi) – Vaguely based on a plot close to “Khosla Ka Ghosla” the film revolves around Delhi and the racket of properly dealers. A particular Ramlila sequence with a 10-faced Ravan riding a scooter is also quite similar to Akshay Kumar’s scene in “Tashan” (2008).
34. Dilwale – Has a strong influence of Mukul/Amitabh’s “Hum” (1991) along with a ‘5 minute date’ sequence taken from one of the episodes of a famous western TV Series “How I Met You Mother”. Plus there’s a dialogue quite close to the one highly appreciated in “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” (2015).
Official Remakes of the West as well as Hindi and Regional Indian Films.
1. Tevar – Official remake of “Okkadu” (Telugu – 2003)
2. Alone – Adaptation of a Thai film with the same title “Alone” (2007) which was earlier remade in south too as “Chaarulatha” (2012 – Kannada/Tamil).
3. Dharam Sankat Mein – Its an official remake of British comedy “The Infidel” (2010). But it interestingly begins from where films like “Dharamputra” (1961) and “Amar Akbar Anthony” (1977) end, when the hero comes to know his actual identity and religion.
4. Gabbar Is Back – Another remake of a 2002 South (Tamil) Hit film “Ramanaa” (2002). The version uses the name of most famous villain of Hindi cinema in its title and main dialogues, whereas the project has nothing to do whatsoever with the evil dacoit of “Sholay” (1975) and his coming back.
5. Brothers – Official remake of English action film “Warrior” (2011) and the ring fight sequences remind you of Manmohan Desai-Amitabh’s “Naseeb” (1981). But adding a bit of nostalgia, the two brothers standing in front of each other in the boxing stance also reminded me of “Johny Mera Naam” (1970) climax with Dev Anand and Pran playing the brothers.
6. Hero – Official remake of Subhash Ghai’s “Hero” released in 1983 establishing Jackie Shroff as Jackie Dada.
7. Jazba – Sanjay Gupta's official remake of another Korean crime thriller titled “Seven Days”. Plus a specific sequence of the film dealing with the allergic child & her medicine is the same as seen in Irrfan Khan’s “Deadline – Sirf 24 Ghate” (2006) which was itself an inspired version of an English flick titled “Trapped” (2000).
8. Drishyam – The fourth Indian remake of the original Malayalam flick with the same title “Drishyam” (2013) featuring Mohan lal in the lead.
Inspired Movies from Real Life Incidents and Life Stories
1. Rahasya – Loosely inspired from the famous murder mystery of “Talwar family” in Noida.
2. Hawaizaada – Based on the life of scientist “Shivkar Bapuji Talpade” (of Maharashtra) who is credited for inventing the first air plane years before the Wright Brothers.
3. Eh Janam Tumhare Lekhe (Punjabi) – Made On the life of a lesser known blessed soul of Punjab “Bhagat Puran Singh” also known as Punjab’s Mother Teresa.
4. Roy - Supposedly inspired from the romantic link between western directors Quentin Tarantino and Sofia Coppola (and has reference of one of their real life instance too.)
5. Dirty Politics – The film is said to be based on the real life story and murder of “Bhanwari Devi” revolving around her political associations.
6. Barkha – Talking about the life of a ‘bar dancer’ its supposedly inspired from true life events.
7. Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho – Said to be based on an actual weird case filed on an innocent man.
8. Gour Hari Dastaan - A simple, honest and shocking cinematic presentation of a real life story of an Odiya freedom fighter “Gour Hari Das” written by the renowned journalist C. P. Surendran.
9. Manjhi – Enlightens us about the unbelievable achievement of an extremely courageous, focused and adamant villager “Dashrath Manjhi”, probably with no other parallel as such credited to an individual. Incidentally the onscreen execution also reminds you of few foreign movies at times such as ”Cast Away” (2000), “Forrest Gump” (1994) and even “127 hours” (2010).
10. Talvar – Based on the famous “Aarushi-Hemraj” double murder case of 2008 in which the parents were convicted as the murderers after five years.
11. Prithipal Singh – A film based on true events in the life of “Prithipal Singh” (1932 – 1983), who was an Indian hockey player nicknamed “The King of Short (Penalty) Corner” by the then hockey commentators, as he was known to surely convert the corners into a goal with his exceptional skills.
12. Once Upon A Time In Bihar – Has references of real life agitations and inspired by real life events of ‘kidnappings’ considered as source of income in the region.
13. Main Aur Charles – Made on the real life stories of “Charles Sobhraj”, a conman/serial killer active towards the end of the last century.
14. Bajirao Mastani – Talking about the life of “Bajirao Peshwa”, the film is based upon a fictional account of history by “N. S. Inamdar” in his book titled “Rau”.
Inspired Movies from Literature and Books
1. Badlapur – The film is based on the novel "Death's Dark Abyss" by “Massimo Carlotto” revolving around real life events (reportedly).
2. Detective Byomkesh Bakhsy – Based on the first case solved by the immensely popular fictional Bengali sleuth “Byomkesh Bakshi” created by the renowned writer “Saradindu Bandopadhyay”.
3. Jai Ho Democracy – Its opening sequence straight away reminds you of the Bosnian language Oscar winner “No Man’s Land” (2001). And then the focus on ‘a hen’ wandering between the two borders with both the sides trying to catch her as a matter of ‘national pride’ is partially inspired from another similar classic short story of “Manto” titled “Tetwal Ka Kutta” (revolving around a stray dog moving between the borders of two neighbouring countries).
4. Phantom – Based upon “Hussain Zaidi’s” book “Mumbai Avengers” the film’s poster was highly inspired from the artwork of a shooter video game called “Homefront”.
(Note: Please do let me know if you are aware of any other inspired movie which came in 2015 but is not listed here by chance.)