Is Bachchhan Paandey adapted from Karthik Subbaraj’s Jigarthanda?

The trailer of Bachchhan Paandey gives the story, adapted screenplay credit to producer Sajid Nadiadwala, but there is no mention of where the film is adapted from.  We reckon it could possibly be a Hindi remake of Tamil film Jigarthanda [2014], which had some similarities with the South Korean film A Dirty Carnival [2006].

Bachchhan Paandey (l), Jigarthanda [2014]

By Mayur Lookhar

It’s the age of remakes.  Why complain when the rights are acquired legally.  How many of them do justice to the original? That is a different matter altogether.  

Earlier today, the world saw the trailer of Bollywood dark comedy Bachchhan Paandey [2022]. The Hindi film is set to be released on the festival of Holi, 18 March in cinemas.

We’e shared our trailer review earlier, wherein we briefly mentioned about the film partly rekindling memories of Rohit Mittal’s neo-noir Autohead [2016].  While the idea of capturing a dangerous man on camera is common, in Mittal’s mockumentary the voyeuristic protagonists only discover the dark truth about their autorickshaw driver Narayan [Deepak Sampat] at the end. We later looked into the trailer end credits and found that Bachchhan Paandey is actually an adaptation. The trailer though doesn’t mention the source material.

Producer Sajid Nadiadwala is credited for story, adapted screenplay. Farhad Samji is the director and also the dialogue writer. The likes of Sparsh Khetarpal, Tasha Bhambra, Tushar Hiranandani, Zeeshan Quadri are credited for additional screenplay and dialogues.  

We were then informed by a birdie that the trailer, plot of Bachchhan Paandey seems familiar to that of Karthik Subbaraj’s Tamil film Jigarthanda [2014] that starred actor Siddharth in the lead role. The film’s Wikipedia page mentions about the Tamil film perhaps being inspired by South Korean film A Dirty Carnvial [2004].

We haven’t seen either of them. And so we read the plot lines of the two films. What’s common is a writer, filmmaker wanting to make a film on a dreaded gangster.

Subbaraj’s protagonist Karthik Subramani [Siddharth] is hired by a reality show judge to make a gangster film. So, he tells Karthik to go and interview the dreaded Madurai gangster ‘Assault Sethu’ [Bobby Simha].  Karthik tags along his reluctant friend Oorani [Karunakaran] along with him.  

Meanwhile, the South Korean film sees a director Min-ho [Namkoong in] reach out to small time gangster Kim Byung-Doo [Jo In-sung] to help him complete his gangster movie script.  Later Byung-Doo realizes that many elements of Min-Ho’s story resemble his own life.

Director Farhad Samji’s Bachchhan Paandey sees a young writer, filmmaker [played by Kriti Sanon] wanting to make a film on dreaded bandit/gangster Bachchhan Paandey [Akshay Kumar]. She is accompanied by her reluctant friend [played by Arshad Warsi] who is promised a good supporting role in the film.

Efforts to reach out to Karthik Subbaraj, Farhad Samji went in vain. An individual who is part of Bachchhan Paandey refused to answer our question whether the Hindi film is adapted from the Tamil film, citing confidential agreement.

A remake is never without changes, often cosmetic though.  We can’t say with certainty but there are similarities between Jigarthanda and Bachchhan Paandey. Another common thing between the Tamil film and the Hindi drama is cinematographer Gavemic U. Ary.

If the trailer credits mention of an adapted screenplay. It begs the question why would a producer not disclose where it is adapted from? We saw a similar thing with Rani Mukerji-starrer Hichki [2018, where the producer later clarified that it is indeed adapted from a foreign book. Perhaps It might be a creative call by Hindi film producers to keep the suspense element intact.

We will know more about Bachchhan Paandey in the days to come. For now, people can watch the trailers of the three films and draw your own judgment.


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