Kiara Advani: I would think twice to do a remake if it [original] is available on OTT

The Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 [2022] actress weighs in on the future of Hindi remakes of South Indian films that have become a nationwide rage.

Source: Kiara Advani Instagram

By Mayur Lookhar

Filmmakers like S.S. Rajamouli have stressed the need to embrace their content as Indian and not South Indian cinema. For all its hype, Hindi film industry, popularly known as Bollywood, ought to pull up its socks. Bollywood has a long history of banking on content from the south with their innumerable Hindi remakes.

The stupendous success of South Indian films like Baahubali and KGF franchise, Pushpa: The Rise [2021], RRR [2022], and wide acclaim to few gems that release directly on digital platform has posed an interesting question. Given how Hindi speaking audiences are warming up to content from down south (through dubbed version or courtesy subtitles) will there be a need to have Hindi remakes of South Indian films?

Kiara Advani, who has been part of few Hindi remakes of South Indian films, weighed in on the issue.

“The way I see it, I don’t agree that Bollywood is banking on South for content,” said the Kabir Singh [2019] actress. 

Bollywood has a common line to produce remakes. Advani echoed the same while saying, “Sometimes a small film, which is a gem from a certain language, has the potential to reach out to a wider audience. Hindi is widely spoken in our country and so you think why not make this film for a larger audience”.

Advani’s words are in sync with the industry, but the young actor was quick to add her personal view acknowledging the impact of digital platforms. She says, “If you ask me personally, I did Kabir Singh [2019], before OTT became a rage. I would still do a Kabir Singh hands down, but I feel today even I would think twice to do a remake if it [original] is available on OTT platform.”

While being candid in her opinion, Advani isn’t slamming the door on doing remakes.

“I watch dubbed content, [lot of] films from other languages If I’m making an adaptation, we make few changes. Look at the end of the day, it is all about taking a good film to the larger audience.,” stated Advani.

Advani starred in the blockbuster Kabir Singh that was a remake of Telugu film Arjun Reddy [2017].  She also featured in Laxmii [2020] that was a remake of Tamil film Kanchana [2011].

Competition with South Indian/ Hollywood films apart, Bollywood has regularly copped criticism on social media for its inconsistency, quality, nepotism, favoritism. The nepotism debate has only increased in the aftermath of the tragic death of Sushant Singh Rajput in 2020 with social media frequently flooded with #BoycottBollywood trend.  Has all this impacted the market value, the goodwill of Bollywood?

“I hope not. At the end of the day, we are one industry. Films are much more than just the actors. Actors are just the face of it, but there are so many people behind making a film. There is so much at stake.  Our intention is to just make people enjoy. Our intent is pure.  It upsets when people look at it in any other way,” said Advani.

The actress will next be seen in Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 [2022] that hits the screen on 20 May. Though a not a sequel to the earlier film also titled Bhool Bhulaiyaa [2007], the franchise draws its inspiration from Malayalam screenwriter Madhu Muttam’s Manichitrathazhu [1993].


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