Drishyam movie Remake

The Remake Trend: Bollywood’s Continuous Adaptation of Tollywood Movie Stories


Within the expansive and ever-changing domain of Indian cinema, Bollywood and Tollywood are two distinct yet related phenomena. Mumbai is home to Bollywood, the Hindi-language film industry, which is renowned for its glitz, glamour, and appeal on a worldwide scale. However, Tollywood, the Telugu-language film industry, which has its roots in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, has managed to carve out a distinct place for itself thanks to its distinctive cinematic aesthetics and rich storytelling legacy.

The frequent adaptation of stories from Tollywood has become a noticeable trend in Bollywood in recent years. Both the film community and viewers are becoming curious and debating this trend. In this blog, we explore the causes that fuel this cross-cultural interchange and the reasons for Bollywood’s ongoing obsession with Tollywood movie stories.

Understanding Tollywood’s Narrative Appeal:

The rich storytelling fabric of Telugu cinema, also known as Tollywood, includes everything from modern dramas to legendary epics. Well-known filmmakers like Sekhar Kammula, Trivikram Srinivas, and S.S. Rajamouli have come to represent the industry’s capacity to tell stories that captivate audiences. Tollywood is unique in its natural ability to distil human emotions and experiences into gripping narratives with lasting effects. 

Whether it’s the personal depiction of daily life or the vast scope of mythological epics, Tollywood movies display a unique fusion of imagination, realism, and emotional nuance. Due to its distinct narrative appeal, Tollywood has become a dominant force in the Indian cinema industry, winning critical and financial accolades. The vivid world of Tollywood cinema serves as a source of inspiration for Bollywood directors, and its rich storytelling history attracts their attention and appreciation.

The success of Tollywood films can be attributed to several factors:

  1. Novel Story Concepts: Tollywood’s attraction stems from its inclination to investigate non-traditional subjects and storylines, as demonstrated by trailblazing movies such as “Baahubali” and “Arjun Reddy.” A welcome change from formulaic storytelling, this eagerness to push limits and question norms captivates listeners.
  2. Emotional Depth: Bollywood movies do a great job of authentically and deeply capturing the range of complicated human emotions and relationships. Because emotions are shown in a genuine and unfiltered way, audiences are drawn in and impacted by the stories told on film.
  3. Technical Brilliance: Tollywood is renowned for its technical skill, as demonstrated by movies like “Baahubali,” which broke previous records for visual spectacle and grandeur. The film industry’s reputation for technical quality has been cemented by its dedication to pushing the boundaries of the medium and winning international acclaim.

Bollywood’s Adaptation Craze: 

Given Tollywood’s skill at storytelling, it is easier to see why Bollywood prefers to adapt Tollywood stories. This tendency can be attributed to multiple factors:

  1. Commercial viability: Tollywood films have experienced notable commercial success both locally and abroad. Bollywood producers have noticed the considerable box office success of films like “Baahubali” and “Arjun Reddy” and believe there is potential to adapt similar stories for a larger audience.
  2. Existing Fan following: Bollywood may use an established fan following and inherent brand familiarity by adapting storylines from Tollywood. This lowers the risk of releasing a new movie because the plot has already demonstrated viability.
  3. Creative Inspiration: Bollywood filmmakers draw inspiration from Tollywood’s inventive narrative. Through adaptation, they can retell well-known tales using their unique perspectives, giving the story additional depth and meaning.

Controversies and Criticisms:

Bollywood’s penchant for adopting stories from Tollywood has not been without controversy despite its commercial success. Critics have voiced concerns regarding cultural appropriation, originality, and ethical implications:

  1. Cultural Appropriation: Some claim that Bollywood’s adaptation of Tollywood storylines constitutes cultural appropriation since it may improperly acknowledge or pay South Indian artists for their creative efforts. This raises questions about the moral ramifications of taking stories from one cultural context and using them in another without acknowledging the contributions of the original authors or the artistic heritage from which the stories originated.
  2. Lack of Originality: The Hindi film business needs more originality, as evidenced by Bollywood’s propensity to rely on Tollywood film remakes. Bollywood typically opts for safer solutions by modifying tried-and-true formulae and well-established themes rather than investing in novel ideas. The dependence on pre-existing content curtails inventiveness and perpetuates a state of inertia, impeding the investigation of novel narrative pathways and motifs.
  3. Ethical Concerns: Adapting stories from Tollywood gives rise to ethical concerns, particularly about appropriate attribution and portrayal. Bollywood must treat delicate cultural issues with consideration and decency when they arise. Failing to do so may result in inaccurate interpretations or misrepresentations of cultural heritage, damaging stereotypes being reinforced, and the integrity of the original tales being compromised.

Navigating the Future:

Bollywood must tread carefully and honourably when navigating the trend of Tollywood story adaptations in light of these criticisms. Respect for one another, cooperation, and openness are fundamental values that ought to direct this cross-cultural discussion:

  1. Promote Collaboration: Rather than just repurposing stories from Tollywood, Bollywood ought to make an effort to promote increased cooperation and alliance with the South Indian film industry. Opportunities for collaborative creativity and innovation can arise from co-productions and joint ventures.
  2. Respect Intellectual Property: Bollywood must ensure that the original authors of Tollywood stories receive due credit and pay for their works of art. This deepens the ties between the two businesses while also encouraging ethical behaviour.
  3. Promote Originality: Bollywood should prioritize producing original material that captures the depth and diversity of the Indian narrative, even though adaptation can be a useful creative tool. The industry’s long-term growth and sustainability depend on investing in new talent and supporting new voices.


The phenomenon of Bollywood continuously copying Tollywood movie stories is a complex and multifaceted one, shaped by commercial interests, creative inspiration, and cultural dynamics. Although adaptation presents chances for artistic reinterpretation and cross-cultural interaction, it also poses significant queries of originality, authenticity, and ethical responsibility. Bollywood can capitalize on Tollywood’s narrative diversity and make a positive impact on a more diverse and inclusive global film industry by handling this trend with honour and decency.

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