Home > Entertainment > Bollywood remakes of Korean movies that stand testimony to India’s Hallyu high
Bollywood remakes of Korean movies that stand testimony to India’s Hallyu high

Somewhere between the advent of K-pop music and the growing appetite for bulgogi and tteokbokki – India got swept up in the Hallyu wave. And the country’s most renowned film industry isn’t immune to this. Here’s exploring a few popular Bollywood remakes of Korean movies.

There’s no denying that most everyone by now has been familiarised with much of what would earlier be confined to the Korean peninsula. From the use of finger hearts and the expression hwaiting! (for good luck) to the growing number of authentic Korean restaurants in major cities – India has taken to all things Hallyu. Naturally, it was only time until Bollywood – known to be inspired by most major events that hit the subcontinent – hopped on the train as well. While some adaptations tanked at the box office, others did well to tide themselves over the ratings. By large, however, they failed to capture the charm that their far eastern counterparts possess. However, if you’re keen on binge-watching something breezy this weekend, we’ve listed a few titles that are worth the shot.

Bollywood movies that are remakes of popular Korean titles

Dhamaka (2021)

This Kartik Aaryan starrer is reportedly an official remake of the 2014 Korean film The Terror Life. It explores the life of a cynical and ambitious TV news anchor who gets an alarming call regarding a terrorist attack following an explosion on a bridge. He then decides to broadcast the same live, hoping for a career comeback. In the Korean rendition, the attack occurs over Han Bridge. It performed well at the box office, consistently placing second on the charts. However, Dhamaka was criticised for its cliched plot and dialogues. Aaryan’s performance, however, was commended.

Radhe (2021)

ACP Rajveer Shikawat – Radhe – goes on a manhunt to find the boss of a crime syndicate in his town in this Salman Khan starrer. This is inspired by the Korean film The Outlaws, which looks at a bunch of local gangsters teaming up with the police to bring down a trio of Chinese gangsters who terrorise civilians. While this soon became the third highest-grossing Korean film of 2017, the Bollywood remake barely made it past the average rating.

Bharat (2019)

Another Salman Khan-starrer, this movie follows the India-Pakistan partition – causing a family to be torn apart. Bharat, one of the children, is in charge of all the others and he tries to keep the promise he’d made to his father. The Korean rendition – Ode to My Father – sees Duk-soo lose his father and younger sister in the Korean war, post which he heads to Germany to work as a miner. There he ends up in the Vietnam war and yearns to find his sister. The former movie raked up box office collections, despite failing to impress critics. The latter, however, was a wild success, continuing to wear the crown of the fourth highest-grossing film in the history of South Korean cinema.

Rocky Handsome (2016)

This John Abraham-starrer is an adaptation of the Korean hit The Man From Nowhere. It follows Kabir – a pawn shop owner in Goa who goes on a vengeful hunt for his eight-year-old neighbour after she gets abducted. The Korean rendition follows much of the same storyline, looking into a former secret agent/pawn shop owner. It was deemed one of the highest–grossing films in 2010. The Bollywood rendition however, performed only fairly at the box office, with mixed reviews.

Te3n (2016)

The Korean movie Montage looked at a kidnapping case that was never solved. That is, until 15 years later, a kidnapper mirrors all its most defining details. The Bollywood adaptation starring Amitabh Bachchan sees a man lose his granddaughter to a kidnapping only to, eight years later, continue on his quest for justice. When a similar case pops up, he works with a cop to investigate further. The Korean movie won several awards while the Bollywood rendition did fairly well at the box office.

Jazbaa (2015)

The Korean movie Seven Days was a thriller that saw a high-flying lawyer defending a convicted rapist to fulfil the demands of her daughter’s kidnapper. The Bollywood adaptation starring Aishwarya Rai and Irrfan Khan follows the much the same storyline. The former was the ninth most-attended domestic film in Korea, winning several awards. The latter, however, received criticism for less-than-desirable production values and poor performances.

Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015)

This Salman Khan starrer sees a man named Prem, who looks like prince Yuvraj Vijay Singh, take his place just before his half-brother is crowned the king. The princess Maithili – engaged to the prince – meanwhile falls in love with him. This is an adaptation of the Korean movie Masquerade which sees a commoner secretly take the place of a poisoned king to save the country from descending into chaos. The latter is believed to be one of the most popular Korean films of all time. The latter, however, didn’t manage to capture its charm.

Barfi (2012)

This beloved Bollywood movie sees Shruti in love with a hearing and speech-impaired man named Barfi. Despite this, she marries someone else. However, her feelings come rushing back when she learns that he’s fallen for an autistic girl. This is reportedly based on the Korean film Lover’s Concerto which looks at a young man in a complex relationship with two girls. The Korean movie did fairly well at the box office while the Bollywood adaptation really garnered praise for the actors’ stellar performances.

Which of these have you seen already?

Hero and Featured Images: Courtesy Dhamaka trailer

Bollywood remakes of Korean movies that stand testimony to India’s Hallyu high

Eshita is a food, alcohol, travel, and entertainment writer who spends her days thinking of the next big trend to write about. She’s a communication graduate with bylines in Conde Nast Traveller India, GQ India, Deccan Herald, and Girls Buzz. When not at work, you’re likely to find her hunting for a good read or charting out the perfect itinerary for a solo trip across Asia.


Never miss an update

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates.

No Thanks
You’re all set

Thank you for your subscription.