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If you know a little bit about international cinema, you're aware that the biggest producer of films in the world isn't Hollywood -- it's Bollywood (Hollywood isn't even number two). And if you know more than a little bit about international cinema, then you're already writing a comment about how the previous statement is inaccurate, because the name "Bollywood" doesn't refer to all of the Indian film industry (just like "Hollywood" doesn't cover Christian films, or pornos, or Christian pornos). To that I say: You're right, and also eat a dick.

However, Bollywood's impressive output of about 1,000 movies per year is a little less impressive when you consider that like 999 of those are apparently thinly disguised ripoffs of U.S. movies, from classics like Chinatown to not-classics like Bruce Almighty. Are Indian moviegoers, as we say in my country, getting "dicked in the eye"? No. No, they are not, because what Indian movies lack in originality they more than make up for in complete and utter insanity. For example, check out the baffling ways they decided to retell famous movies like ...

5
The Silence of the Lambs Is a Bizarre Romantic Movie

Vishesh Films, Orion Pictures

What They Stole From Hollywood:

Sangharsh (1999) is about a young female FBI -- I'm sorry, CBI agent who has to track down a crazy dress-wearing serial killer with the help of an incarcerated genius. Yep, it's The Silence of the Lambs (1991) with Indian actors.

Vishesh Films, Orion Pictures
So he's more into dark meat, I guess?

What They Made Up:

Actually, unlike Hannibal Lecter, the genius behind bars in the Indian version isn't a cannibal, probably because the Hindi language doesn't have any names that rhyme with the word for "someone who eats people." Also, he was unjustly incarcerated. Oh, and one more little detail: While the agent is creeped out by him when they meet and he's kind of a jerk to her at first, slowly they start falling in love. At one point "Hannibal Lecter" fantasizes about running in the snow to meet "Agent Starling" and smelling her arm.

Vishesh Films
Nope, this looks nothing like a cannibal.

The agent also dreams about meeting "Lecter" in a dark, romantic parking lot and making out with him -- all of this while her boyfriend sings to her through the phone (or at least I think it's her boyfriend; maybe it's the Dr. Chilton character?).

The Craziest Part:

The following clip is NSFW due to undiluted batshit insanity (and loud screaming):

That's right, this goes from thriller to romantic movie and then from romantic movie to some sort of Jodorowsky-esque nightmare. It turns out that the serial killer they were looking for planned to sacrifice a kid on a Temple of Doom-style altar in order to be granted immortal powers from an eclipse. The good guys stop him (by impaling him through the gut), but "Lecter" gets hurt and dies in the agent's arms after a tender kiss.

The movie ends with the agent getting a medal for her bravery and thinking about "Lecter." How do I know she's thinking of him, you ask?

Vishesh Films

Vishesh Films

What the fuck, you fucking movie.

4
Leon: The Professional Is a Musical With Explosions

Video Sound Inc., Columbia Pictures

What They Stole From Hollywood:

Bichhoo (2000) follows a cold and ruthless hit man who ends up taking care of his neighbors' daughter after her entire family gets whacked by corrupt officers. Like 70 percent of the movie is lifted straight from Leon: The Professional (1994) ... but without the pedo vibes, because the "little girl" is actually 22 in this version.

Video Sound Inc., Columbia Pictures
Also, it looks like the part of Jean-Pierre the Plant has been recast as a can of coffee.

What They Made Up:

The other 30 percent? All songs and dances. I know I shouldn't be surprised that this is a musical, because every Indian movie is a musical, but it's still jarring to see this badass Terminator of human flesh move like this:

Video Sound Inc.
"I got chiiiiiiiiiills ..."

To be honest, my 70/30 estimate is probably way off, because the first half hour of the movie is about how the hit man met his wife, and of course it was during an elaborate dance number in the street. Then she kills herself and he kills her dad for making her do it, and that's how come he's so cold now, you see.

The Craziest Part:

The best part of the original movie is the shootout at the end when the corrupt cops storm the building and Leon fights them off in classic action movie style. He even gets to jump from an explosion! India looked at that and said, "How do we make this crazier? I know: Let's turn him into Superman, with no explanation."

Video Sound Inc.
Does this mean the girl is Spiderwoman?

I mean, that guy is flying. He just started flying two hours into this movie. Then he actually catches fire, but he just sorta wiggles his arms on the floor until it turns itself off. Also, the real Leon kills, what, like three guys during the five-minute shootout? In the Indian version, the scene lasts twice as long and is exactly six times more brutal -- Indian Leon and Indian Natalie Portman have a kill count of 18. I'm pretty sure more cops died than came into the building.

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3
Talladega Nights Has Drama, Dancing Cartoon Bears

Yash Raj Films, Columbia Pictures

What They Stole From Hollywood:

Ta Ra Rum Pum (2007), like the Will Ferrell "vehicle" Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), is about a famous race car driver with a hot wife, two ridiculously named kids, and a big mansion who loses everything when he's involved in a big crash that traumatizes him. Then he gets better, the end.

Yash Raj Films
This is both a still from the movie and a visual representation of my "vehicle" pun above.

The movie was even shot in the U.S., because there are no cars in India (they have jet packs).

What They Made Up:

Despite having the same fame-disgrace-fame structure as every Will Ferrell movie, this is not a wacky, largely improvised comedy. In fact, some pretty dramatic shit happens: The protagonist's kids, Champ and Princess, decide to help out with the family's finances by not eating, but Champ (ironically) is weak and starts secretly eating from the garbage, ending up with a piece of glass lodged in his stomach, which obviously requires an expensive operation they can't afford.

But before all that: dancing CGI bears.

Yash Raj Films
They are all voiced by John C. Reilly.

At one point, the family breaks into a Disney store at night, and apparently the only security measure in there was a potent nerve gas, because soon they're all dancing with bears. Wait, how is this not the craziest part of the movie?

The Craziest Part:

Because "Ricky Bobby" straight up kills another driver. Like in Talladega Nights, in the last race the protagonist has to conquer his fears by going up against the same asshole who caused him to crash in the first place, but in this version, "conquering his fears" involves intentionally ramming the guy against a wall until his car flips over. Several times. The vehicle peacefully lands in the middle of the track ... and then another car comes out of nowhere and fucking disintegrates it in a huge, unsurvivable explosion.

Yash Raj Films
This seems appropriate.

So, to recap, this is a dramatic remake of a Will Ferrell movie with dancing bears ... and murder. Holy shit, India.

2
Three Men and a Baby Turns into The Matrix With Children

Eros International, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

What They Stole From Hollywood:

Both Heyy Babyy (2007) and Three Men and a Baby (1987) star three bachelors who find a baby on their doorstep with a note claiming it originated within the loins of one of them. They grow attached to the little bastard, and when the mother comes to reclaim her, they're all super bummed. Eventually they get her back and these three chauvinists become her legal guardians, which surely bodes well for the poor girl's future self-esteem.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Personally, I think the rumors of a ghost in this movie are hogwash.

However, technically this isn't a remake of Three Men and a Baby: It's a remake of a Malaysian film that's a remake of Three Men and a Baby, itself a remake of a French movie. So we're three times removed from the original idea here (and it shows).

What They Made Up:

Even though they're supposed to be bachelors, I don't recall Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, or Steve Guttenberg going to any discos and erotically slapping women on the butt in the U.S. version. But don't worry: That definitely happens in this one.

Eros International
This version doesn't have the cocaine subplot because they immediately snorted it all.

Incidentally, is it me or does the disco in the sensual dance number here look a lot like the discos in the sensual dance numbers of Indian Fight Club and Indian Man on Fire? (Yes, India can slip a sensual dance number into literally any plot ever.)

The Craziest Part:

This whole movie is about three men who don't care for kids warming up to a baby and becoming better people. So, what better way of establishing that they hate kids at the beginning of the story than having them fight some? One of the bachelors dresses up as a happy cartoon character for a living, but when he falls asleep on the job and a little kid bugs him about it, he just grabs the brat and throws him across the room.

Things go downhill from there.

Eros International
Ah, that coke's kicking in.

The children land on their feet and immediately assume fighting positions (instead of breaking their necks and dying), because clearly this guy stumbled upon the results of some Indian super-soldiers program. That's when shit gets Wachowskian -- I won't ruin this with a caption:

Eros International

The kids start beating the crap out of him and bashing his head into the floor, until he manages to pry himself from their unnaturally strong little fingers and escape. On second thought, I have no idea why he didn't just flush that baby down the toilet in a panic as soon he saw it.

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1
Mrs. Doubtfire Has Rad Bike Stunts, Kinky Stuff

Raaj Gaand Films International, 20th Century Fox

What They Stole From Hollywood:

Obviously, there are hundreds and hundreds of comedies about men dressing up as old ladies in the world, but the similarities between Chachi 420 (1997) and Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) are too much to be a coincidence: They're both about divorced fathers who resort to pretending to be elderly nannies to be with their children again. There's no way the Indian filmmakers didn't see the U.S. version ...

What They Made Up:

... and they probably got major stiffies, judging by the stuff they added to their remake. I don't recall Sally Field doing any hot bath scenes with lesbian implications in the original, for example. Also, instead of the sad and adorable bus driver with a crush on Mrs. Doubtfire, there's a lecherous cook who just wants to grab Chachi's melons.

Raaj Gaand Films International
"420" refers to what they were sm- you thought of this joke as soon as you saw the title? Oh.

While this deviates considerably from the original movie, it's actually an almost shot-for-shot remake of another Indian Mrs. Doubtfire remake released only the previous year, with the same actor and all, but in another language. What do the Indian people find so fascinating about this story? Is it the universality of a father's love for his children? Or the lesbian bath scenes? Probably the lesbian bath scenes.

The Craziest Part:

Continuing with the sex-obsessed theme, by the end of the movie the protagonist's wife has been fooled into thinking that the venerable old Chachi is actually a huge slut who was sleeping around with the house's staff. Distraught, she goes to her ex-husband's place for comfort ... only to find Chachi's clothes strewn on his bed. Naturally, she assumes they must be fuck buddies, and the mental image makes her head over to nearest bridge to commit suicide.

At this point "Mrs. Doubtfire" jumps onto her motorcycle and rushes to save "her" beloved, even if it means breaking every law of traffic.

Raaj Gaand Films International
And some laws of physics.

Unfortunately, Chachi arrives too late ... so he/she drives the bike off the same bridge the woman just jumped from to rescue her. Finally, this leads to the revelation of Chachi's true identity, which is handled in a manner consistent with the rest of the movie: grossly.

Raaj Gaand Films International
Whelp, that's it for my ability to enjoy a strip tease ever again.


Maxwell Yezpitelok has a free comic you can read and a Twitter you can follow.

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