Satyan Anthikad


Priyadarshan (Malayalam: പ്രിയദര്‍ശന്‍, Hindi: प्रियदर्शन) is a popular film director from Kerala, India. He has directed numerous popular hit movies in Malayalam in the 1980s and 1990s. In Bollywood, he is known for making remakes of Malayalam films, not always his own, and seldom with attribution.

Early Life and Family

Priyadarshan hails from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala where his father Mr.Nair worked a librarian at the University of Kerala. It was here that he got the opportunity to read literary works of famous writers. His fascination for comics and fairy tales reflects in his movies. As a child, Priyadarshan aspired to be a cricketer. However his hopes of a career in cricket were cut short following an injury to his left eye by a cricket ball. He would later wear dark glasses when appearing in public. Priyadarshan met his wife, Malayalam actress Lizzy (Lakshmi Priyadarshini), on the sets of his second film. They have worked together in twelve movies. He has two children, daughter Kalyani and son Sidharth. Megastar of the Malayalam industry Mohanlal is one of Priyadarshan's closest friends.


Around the same period many of his friends from Thiruvananthapuram joined the film industry including Superstar Mohanlal, singer M. G. Sreekumar, producer Suresh Kumar are few among them. Priyadarshan is said to have ventured into films by chance. His first movie Poochakkoru Mookkuthi in Malayalam was a block buster. His success is generally attributed to the new outlook, particularly slaptstick comedy which is extensively used in his films. Mohanlal has played the lead character in some of his most successful films. Their best work till date has been considered to be Chithram (Malayalam, 1987). Another movie Kilukkam was one of the biggest hits in the history of Malayalam cinema.

Foray into Hindi Remakes

Apart from Malayalam films Priyadarshan has also directed Hindi, Tamil and Telugu movies. His foray into Bollywood was with the movie Muskurahat (1993) remake of malayalam film Kilukkam. This was a failure at the box office and it went largely unnoticed. His first successful Hindi film was Gardish, a remake of the malayalam film Kireedam (1989).

He made his second foray into Hindi films with the remake of the acclaimed Kamal Haasan starrer Thevar Magan (Tamil) in Hindi. The film was titled Virasat and was made with the help of writer Vinay Shukla. The success of the film established Priyadarshan as a sought after director in Bollywood along with the cast and crew of the film including Tabu, Ravi K Chandran (cinemotography) and Anu Malik (music).

He later came up with a string of remakes including Hera Pheri (2000) (remake of Ramji Rao Speaking), Hungama (2003) (remake of Poochakkoru Mookkuthi), Hulchul (2004) (remake of Godfather), Garam Masala (2005) (remake of Boeing Boeing), Chup Chup Ke (2006) (remake of Punjabi House) and Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007) (Remake of Manichitrathazhu)

Priyadarshans movies are noted for their rich exotic visuals, songs and slapstick humour. He often works with the technical team comprising of N. Gopalakrishnan (editor), S. Kumar (cinemotography) and Sabu Cyril (art director).

Some of the remakes of Priyadarshan however failed to achieve boxoffice success. These include Muskurahat (1993), Kabhi Na Kabhi (1997) (not a remake), Doli Sajake Rakhna (1998) (remake of Aniyathipravu), Yeh Tera Ghar Ye Mera Ghar (2002), (remake of Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam)and Kyonki (2005)(remake of Thaalavattom).

Allegations of Plagiarism

Several critics have pointed out that Priyadarsan relies on plagiarism from other films, particularly critically or commercially successful Hollywood productions. For instance, Thalavattam is heavily based on the Oscar winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Other notable instances include Vandanam (Stakeout), Kakkakuyil (A Fish Called Wanda), Malamaal Weekly (Waking Ned Divine), Garam Masala (Boeing Boeing). His Hindi films are mostly remakes of older Malayalam movies, usually of a different director and screenwriter.

The original directors and screenwriters are either not acknowledged in the Hindi version, or are acknowledged simply under 'Story'. For instances Hulchul was originally written and directed by Siddique-Lal who was not credited as the screenwriter in spite of it being an exact copy (with dialogues translated to Hindi). Soon after the release of Bhool Bhulaiyaa, in an interview with, the original screenwriter Madhu Muttam claimed that he was not consulted with and the original director, Fazil (also Priyadarshan's mentor) refused to comment on the film. When asked about plagiarism accusations, Priyadarshan told The Hindu that "Today, 99% of the films are copied" . It is also a generally held opinion that Priyadarshan's remakes are far inferior in quality to the originals.

The table below lists the remakes Priyadarshan has made in Hindi vs the original film:

Film Year - Cast Original Film Year - Cast
Untitled 2009 - Salman Khan, Aishwarya Rai
Pirate (film) 2008 - Kunal Khemu, Deepika Padukone, Paresh Rawal, Rajpal Yadav
Billo Barber 2008 - Irfan Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Lara Dutta Kadha Parayumbol 2007 - Sreenivasan, Mammootty, Mukesh, Jagathy, Meena. Director - R.Mohanan

Kanchivaram 2008 - Prakash Raj Own creation
Mere Baap Pehele Aap 2008 - Akshay Khanna,Paresh Rawal Ishtam 2001 - Dileep, Nedumudi Venu. Director - Sibi Malayil

Dhol 2007 - Tusshar Kapoor, Kunal Khemu, Rajpal Yadav, Sharman Joshi In Harihar Nagar 1990 - Mukesh, Siddique, Jagadish, Asokan. Director - Siddique-Lal
Bhool Bhulaiya 2007 - Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Shiney Ahuja,Amisha Patel Manichitrathazhu 1993 - Mohanlal,Suresh Gopi,Shobana Director - Fazil
Bhagam Bhag 2006 - Akshay Kumar, Govinda, Paresh Rawal, Lara Dutta Mannar Mathai Speaking
1995 - Mukesh, Saikumar, Innocent, Vaani Viswanath. Director - Mani C kapan
Malamaal Weekly 2006 - Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Ritesh Deshmukh, Reema Sen Waking Ned Divine(English) 1995 - Ian Bannen, David Kelly ,Fionnula FlanaganDirector - Kirk Jones
Chup Chup Ke 2006 - Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Punjabi House 1998 - Dileep, Mohini. Director - Rafi & Macartin
Kyon Ki 2005 - Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Rimi Sen Thalavattam 1986 - Mohanlal, Karthika, Lizy. Director - Priyadarshan
Garam Masala 2005 - Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Paresh Rawal Boeing Boeing 1985 - Mohanlal, Mukesh, Sukumari. Director - Priyadarshan
Hulchul 2004 - Akshay Khanna, Kareena Kapoor, Amrish Puri Godfather 1991 - Mukesh, Kanaka, N.N. Pillai. Director - Siddique & Lal
Satyaghat - Crime Never Pays 2003- Mohanlal, Rami Reddy Abhimanyu 1992 - Mohanlal, Rami Reddy, Director - Priyadarshan
Hungama 2003 - Akshay Khanna, Rimi Sen, Aftab Shivdasani Poochakkoru Mookkuthi 1984 - Mohanlal, Menaka, Shankar. Director - Priyadarshan
Laysa Laysa 2002 (Tamil) - Shaam, Trisha Krishnan, Madhavan Summer in Bethlahem
1998 - Jayaram, Suresh Gopi, Manju Warrier. Director - Sibi Malayil 1980 - Mohanlal. Director - Priyadarshan

Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar 2001 - Sunil Shetty, Mahima Chaudhry Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam 1986 - Mohanlal, Karthika. Director - Satyan Anthikad
Hera Pheri 2001 - Sunil Shetty, Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal Ramji Rao Speaking 1989 - Mukesh, Saikumar, Innocent. Director - Siddique & Lal
Kabhi Na Kabhi 1998 - Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff,Paresh Rawal,Pooja Bhat - -
Doli Saja Ke Rakhna 1998 - Akshay Khanna, Jyothika Aniyathi Pravu 1997 - Kunchako Boban, Shalini. Director - Fazil
Virasat 1997 - Anil Kapoor, Tabu, Pooja Batra Thevar Magan (Tamil) 1992 - Kamal Haasan, Revathi, Gauthami. Director - Bharathan
Saat Rang Ke Sapne 1997 - Arvind Swamy, Juhi Chawla Thenmavin Kombath 1994 - Mohanlal, Sobhana. Director - Priyadarshan
Gardish 1993 - Jackie Shroff, Amrish Puri Kireedam 1989 - Mohanlal, Thilakan. Director - Sibi Malayil
Chori Chori 1988 - Mithun Chakravorthy, Gauthami (Hindi version directed by K.BAPPAIAH) Chithram 1988 - Mohanlal, Renjini. Director - Priyadarshan
Muskurahat 1992 - Jay Mehta, Revathi Kilukkam 1989 - Mohanlal, Revathi. Director - Priyadarshan
har dil jo pyaar karege 2001 - salman khan, rani mukherji, priety zinta - chandralekha 1997 mohanlal, sreenivasan


Priyadarshan has won awards both from the State and Central government for his movies, He won the Kerala State Award for Best Director in 1995. He made a mulitilingual Kalapaani (1996), (Originally made in Malayalam)which told the story of freedom fighters in the jail at Andaman and Nicobar islands, which starred Mohanlal, Amrish Puri, Prabhu etc. It bagged 4 National Awards including awards for Santosh Sivan (cinematography) and Sabu Cyril (art direction).

Selected Filmography


External links

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