HomeEntertainmentYou did not know these Bengali adaptations of popular films existed

You did not know these Bengali adaptations of popular films existed

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In a world where Hollywood’s gloss and grandeur dominate the silver screen, a cinematic treasure trove in Bangladesh dances to its own beat. Far from the well-trodden paths of blockbuster narratives, Bangladeshi filmmakers have embraced the art of adaptation with a twist so unique it could only be born in the cultural kaleidoscope of South Asia. From singing superheroes to dancing apes, here’s a whimsical journey through the Bangladeshi film industry’s most audacious, hilarious, and unapologetically tacky takes on popular pop-culture icons.

Superman
Let’s start with Bangla Superman, a film that takes the iconic hero on a different journey. Here, Superman’s Kryptonian heritage gets a plot twist: his parents aren’t dead but are captives of the nefarious Zod and his generals. Krypton is still intact, defying the original story arc. Our hero is Earth-bound not by tragic fate, but by a curious requirement to “mature” his powers. And, oh, he dances and sings too, because why not? Adding to the intrigue, Superman’s sweetheart, the Bangla Lois Lane, temporarily enjoys her own set of superpowers. It’s a world where Superman’s traditional narrative takes a back seat to more vibrant, dance-filled storylines.

Goriber Raja Robin Hood
“Goriber Raja Robin Hood” isn’t your typical tale of the heroic outlaw of Sherwood Forest. Instead, it’s the story of two friends, one named Goriber Raja and the other Robin Hood, with Danny Sidak impressively playing Goriber Raja. This film diverges from the English legend, weaving a narrative that’s more about friendship than feudal justice. It’s Robin Hood, but with a twist only Bangladeshi cinema could provide.

Banglar King Kong
“Banglar King Kong” takes the giant ape narrative and gives it a spin so unique it borders on surreal. Set in Cox’s Bazar, this King Kong climbs buildings and breaks into dance. The term ‘tacky’ might be an understatement for this film’s approach to storytelling and special effects, but this quality endows it with a peculiar charm. It’s King Kong like you’ve never seen him before – and perhaps never thought you would.

Shoktir Lorai (Robocop)
Then there’s Shoktir Lorai, the Bangla Robocop, where the high-tech crime fighter’s suit seems to have been crafted from resources more readily available – including a tin helmet that’s a far cry from Hollywood’s polished CGI. Danny Sidak’s eyes and part of his face are visible through the helmet’s holes, bringing a human touch to the otherwise expressionless cyborg. And for those close-up shots of Robocop’s gun emerging from his automatic thigh holster? The film opts for a straightforward splice of original Robocop footage. It’s an unapologetically candid approach to filmmaking.

Machineman
“Machineman” takes inspiration from the Terminator but with a local twist. Imagine the Terminator poster, but with Manna’s face instead of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. The movie leans into the corny, blending science fiction with a flavor that’s quintessentially Bangladeshi.

Boner Raja Tarzan
Unlike the traditional depiction of Tarzan, this Bangladeshi version, directed by Iftekher Jahan, offers a refreshing take on the jungle hero. Sidak’s portrayal of Tarzan diverges from the typical Western representation, adding layers of cultural context unique to Bangladeshi storytelling. The film also stars Nuton as Tarzan’s girlfriend, bringing a dynamic duo to the screen that resonates with the local audience​​.

These films offer a charming alternative to the usual Hollywood fare with their unique blend of local flavor, tongue-in-cheek humor, and unashamedly low-budget aesthetics. They remind us that sometimes, all you need for a blockbuster is a tin helmet, a catchy tune, and the audacity to reimagine the familiar with a delightful twist.

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