The inimitable Kevin Costner is turning 66 in January 18, 2021. Join us in wishing the actor-writer-director Many Many Happy Returns of the Day! Kevin Costner's career is quite a fascinating one. He has been part of some classics like Dances With Wolves, The Bodyguard, The Untouchables, etc that continue to enthrall the viewers even now. But Costner is also known for his big misfires that also continue to be talked about, be it his Robin Hood film, or the highly divisive Waterworld or the post-apocalyptic thriller The Postman. Sean Connery’s The Untouchables Co-Actor Kevin Costner Remembers the Late Actor, Says ‘He Was the Biggest Star That I Ever Worked With’.
In recent years, Costner is rather happy taking supporting roles in big movies like Man of Steel or Hidden Figures. Or being the lead in indie flicks like The Highwaymen and Criminal. But in this special feature, let's look at how some of his films have inspired Bollywood.
Starting off with the most obvious is The Bodyguard.
The 1992 film is about a former secret service agent who becomes bodyguard to a popstar. Whitney Houston, who played the female lead, gave the hit song "I Will Always Love You" in this film.
The Bodyguard later inspired director Ravi Raja Pinisetty to remake the film, and even simply translating the title into Hindi, as Angrakshak. The movie starred Sunny Deol and Pooja Bhatt in the lead.
Now let's talk about another Kevin Costner classic, Dances With Wolves, that went on to even inspire Hollywood itself. James Cameron's Avatar has its premise bear closely to that of this 1990 film, that was directed by Costner himself. Dances With Wolves won seven Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director.
While Avatar owns its inspiration to Costner, so does Mahesh Manjrekar's Praan Jaye Par Shaan Na Jaye. The whole thread of Aman Verma coming to a chawl to slyly convince the tenants there to evacuate their houses on behest of a corporation, and then standing against his own employers, is inspired by Costner's film. Interestingly, this thread is actually similar to Mohanlal's Malayalam film, Vietnam Colony that came out in 1992. So we know who stole first!
Then let's talk about one of the best gangster thrillers of all time, The Untouchables. Based on the real-life capture of the crime-lord Al Capone, this 1987 classic starred Costner, the late Sir Sean Connery, Andy Garcia and Robert De Niro (who played Capone).
The Untouchables inspired this lesser-seen action thriller made by David Dhawan in 1989. Jurrat, starring Kumar Gaurav and Shatrughan Sinha, was nearly a replica of the film. Akshay Kumar's Aan: Men at Work was also loosely inspired by the movie. What's interesting is that both the films had Shatrughan Sinha in common.
What's more, the iconic scene in The Untouchables of Capone killing a gangster with a baseball bat was used to similar effect in a scene in Indra Kumar's Pyare Mohan, where Boman Irani was Capone's stand-in. (Akshay Kumar's Mission Mangal also shares a faint semblance to Costner's Hidden Figures, but it's not worth putting on this list). Kevin Costner Reveals Robin Williams Almost Played His Role in 'Field of Dreams'.
Let's talk about a lesser known Kevin Costner film, American Flyers, that came out in 1985. The sports drama was about two brothers who bond over bicycle racing.
This particular thread was one of the two inspirations behind the Aamir Khan 1992 classic Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander, the other (and the more major one being) the 1979 movie Breaking Away.
When we talk about one Khan, can we leave out the other Khans? The 1990 thriller Revenge is considered as one of Costner's less-appreciated films. He plays a former Air Force officer who falls for the young wife of an aging crime lord, which leads to disastrous consequences.
Albeit taken a lot of creative changes, Revenge was still the inspiration for Rakesh Roshan's 1997 film Koyla, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit, with the late Amrish Puri playing the villain. Instead of being the villain's friend, SRK's character is more of his loyalist who breaks out to rescue the young girl who the old man marries, only to bear the latter's wrath. Before Koyla happened, Mahesh Bhatt was to remake Revenge with Rahul Roy in the lead. The movie that was called Khilona got shelved, however.
In 2002, Kevin Costner was the main lead in a supernatural thriller, Dragonfly, that had him as a widower doctor who senses that his deceased wife is communicating with him.
An year later, Anurag Basu ripped off this movie as Saaya, starring John Abraham and Tara Sharma. With added melodrama and some lovely songs, Saaya, however, failed to impress at the box office.
Finally, let's talk about the 1993 film A Perfect World. The crime drama had Costner's fugitive kidnap a young boy and take him as a hostage, but they bond together while on the road.
This plotline of A Perfect World was the inspiration for the 2017 Hindi film, Madaari. While the basic thread is the same, Madaari also added a social angle to the story.
While the film was an average grosser at the box office, it is with some sadness that we remember Madaari now, as it stars the late Irrfan Khan (whose wife, Sutapa Sikdar, was one of the producers), and was the last film directed by the late Nishikant Kamat, both of whom passed away last year. A Perfect World was also an inspiration for Abhishek Bachchan's plotline in Anurag Basu's Ludo.
Did we miss out on any more times Kevin Costner's films inspired Bollywood? Do enlighten us in the comments section below.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 18, 2021 04:33 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).