OTT platforms targeting South Asians are churning out such adaptations giving a variation from mainstream American shows.
Neel Mukerji is a second generation Indian American who has been to India only a handful of times in his entire life. Born and brought up in the Seattle area, Mukerji identifies as Indian American but has a limited understanding and exposure to the nuances of Indian culture.
“Growing up a desi, in America, it is impossible not to watch Bollywood movies. I mean, for many second and third generation Indian Americans, our families feel that Indian cinema will give us a taste of culture we may have missed growing up,” he says.
“While I enjoy occasional Bollywood films, honestly most seem too over-the-top and unreal to me. It was only recently that I discovered some Indian adaptations of European dramas that seemed to appeal to me.”
For many Indian kids born and brought up in America, Indian adaptations of foreign movies seem to fill that essential gap in entertainment they crave for their representation when they see mainstream American movies.
Nisha Bhat, an interior design student based in Bay area says, “I find American dramas quite predictable with their drug cartel or investigative plots.”
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“Indian movies seem too surreal to be true in real life so when a friend recommended that I see alternate Indian cinema or Indian adaptations of European serials it seemed like a refreshing change,” she says.
Recently, OTT platform ZEE5 Global premiered ‘Black Widows’, an Indian adaptation of the Finnish drama of the same name which seemed to have been well-received by South Asian audiences in America.
Expanding the repertoire of European dramas and their Indian adaptations is a film titled ‘Aafat-e-Ishq’, an Indian adaptation of the award winning international Hungarian Film ‘Liza, the Fox-Fairy.’
Directed by Indrajit Nattoji and starring Neha Sharma, Deepak Dobriyal, Amit Sial, Namit Das and Ila Arun, ‘Aafat-e-Ishq’ is the story of Lallo and her quest for true love.
Lallo, portrayed by Neha Sharma, finds herself as a prime suspect following a series of multiple deaths while an ancient curse looms large, threatening to destroy everything and everyone around her.
A dark dramedy, ‘Aafat-e-Ishq’ has an interesting concept with elements and a whodunnit twist. The original Hungarian film ‘Liza, the Fox-Fairy’ was a huge success at the box-office and won awards at numerous film festivals including Best Director, Best Film, Best Actor (Female), Best Visual Effects and Best Soundtrack.
Nimisha Pandey, Head, Hindi Originals, ZEE5 Global, said, “Our constant endeavor is to present relatable stories that encapsulate the various emotions people experience in their lives.”
“We are delighted to hand-pick this story and recreate it for our Indian viewers in a language of their choice. Aafat-e-Ishq is a compelling story rooted in India’s love for the supernatural and fantasy genre.
“The film will certainly stand out for its unique storyline, quirky characters and dark humor, which we are confident will appeal to various consumer cohorts. We are extremely excited to bring this to your screens soon.”
Streaming services are also looking at originals inspired by European plots and stories for that variety that American TV is yet to bridge.