Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Because Indian cinema reflects multiple styles, cultures, and languages, successful films in one market are often remade in others.
Here is a look at an original and the remakes:
Original - Memento (2000)
Release Date: 5 September 2000
Director: Christopher Nolan
Description: American neo-noir mystery-psychological thriller. This film tells the story of Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) - suffering short-term memory loss (anterograde amnesia) after a head injury- and his grim quest to find his wife's murderer. The story is told through two separate scene sequences: a series in black-and-white that is shown chronologically, and a series of color sequences shown in reverse order. The two sequences "meet" at the end of the film. Throughout the film, you are seem unclear about who the villain is and whether Leonard Shelby is on the right track or not. The story is adapted from the short story "Memento Mori" by Jonathan Nolan.
Remake 1 - Ghajini (2005)
Release Date: 29 September 2005
Director: A. R. Murugadoss
Music by: Harris Jayaraj
Description: Tamil psychological thriller. In the wake of a tragedy that saw his true love Kalpana (Asin) killed at the hands of a cruel gang leader (Pradeep Rawat), Sanjay Ramaswamy (Suriya) suffers from anterograde amnesia. He is driven by a fury to find Kalpana's killer which is fueled by notes, pictures and phrases tattooed on his body providing clues and reminding him to seek revenge. The story brings in a police inspector (Riyaz Khan) who helps uncover Sanjay's story and a medical student (Nayantara) who understands Sanjay's condition.
This version was dubbed in Telugu.
Remake 2 - Ghajini (2008)
Hindi action psychological thriller. Director: A. R. Murugadoss. While including much of the storyline of the Tamil film, there are notable differences. Aamir Khan steps into the role of Sanjay Singhania and Jiah Khan plays the medical student. Pradeep Rawat returns as the villain, Asin reprises her role as Kalpana, and Riyaz Khan returns as the police inspector. The soundtrack stands out with music composed by the "Mozart of Madras" A.R. Rahman. This version takes the best elements of the Tamil version and revises the story with significant input from Aamir Khan who also helped with the translation of the the film from Tamil to Hindi.
Why I Love These Films: While Memento was groundbreaking for the nature of its storytelling, Ghajini doesn't require you to put the puzzle pieces together. Memento focuses attention on the challenge of memory loss, but the remade versions leave no doubt who the villain is. Ghajini doesn't play with the chronology of the storyline like Memento. Instead, the remakes use extended flashbacks to tell the love story of Sanjay and Kalpana - the driving force behind Sanjay's rage. While we have to take it on faith that Memento's Leonard Shelby is very much in love with his wife, as Sanjay falls in love with Kalpana in Ghajini, so do we. His loss becomes our loss - so you want him to succeed on his quest. And rather than toting a gun to mete out his justice, Sanjay focuses his furious energy on building body to succeed in hand-to-hand combat.