ApunKaChoice : Bollywood


PartnerBollywood continues to ape Hollywood
23rd July 2007  23.46 IST
By N. K. Deoshi  

It is something one would acknowledge with embarrassment rather than pride. The fact is that movies in Bollywood still continue to remain poor copies of Hollywood flicks.

This truth was never obscure. For decades Hollywood has "inspired" Hindi film industry in such a way that some filmmakers simply resort to copy-and-paste formula rather than putting their own creative faculties to some productive use. But for how long can such shameless pilfering continue?

Just a mere comparison of some of the recent Bollywood releases with certain Hollywood flicks will show how "creative" and "talented" filmmakers in Hindi film industry are.

Last week's release Partner , for instance, is almost scene-by-scene copy of Hollywood director Andy Tennant's 2005 romantic comedy 'Hitch', starring Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James and Amber Valletta. Similarities between the two movies will shock you. Even the camera angles in scenes showing Katrina Kaif's conference room or the climax scene on a boat are ditto the same as in 'Hitch'.

And if we take last-to-last week's release Naqaab , we find the film to be a copy of Hollywood flick 'Dot The I', which was made in 2003. The scenes and situations in 'Naqaab' are unabashedly lifted from the Hollywood thriller.

Anyway, Abbas-Mastan , whom many in Mumbai would choose to call "masters of thriller genre", have a history of lifting films and ideas from flicks across the Atlantic.

Their Baazigar (which set off Shah Rukh Khan's career) was a rehash of 'A Kiss Before Dying'. Aitraaz was a copy of 'Disclosure', and Ajnabee a copy of 'Consenting Adults'.

Among films by other directors in last few months, there were movies like The Train and Raqeeb which were ripped off from Hollywood's 'Derailed' and 'Murder by Natural Causes', respectively.

But the most shocking thing this year was to see a reputed production house like Yashraj Films back a movie that had very little original material in it. In case you are wondering, I am talking about Tara Rum Pum .

Its director Siddharth Anand tried to play cleverly. Instead of lifting one film start-to-finish, he borrowed from a number of flicks. So while many portions of 'Tara Rum Pum' resembled the Tom Cruise starrer 'Days Of Thunder', there were scenes and situations in the second half that were shamelessly copied from Italian film 'Life Is Beautiful'.

While the list of Hollywood copies in Bollywood may go on and on, the point to note is that there is a fine line between "being inspired" and copying.

When Ram Gopal Varma gave his own Indianized interpretation to Francis Ford Coppola's 'The Godfather' as Sarkar , it was a clear case of being inspired. Another case of being inspired is Vishal Bharadwaj adapting Shakespeare's works to Indian milieu in his films like Maqbool and Omkara .

The bottom line is: filmmakers in our industry ought to have a little bit of self-respect and conscience to apply their own creative imagination rather than to copy things from Hollywood. Unless that happens our Hindi film industry will be called by the same embarrassing name - Bollywood.

The Train
Yashraj Films
Tara Rum Pum
Ram Gopal Varma
Vishal Bharadwaj

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