ApunKaChoice : Bollywood


Sanjay GuptaBollywood directors go from copy-paste to copyright purchase
08th July 2008  22.15 IST
By Nikhil Kumar  

Finally, Bollywood directors are kicking their irrepressible habit of ripping off Hollywood films. From unabashed copy and paste, they are now resorting to copyright purchase.

People say Bollywood is a derogatory term. I say it is most appropriate. Why? Because for years a good number of filmmakers in Hindi film industry have been taking the convenient course of lifting plots from Hollywood blockbusters rather than straining their creative skills, if at all they have any. Now, at last some of them have apparently begun to suffer from pangs of conscience. So they are taking the legal route of buying copyrights.

Sanjay Gupta - who slaughtered Tarantino's 'Reservoir Dogs' in his Kaante and killed the 'Oldboy' to make his Zinda - is finally changing his ways. Known for making stylish films with sparse content, Gupta is now set to remake a French thriller from the 1950s and is going to - as a totally unexpected change - buy the copyrights to do so.

The movie will be titled 'Master Plan' and will have the same starcast as Gupta's movie Acid Factory . Which means the film will star a host of actors like Fardeen Khan , Irrfan Khan , Manoj Bajpai , Aftab Shivdasani , Dino Morea , Dia Mirza and Danny Denzongpa .

Also reforming themselves are the Abbas-Mastan duo, whose every single film can be traced to some Hollywood thriller - be it 'A Kiss Before Dying' as 'Baazigar', or 'Disclosure' as Aitraaz , or 'Consenting Adults' as Ajnabee , or 'Dot The I' as Naqaab .

Now, Abbas-Mastan are set to remake 'The Italian Job' in Hindi. But it won't be an illegal rip-off. Production house Studio 18 has decided to go the legitimate way and has bought the rights of the original film. Having got the license to copy the film, Abbas-Mastan duo are now going to "Indianize it" and, quite expectedly, revamp and glamorize it by adding two more heroines.

Even though copyright buying does not make filmmakers original, it surely means they have become conscientious. And it also means they have to be creative enough to justify, if not surpass, the original. Cribbing from undisclosed sources means one can simply copy-paste frame-to-frame, which is a child's job. But a legitimate adaptation requires creative skills and is no mean task.

After all, did not Martin Scorsese, the stalwart of a director, win his first Oscar - after four decades in Hollywood - for a film that was a remake?

(Photo shows a still from the 1969 movie 'The Italian Job')

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