Monday, March 5, 2007

Adaptations and Inspirations?

I saw this movie "I see you". I am not sure if many people even heard the name. Its a recent Hindi Movie starring Arjun Rampal and a newcomer Vipasha. This is almost frame-by-frame remake of an english movie "Just Like Heaven" with a little more drama to bring the movie to the climax.

Find below the characters in the movies and their roles

Arjun Rampal (TV Anchor) - Mark Ruffalo (Architect)
Vipasha (Nurse or Doctor not clear) - Reese Witherspoon (workaholic Doctor)
Chunkey Pandey (hero's colleague & friend) - Donal Logue (hero's friend, not colleague)
Kirron Kher (heroine's mom) - Dina Spybey (heroine's sister)

The more I see good english movies, the more I realize that many Indian (Bollywood or Tollywood or Kollywood)( are either inspired (saying the euphemistic way) or adapted from them.

Ek Ajnabee - Man on Fire
Deewar - Great Escape
Murder - Unfaithful
Koi Mil Gaya - ET
Hum Tum - When Harry met Sally
Kaante - Reservoir Dogs
Kyon Ki - One flew over the cuckoo's nest,
Teen Deewarein - Shawshank Redemption
Ghazini - Memento
Athadu - The Wanted

The above list goes on. The list becomes many times bigger in case of music. The words Bollywood, Tollywood and Kollywood are again taken from Hollywood.

When I was in my school, I had seen Criminal (Nagarjuna's movie). I loved the movie though it didnt go well with audience. I thought it was a very well thought and made movie was used to wonder how these directors get those ideas. Few months before I saw Fugitive and its disappointing to know that they just translated the movie into Telugu/Hindi instead of at least adapting. I dont mind if movies are adapted, like Sarkar. Adaptations can be used to reach out to people who have not heard that theme before. But cannot stand these true translations without even making an effort to understand & adapt to the culture. Leave alone indian movies which are remake of english movies, Hindi movies are made from South Indian movies and Vice Versa without trying to adapt the same.

I wonder if our movie producers/directors/story writers copy those from the west coz we cant find anything new? Do they do it coz they have exhuasted all the topics? Its hard to believe that a country with about 100 crores producing highest number of movies in the world cannot come up with new themes/topics. Or do they do it coz they find it easy and convenient and take audience for granted?

The positive thing about the current scenario is that the Indian cinema is currently going through a lot of changes. Lot of good things are happenning. I hope the trend of copying western movies changes with a lot of new people getting into this industry and lot of people given chances like never before.


Anshuman said...

Yeah I agree. If there is a good story already available that can to be told it should be done but director should atleast make sure he tells the story his way.

There are numerous other instances which are direct lift offs:

Khotte Sikke - For a Few Dollars more
China Gate - The magnificent seven - seven samurais
Zalzalaa - McKenna's Gold
Chachi 420 - Mrs. Doubtfire
Zinda - Korean movie Oldboy
Qayamat - The Rock
Kyon ki main Jhoot nahi bolta - Liar Liar

Badshah is the King of copies ever made, it draws its inspiration from half a dozen movies, no wonder because Nick of Time alone was 90 minutes movie while the directors and producers wanted to make a 180 minute magnum opus. Its draws its inspiration from - Nick Of Time, The Mask, Rush Hour, Mr. Nice Guy. Heh!

But the best copy I have seen has to Khal Naaika which was copied from Hand that rocks the cradle. It was so superbly copied frame by frame, that in one scene Jeetendra is acting to be asleep waiting for some goons to come in to the room. And when they appear, our Jeetendra pulls out a Baseball bat from under the bed and beat the shit out of the goons. Not bad eh? This movie was released in 1993 and hockey stick would have done the trick but no - director had to put in a baseball bat because the original had a baseball bat. Its like a kid cheating in his from a book and ending up writing refer page 120 as well!


Pavan Pochu said...

Thanks for the wonderful inputs Anshu! Your comments look bigger than my post and my post looks like a comment for your post :-)

Pavan Pochu said...

Anshu, I have seen all the movies except the Jitendra's movie you were mentioning. Maybe I'd catch up with the original and the Hindi movie whenever I wanna watch some real comedy show.

Mahesh Bhatt (thru' this spokesman RP) said...

Mr. Bhatt has instructed me to inform you that he is disappointed at not being featured prominently (i.e by name)in your post. After making all those copies, he asks: "What more do I have to do for free publicity?"

Satheesh said...

This is my opinion on why many Indian films does not have original thinking!
The issue stems from film production - there are very few film production houses that are professionally run (even, their ability in evaluating talent is a discussion point). Otherwise, films are produced by underworld, politicians, black money holders whose primany aim is not to run a good business and earn money but only earn money somehow. Producers decide everything in a film. Only directors like Maniratnam, Ramgopal Varma are able to present what they want to. If a producers gets a not-so-good director, the director goes by 'formula' or 'hero-centric' or copies the tested stories.
One recent example to substantiate my point is - Prakashraj. He wants to produce good movies and he is doing it. Some of them are flops but still he is persistent.
When production houses are professionally run by good people, talent & originality will get an opportunity and we will have good films. One more way of improvement - When film production gets corporatised and companies get listed, that will certainly make a difference!

Shubha said...

gud analysis :-) this kinda blog is expected to be written by serious movie watchers like u..

Pavan Pochu said...


Thanks for adding a new dimension to the discussion. The production houses idea made me think. This is something I havent really thought about. I was only thinking about directors, producers, story writers and actors. This is a very valid point. People need good movies and there is huge demand for these and logically there should be supply to try to meet this demand.Production houses is one brilliant way of taking the Indian Cinema in positive direction and making it more creative. Production houses need talent and with a professional production house, there would be process in place. The recruitment would happen. Opportunities need not be restricted to only those with money or influence. Like Ram Gopal Verma factory, lets hope lot more come up and importantly be run in a professional way. Looks like a distant dream to me. Maybe something might happen in the next 5-10 yrs??

Anonymous said...

Tough to answer your questions! At the risk of infuriating my brother(sister)hood, I would say the root cause is that we, Indians, take things for granted. We feel we can get away with impunity. I am not saying plagiarism doesn't exist anywhere in the world, but it is pervasive in our system. Alas! it is becoming our culture.

On a different note, I find that Trivikram does bring nativity to many of the scenes/scripts he copies from! Don't you think!?!

Pavan Pochu said...

Yeah Abhilash. Trivikram surely does bring nativity. Chk out Athadu. Looks so authentic!

Ramya said...

shawshank redemption has nothing to do with teen deewaren

clairvoyance said...

I'm supposed to make a research paper on chandging trends in Indian cinema over the last two decades. Your blog is very impressive. I thought i should ask you for your views!