There’s one thing I have observed – Bollywood thrives on copying stuff. Take for instance the KISS font used for the titles in the promos of Imtiaz Ali’s new film, Rockstar. A lot of movies even rip their posters off of other movies.
For those of you who remember, we had done an article on this some time ago. However, Bollywood does more than just copy posters and titles; we copy entire movies. Sometimes, we term them as ‘tributes’ or ‘remakes’ but at other times, they are just bad rip-offs – like the ones I’ve listed below.
So, you really thought that this movie with the iconic Vijay Deenanath Chauhan was actually an original? Think again. It is actually a rip-off of the Al Pacino-starrer, Scarface. Loosely based you may say but the plot is a straight lift. However, Scarface was itself a remake of the 1932 Howard Hawks movie of the same name. And now, Karan Johar is releasing a remake of Agneepath. For some reason, the promos looks like Apocalypse Now. Sigh. The cycle is almost never-ending.
This 1975 film was the first attempt to remake The Godfather in an Indian way (Yup, decades before RGV’s Sarkar). The movie is almost a carbon-copy of the plot of the original movie including the fact that the first wife blows up in a car bombing sequence. Instead of Sicily, Feroz Khan escapes to Afghanistan. Well, it has some heightened, over-the-top Bollywood melodrama.
p.s. Kalyanji Anandji’s music is pretty kickass.
This is another almost-scene-to-scene lift of Unfaithful and guess what it wasn’t alone. That very year there were two other movies, Hawas and Tezaab – The Acid of Love that were copies of the same. The original Hollywood version was just made two years before these movies. Trust me, the Hollywood version has Diane Lane and Richard Gere and it’s way better than its rip-offs. Well, the movie proved that Ashmit Patel can’t act but Emraan and Mallika have sure stuck around after that!
The greatest Hindi film ever made is actually the best rip-off according to me. The plot is “inspired” by Magnificent Seven (a remake of Kurosawa’s Seventh Samurai) and you can smell a lot of Sam Peckinpah here and there. In places you see, they even copied my favourite westerns Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. Scriptwriters Javed Akhtar and Salim Khan have ripped off a lot of the movies from the spaghetti western genre to make this one film. However, this film was technically brilliant when it released (70mm projection and 6 Channel Surround-Sound were unheard of back then). It also invented a new genre: the Masala Western.
Check this brilliant video comparison:
Movies by Abbas-Mastan or Sanjay Gupta
Abbas-Mastan have hardly made any original movie. Yup, that includes Baazigar. I mean you can’t expect people who consider Johnny Lever to be their lucky mascot to be all that creatively original , can you? However they do end up making movies that entertain. Their latest film Players is a sanctioned remake of The Italian Job which itself is a remake of its 1969 version.
Sanjay Gupta has watched a lot of films on DVD and that is very visible in his work as a film maker. Be it the Reservoir Dog’s-rip-off Kaante (which has a similar plot to the Hong Kong movie City On Fire) or the Old Boy-rip-off Zinda. He is supposedly working on the Shootout at Lokhandwala sequel, Shootout at Wadala
There have been a few good movies though like Sholay as I mentioned above and the brilliantly-adapted Manorama Six Feet Under which was a tribute to Chinatown. I read that even Peepli Live was actually inspired by a movie called Invitation to Suicide.
Well, the list is almost endless. I’ve done my best to write about a few of them. Do tell us what you think.