impressions on my mind coasting through life's journey...

Bollywood's Xerox machine

Just happened to see the promos of Mahesh Bhatt's new film Killer. It sure is a killer, guess which film it killed - Collateral ; Irfan Khan plays Tom Cruise, Hashmi , the serial kisser, plays Jamie Fox, and ofcourse, in true Bollywood tradition -some masala in the form of a heroine for some naach gaana- kahani me twist as they say.
So what's new you are gonna say? Bhatt has never made any bones about copying films.
Let's look at his record in the past : From Dil hai ke maanta nahin - It Happened One Night, Zeher - Out of Time , Murder - Unfaithful, just to name a few. Probably the only few original films that came out of the Bhatt 'factory' were Arth and Naam. Bhatt had made a big deal about retiring from film making a few years ago, but he's back. And he's not alone. There is Sanjay Gupta (of Kaante fame) who has mastered the art of frame to frame copy - Zinda - OldBoy. Check out this review and the following reactions to it.
To paraphrase a comment "Amitabh Bachchan has often said that Indian cinema is actually so good that the term Bollywood is actually demeaning. But, when he agrees to act in a movie (Ajnabee) which is a frame-by-frame copy of a Man on Fire, he undermines his own credibility, as well as that of his industry."
So even the great Big B cannot help but be a part of it. Years ago it was Naseerudin Shah who did it in Jalwa - Beverly Hills Cop; when he left the Parallel Cinema to go full blown commerical. So the bottomline is that apart from the occasional original script(mostly an art film and rarely commerical), Bollywood has exhausted its creativity and has to look to Hollywood for inspiration. One can imagine that the story telling session consists of walking down to the local video library, renting the latest Hollywood release, getting a six pack of beer (or khamba if you like) and rest easy on the couch watching the DVD.

If the creative brain cells are missing and one has to be inspired then one should have the basic courtesy to say so, rather than to pass it off as one's own story, screenplay etc. Check out the credits in a Mahesh Bhatt film, the story is always credited to Mukesh Bhatt (what??)
And these people call themselves artists and creative. If creativity involves copy & paste then sure, they are might creative. And then after raking in the moolah they also get awards for it. Isn't that a hoot?

If not Hollywood it could be Tollywood. You have the Kapoor Bros (Boney & Anil) who remake any major South Indian film that was a box office hit. Speaking of remakes, it's the season for them, what with Don, Sholay, Sahib Biwi aur Gulam, Bandini & Umrao Jaan getting remade. How many of these can distract the audience from the original characters convincingly remains to be seen.
Like the first reaction of a Sholay fan is "Are these guys mad, has Big B lost it?", when you hear that Big B is going to play Gabbar Singh. I think Big B should stick to his TV commericals rather than wipe out the good memories that we had of him growing up. Last we heard Pooja Bhatt wants to remake papa Bhatt's Arth - now is that some kind of karma?

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1 Responses to “Bollywood's Xerox machine”

  1. # Blogger Too_Many_Thoughts

    Thats just India. That's our work, to get "inspired" by an english movie. Not only are Mahesh bhatt, but also tons of hindi movies are remakes. Even when I am watching some old english movie, I go, oh my God, this one is just like so and so hindi movie. That's just how we are and I think we should just accept it.
    Anyways, I accept it and even if it sounds a lil foolish, I am proud to be an indian. I guess, my mom saying, "apna mulk apna hota hai", has finally paid off and I am as patriotic as ever...or maybe its just a phase..

    And this year, almost every american is watching soccer, at least everyone I run into has something to say about it.
    anyways bye and take care  

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