Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bollywood, Plagiarism and The Junta

Here comes another thread of those never ending debates! This time it was my friend Ankurbhai MBBS, who sparked it off. He feels that Indian Cinema sucks! Why? Because here is what he had to say about the latest bollywood blockbuster 'Chak De.....' -

That is exactly what I said: I is a good movie by Indian standards..
to add to that.. Indian Standards SUCK!!!!!
In oscars, they give away two awards, one for the best original script and the other for best adapted script.. in india, we can only give one award, the best plagiarised script..
thats paisa vasool.. the four biggest movies in indian cinema this yr, have all been shamelessly copied/ adapted.. nothin original..

Now this isn't the first time we hear that from someone. In fact there are so many television programs which are there to prove exactly this. And actually no one denies the fact that more than half of our movies are adapted/copied versions of not only hollywood but often Tamil/Malayalam/French movies too. So, what's the debate all about?

The questions to be asked here are :

1. If the ouput is something like RDB, Black or Chak De India, should we still be critical of the director for having copied the script?

2. How does it matter if the script is original or not as far as the audience love it? After all its highly unlikely for most peole in India to ever get to see the originals. So why not serve them with a copy at least?

3. As for the producers and directors, movie production being a business after all, why should they take the pain of coming up with anything new when their business is going fine with the copied versions?

4. A very valid point made by another friend of mine, Preshit :

Agreed that lot of indian directors plagiarise from Hollywood (in some cases, scene by scene as well). But as the original guy, the director of Hitch/Dinner Game/Miracle Worker/ Mighty Ducks etc has the responsibility of taking the movie out to each and every guy. If he fails to do so, tough luck! There will be some David Dhawan/Sanjay leela Bhansali/Shaad Ali who would make use of the opportunity and get there first. Now as a part of movie audience, why the hell should I care what part of the movie is picked up from which hollywood movie? I would rather enjoy the movie than feel cheated because each and every scene has been copied.
Having said that, I agree that once I have seen the original work and then I go and watch its copy, I am going to be angry. But then, it is sort of a chance thing. What Goli is not taking into account is that though I might enjoy watching Partner (for example), when I come to know from another person about it being a copy of Hitch, I am automatically acknowledging the
work of Hitch's creator. (Maybe i am not paying the creator the ticket money for it, but then if he does want the money, he should have got his movie to me before Partner). So if you are talking about the credit for creation of a piece of art, the creator gets the credit sooner or later. What he doesn't get is the remuneration and for that, he will have to work a bit harder.

5. Last but not the least, Is it so that we in India don't make quality cinema at all?

The whole point is that although no one here is trying to defend plagiarism or supporting the 'copying spirit' of Indian filmmakers, but we must analyze the reason behind the current situation. Its not that we cant make good movies at all. After all we have produced some great talents in the field of Cinema. But then commercial movies always have that commercial aspect dominating the artistic one.. No one here is out to create a school of excellence. People want to make money. And I believe Indian cinema is evolving slowly but surely. New ideas and originals are coming up and people do appreciate them. It would certainly be great to have all original scripts but then thats something not even Hollywood or for that matter any other wood can boast of. With time, as the taste of Indian junta changes, movie makers definitely will serve them accordingly.
As movie goers, what we want is entertainment. So, if we leave the rest to the critics and simply enjoy the movies without applying too much of brains, I think we would be able to do greater justice to the bucks we pay for them!


  1. waah yaar.. gajab dimag lagaya.... sahi me..
    if sum1 is copying the movie, isn't it a compliment to the original scriptwriter? although they do not acknowledge.. and that's a different tale altogether.. :)
    PS. Look i'm da first one to read and comment now ! :P

  2. :) yeah......