The Bollywood List of Plagiarism, Remakes and Inspirations (2008)
I am bad at math and statistics – but I still think there has to be some kind of an index, like the Sensex - to keep tabs on Bollywood plagiarism. It might take time before someone really works out a convincing formula for it – for the moment let’s call it the BoPla. With each Bollywood release, we could recalculate the BoPla and work out if plagiarism in Bollywood is healthy and kicking or a dying art.
Let’s begin with analyzing all major Bollywood releases in 2008. And let’s work out how many have been plagiarized, copied, lifted, inspired and the one-in-a-while officially remade. The were 70 major Hindi releases last year, and let’s try to calculate how many fall into the BoPla category.
1920: Vikram Bhatt’s mix and match of Exorcist and Exorcism of Emily Rose
Anamika: Anant Mahadevan writes and directs his own version of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca
Aamir: Straight lift of Filipino film Cavite
Bachna Ae Haseeno: A cross between John Tucker must Die and Teen Deviyan
Dasvidaniya: A lift of The Bucket List, but nicely done.
De Taali: An urbanised remake of the Telugu film Totti Gang
Dil Kabaddi: Based on Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives
Don Muthuswami: A lift of Sly Stallone starrer Oscar
Dostana: Pretty close to I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry
Ek-the power of One: Remake of Telugu film Athadu – which in any case was a remake of The Wanted.
Ghajini: Remake of Ghajini and a poor copy of Memento
God Tussi Great Ho: Even the poster was a lift of Bruce Almighty
Golmal Returns: Plot pretty close to the 1973 film Aaj ki Taaza Khabar
Hari Puttar: The desified Home Alone
Hello: Official screen adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s terrible novel.
Heroes: Motorcycle Diaries?
Hijack: yet another Die-Hard lift
Karzzzz: A remake of Karz with additional zzzs. Originally stolen from The Reincarnation of Peter Proud.
Krazzy 4: Rakesh Roshan got caught for stealing Ram Sampath’s tune, but still stole the plot of The Dream Team
Kismat Connection: Aziz Mirza is inspired by Just My Luck
Kidnap: A poor remake of Shattered
Maharathi: Based on Gujarati play of same name.
Mere Baap Pahle Aap: remake of Malayalam film Ishtam
Mission Istanbul: Loosely based on John Grisham’s novel The Firm. The legal firm is changed to a News Channel.
One Two Three: Blame it on the Bellboy
Race: Abbas Mastan continue copying – this time from Goodbye Lover.
Rub a Ru: Lifted from If Only
Shaurya: Samar Khan adapts A Few Good Men
Sorry Bhai: Dan in Real life
Sunday: A remake of the Telugu film Anukokunda Oka Roju
U, Me Aur Hum: Ajay Devgan is inspired by The Notebook
Ugly aur Pagli: Straight lift of Korean film My Sassy Girl
Via Darjeeling: Different scenario, but still inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon
Of all the above – only Hello and Maharathi are authorized “adapted” screenplays. The rest are plain remakes, lifts, copies and inspirations.
Out of 70 Hindi films, 32 are non-originals. And among orginals, only Jaane Tu and Singh is King could work at the box office. The rest were maha-flops like Drona.
So, that gives a BoPla index a count of 46%. That means more than half of the filmmakers still have the nerve make original Bollywood movies. They ought to be jailed.