Some time back I watched I am Legend, and wrote about it. It was, to me, a brilliant movie idea executed very well. Of course, there are always moments when you go “Oh damn, they could’ve dealt with THIS part slightly differently!”, but by and large that did little to radically change my overall good impression of the script, storyline and execution.
The movie is based on Richard Mathesons book as we had discussed in that post. The book was first made as a film in 1964, and then again in 1971. I am Legend was the third adaptation. Although this is a well known fact, no one sighed or rolled their eyes or dismissed it as a me-too.
Stop and think about it. A third attempt. A much used plot. Yet, why was there not much rolling-the-eyes?
Now consider this.
You’ve watched Pyar Toh Hona Hi Tha? Well that’s French Kiss. Bad Boys, Reservoir Dogs, Hitch, When Harry Met Sally, What Lies Beneath…..they’ve all been used. And its not as if the cinema viewing public doesn’t know about it. The Blogosphere is full of these references, for example this exchange of comments in the forum of Think Digit. And everyone is noticing these supposed ‘inspirations’ and eyes roll about in their sockets in a crazy frenzy all the time. With each release of such ‘inspired’ movies, reports suggest that Ophthalmologists yelp out in joy and keep their clinics open for 3 extra hours each day.
DishumDishum.com, the blog dedicated – sort of – to Bollywood exploits even made a sort of a cross referring analysis of the general views in the blogosphere on shameless copythis, copythat orientation of Bollywood. They even referred the post of a famous blogger you follow religiously.
Apparently, and I havent noticed any myself, no credits have been made to the original in any of these ‘copywood’ releases, as DishumDishum.com calls them. And really that lack of grace is probably what sets eyes rolling. Adaptations are not new and need not be objectionable. But trying to pass it off as your own certainly is.
Oh and theres music. Take a look at this.
It is time for some serious change. As people of this country, we have history of producing some of the worlds most awe inspiring creative thoughts. But now we confront creative bankruptcy.
Now read this refreshing piece and you will see what I mean. What incredible magic with just black and white! As Karthik points out, what brilliance in 1959!
It is now 2008.
We seem to have have mastered the art of One Step Forward, Two Steps Back. I won’t be surprised if 9 out of every 10 movies is a copy. Nothing surprising, if you consider that 8 out of 9 alphabets in the name of our movie industry is a copy afterall.
The fact that the media, industry and the public allowed the industry to be called Bollywood should say something.