Indian film makers are getting on my nerves. As far as I remember they have been unable to make a single good film by themselves. There are two parts to this sentence: one, that they have made made a number of original films, all of which are terrible and a waste of time; and two, that they have made good films, all of which are unauthorised adaptions of a film in another language. Especially English films.
A while ago I watched a movie called Rascals and would have got out of the theatre after the first ten minutes if my curiosity to find out to what extent they had adapted it had not got the better of me.
As it turned out, they had adapted every bit of one of my favourite films, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine. Unfortunately, the names were on similar lines too.
Perhaps the only difference was a small segment at the end which was far more unbelievable than a cartoon.
And just today I watched another acclaimed Hindi film, Dhoom 2, and realised that I had come close to hating all Hindi films.
Unfortunately I had not watched Heat (Al Pacino, Robert DiNiro, Val Kilmer) much earlier (I only watched it at the start of this year) so I had not spotted the similarity. I might as well call it reproduction, save with different faces onscreen.
Lt Vincent Hannah (a cop played by Pacino):You know, we are sitting here, you and I, like a couple of regular fellas. You do what you do, and I do what I gotta do. And now that we’ve been face to face, if I’m there and I gotta put you away, I won’t like it. But I tell you, if it’s between you and some poor bastard whose wife you’re gonna turn into a widow, brother, you are going down.
Neil McCauley (a gangster played by DiNiro): There is a flip side to that coin. What if you do got me boxed in and I gotta put you down? Cause no matter what, you will not get in my way. We’ve been face to face, yeah. But I will not hesitate. Not for a second
It goes on with the Lieutenant saying one has got to do his job, and McCauley agrees, saying his job is being a thug, robbing banks, and he has to do his job.
Now those lucky fellows who are proficient in Hindi might want to read the entire quote in Hindi and you get the scene from Dhoom 2 where the cop and the thief are at a Carnival, meeting face-to-face, saying the exact same thing—or at least paraphrasing that ineffectively.
However what disappointed me most was learning that one of my favourite Hindi films (perhaps among just a handful that I really liked,) by name Yakeen, was an adaptation of the English film, fourteen years its predecessor, by name Shattered.
Watch the two and I assure you you will have a déjà vu.
IMDb names it an Unauthorised Indian Adaptation. I do not blame the actors; no doubt they are talented, but it is the other lot, the lot of producers, actors, screenwriters and dialogue writers (yes, the shocking thing is, they are two different people in Indian cinema: why that is so is beyond me.)
Perhaps a new generation ought to replace them? Or will they too follow the footsteps of the very able existing pre-production group in Bollywood—the name being an unauthorised Indian adaptation of Hollywood. Now perhaps some of you would care to re-read this article replacing adaptation by copy?