Bollywood has had a long-term relationship with plagiarism and can’t seem to break ties with it. We are still fed XEROXED filmy content in the form of posters, songs, and sequences with the notion that ‘kisi ko kya pata chalega’. However, audiences have begun to notice similarities between their favourite desi films and foreign content, leading to a loss of faith in the native cinema. Meanwhile, many filmmakers refer to their plagiarised work as an inspiration or a tribute.
India’s Got Talent, right? Then, why do we copy?
Here are 20 such examples when Bollywood Ctrl+C’ed content from foreign lands:
1. Beats of Besharam Rang- Makeba
Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone-starrer Besharam Rang, the recently-released track from the upcoming film, Pathaan is allegedly copied from Makeba, the 2016 song sung by French singer, Jain. Netizens noticed that its beats are a carbon copy of the latter and also has a Ghungroo Toot Gaye-like vibe.
2. ‘Gaadi jump karani padegi‘ scene in Dhamaal- Road Trip
Remember when Adi, Manav, Boman, and Roy jumped the car on a broken bridge in Dhamaal (2007)? It was exactly copied from a sequence in the 2000 Hollywood film, Road Trip. Surprised, right?
3. ‘Plane mein gadbad‘ scene in Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya- Friends
This climax scene where Dr. Samir tried to stop Naina from boarding the plane in Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya was a frame-by-frame copied version of a sequence from Friends’ episode, The Last One. Even the dialogues were quite similar. Haan bas phalange ki jagah mag wheel kardia.
4. Music of Saat Samundar Paar- Heart
The iconic introductory music of Divya Bharti and Sunny Deol’s Saat Samundar Paar, the track from Vishwatma (1992) feels similar to Heart, the song by English pop duo, Pet Shop Boys. Listen to this.
5. Film poster of Ra.One- Batman Begins
The poster of Ra.One (2011) was compared to the poster of The Batman Begins (2005). Shah Rukh Khan as G.One carried Kareena Kapoor’s character in his arms quite similarly to that of Christian Bale. Both the posters were designed for superhero films.
6. Major Ram dodging spit in Main Hoon Na- The Matrix
Remember when SRK as Major Ram performed a stunt to dodge saliva coming out of Professor Rasai’s mouth in Main Hoon Na? Similarly, Keanu Reeves did in The Matrix. Of course, Neo was saving himself from bullets unlike Major Ram.
7. Chulbul Pandey smashing Cheddi in Dabangg– Sherlock Holmes
Salman Khan and Sonu Sood-starrer Dabangg (2010) featured a fight scene in the climax that looked quite similar to a sequence from Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes (2009). Look at the punches!
8. Film poster of Rowdy Rathore- The Replacement Killers
Director Prabhu Deva copied the poster of American action film, The Replacement Killers (1998) and presented the composition in his 2012 movie, Rowdy Rathore. Look how Akshay Kumar held the gun like Hong Kong actor, Chow Yun-fat.
9. Vidya removing fake belly in Kahaani- Taking Lives
Remember when Vidya Bagchi threw her fake belly during the climax of Kahaani (2012), revealing that she wasn’t pregnant at all? Well, it wasn’t an original concept, as a similar scene was already presented in Angelina Jolie’s starrer, Taking Lives (2004). Didn’t expect it, right?
10. Notes of Teri Meri- La Betleem Colo-n Jos
Teri Meri, the song from Salman Khan’s 2011 film, Bodyguard, was a rip-off version of La Betleem Colo-n Jos, the Christmas Carol sung by Romanian singer Cleopatra Stratan. Of course, the lyrics were replaced in the Hindi track, however, the notes were exactly like the original.
11. Barfi playing hide-and-seek game in Barfi- The Adventurer
The sliding door sequence in Ranbir Kapoor-starrer, Barfi (2012), was quite similar to a scene from comedy legend Charlie Chaplin’s short film, The Adventurer (1917). Director Anurag Basu had lifted mannerisms of Barfi from Chaplin. However, copying the scene could have avoided.
12. Rancho submitting exam papers in 3 Idiots-Smartest Kid In Class
Remember how Rancho mixed exam sheets after being late for submission in 3 Idiots (2009)? “Sir, aap jaante hain hum kaun hai?” Rancho asked his invigilator during the scene. Well, a similar sequence was already conceptualised in the 2006 Instant Kiwi scratch card commercial, Smartest Kid In Class.
13. Tune of Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi- Ala Balad al-Mahbub
Remember a dream sequence in Raj Kapoor and Nargis-starrer Awaara (1951)? The base tune of Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi was borrowed from Arabian music track, Ala Balad al-Mahbub which featured in the film Weddad (1936). The original song was sung by Umm Kulthum.
14. Rohit Mehra watching his flashback in Krrish- Paycheck
Hrithik Roshan’s Krrish (2006) featured a scene in which Rohit Mehra watches flashbacks of his life through a machine and realises that Dr. Arya is the villain. Well, the sequence was copied from Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman-starrer Paycheck (2003).
15. Arush’s slap game with monkey in Housefull- Night at the Museum
The hilarious monkey scene in Housefull (2010) was copied from the Hollywood film, Night at the Museum (2006). The way Akshay Kumar played a slap game with the monkey was earlier performed by Ben Stiller in the 2006 movie. Of course, both were funny AF.
16. Film poster of PK- Recebi Um Convite
Remember when Aamir Khan went nude for the poster of PK (2014)? Well, it wasn’t an original concept. The poster bears a striking resemblance to the cover photo of Recebi Um Convite, the 1973 music single featuring Portuguese singer Quim Barreiros.
17. ‘The Return Of Khiladi‘ scene in Om Shanti Om- Kopps
Akshay Kumar definitely stole the limelight with his hilarious cameo role in SRK’s Om Shanti Om (2007). The Return Of Khiladi sequence in which Akshay as a super cop caught all the bullets in his hands and transformed them into a bomb was copied from the Swedish action-comedy film, Kopps (2003). Even the gun fire from the crotch was plagiarised from the original.
18. Poster of Aashiq Banaya Aapne- 3 Iron
The not-so-original poster of Emraan Hashmi, Tanushree Dutta, and Sonu Sood-starrer, Aashiq Banaya Aapne (2005), was quite similar to that of 3-Iron, the 2004 South Korea and Japan’s co-production film. Look, same to same. Isn’t it?
19. Vikrant’s shootout in Awara Paagal Deewana- The Matrix
This action sequence from Awara Paagal Deewana (2002) in which Vikrant impersonated Guru Gulab Khatri was frame-by-frame copied from The Matrix. During the shootout scene, Akshay Kumar even wore a similar costume to that of Keanu Reeves in the original sequence. Both the scenes were choreographed by the same stunt director, Dion Lam.
20. Baahubali franchise’s 35 scenes from Hollywood
Not just Bollywood filmmakers do this, even South director SS Rajamouli copy-pasted 35 scenes from several Hollywood films in the Baahubali series. Both Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion featured sequences similar to that of Avatar, 300, The Myth, King Kong, Avengers, Hercules, The Lion King, to name a few. Shocking, isn’t it?
Apart from them, Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaaye, the chartbuster track from the 1990 film, Jurm, was copied from old English song, 500 Miles. Try listening to both of them and notice how similar they sound. Also, Woh Lamhe, the track from Zeher (2005) was xeroxed from a Pakistani song of the same name. The original was the creation of Jal band.
Hey Bollywood, let’s focus on original content only, what say?