Thursday, November 17, 2005

Pilferers and Plagairists

We do have many of them, but director Priyadarshan takes the cake. All his Hindi movies are 'inspired' from Malayalam blockbusters (except 'Kabhi Na Kabhi', and we all know how good that was!). So what - at least he makes some classy comedies in the bargain, you might ask. Fair question (even though there have some unforgivable mutilations of Mallu classics like 'Kireedam' and 'Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam') - my gripe against the man is not that he churns out endless remakes. My complaint that for a plagairist, he's so darned arrogant! For instance, check out his latest interview (from Rediff):

"'Kyon Ki' was from my heart; it's failure broke my heart...I want to make films that I believe in, but now it doesn't seem possible. But...it doesn't seem possible, at least in Hindi, where the market is dictated by formula...If films where Bollywood stars try to go beyond convention don't work, they will continue to do the same kind of safe films. No wonder big banners like Yash Raj Films make films based on formula. At least they're ensured of their success."

Who's he trying to convince? 'Kyon Ki' was a remake of 'Thalavattom', which in turn heavily borrowed from the classic 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'. Where does the 'experimental' bit come into the picture? And pray, what 'experimental' movies has Priyadarshan made in Malayalam? A 'Kaala Paani'? Apart from the technical finesse (courtesy Sabu Cyril, Ilayaraja and co), that movie was a collage of scenes from internationally renowned movies (including 'Schindlers List' and 'Papillon'). Just a few of Priyan's movies:

Garam Masala - Boeing Boeing (Mal) - Boeing Boeing (Eng)
Vandanam - Stakeout
Cheppu - Class of 1984
Chitram - Joru Ka Gulam (allegedly, have not seen it myself)
Kakka Kuyil - A Fish Called Wanda
Chandralekha - While You Were Sleeping + Crocodile Dundee climax
Hulchul - Godfather (Mal)
Hungama - Poochaykku Oru Mookkuthi
Abhimanyu - Godfather II (the De Niro portions)
Megham (is not even worthy of being called a movie!)
Vettam - French Kiss
Kyon Ki - Thalavattom - One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Gardish - Kireedom
Yeh Tera Ghar... - Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam
Doli Sajake Rakhna - Aniyathipravu
Viraasat - Thevar Magan (this one is credited to Kamal for the screenplay, though)

and so on, and so forth. Guess you get the picture!

So I get really irritated when Priyan discourses on how audiences don't like experimental movies. Priyan, first learn to make them - and then blame the audience!

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