Why do I keep breaking my promise to myself to avoid watching Bollywood (Hindi) movies? When will I learn that pretty much every one of these movies I’ve seen has plagiarised content? And the ones I’ve watched and/or don’t know about… well, I don’t know yet whether or not they’re rip-offs.
Take a look at BollyCat heheh. I used to watch Hindi movies as a kid but promised myself to stop after I started realising most of these were flimflam poppycock. Nowadays I’m starting to think that just because nobody has claimed a movie is a cheap imitation, it doesn’t mean it isn’t! It probably is, and might be discovered a while later. Tip: BollyCat has a pending cases section with more names of the guilty. Or should I say presumed innocent until proven guilty?
(I’ll try to omit any spoilers from here on….)
I met some old college buddies at a movie theatre where we watched Taxi Number 9 2 11 and this movie turned out to be a “420“. (420 isn’t that cannabis thing here). I’d seen some clips and music videos from the movie on TV before and thought this looked like a rip-off of Collateral because of the protagonists; one wearing a white suit and the other being a taxi cab driver. I asked if the guy in the white suit was a hitman and/or was being driven around town by the taxi cab driver and was told no. So I thought I would watch the movie to see if I could catch anything.
While watching the movie I didn’t “recognise” the plot/storyline. The guy in the white suit isn’t a hitman, is involved with the taxi cab driver because they have an accident, he loses his key to a bank vault which has his deceased father’s will and testament leaving him a fortune, and the driver won’t give it back to him. After watching the movie I could easily make out a scene taken off Changing Lanes, where the two are alongside each other in different cars on the road, one shows the other a tyre nut spanner, a wheel falls off the other guy’s car and he crashes. I only recalled the scene was from a Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson movie and couldn’t remember the name, so looked it up on IMDB and lo-and-behold, the entire plot/storyline was an inspiration here :-)
This is when I had a “Q.E.D” (a-ha!) moment and renewed my vow to myself: avoid watching Bollywood like it’s a solar eclipse.
I think the modus operandi these days is to lift the “look and feel” from some movies and swipe scenes from some other movies, and they should be flops and/or oldies so that gullible moviegoers realise later they got swindled out of their money. Another recent hit which friends and family were recommending and thankfully I didn’t watch was Bluffmaster, just the gist of the movie made me suspect it was taken off Matchstick Men, and the online/newspaper movie reviews thought so too. I liked the “right here right now” video from the movie though.
Don’t get this wrong, I do think most Hollywood (like 95%, if you want a number) movies also are bunk. I classify the remaining 5% as “worth paying for watching in a cinema when released” and “only worth watching when it eventually shows up on cable TV”.
I keep an eye on Apple’s movie trailers site and Yahoo! Movies’ coming soon site. 2006 is looking like a good year for Hollywood with some interesting movies coming up, not necessarily blockbusters but they fall into the two categories of those 5% I’d like to watch: