cogito ergo vagus

February 25, 2006

Hollywood “via” Bollywood

Filed under: about me,movies,rants — vagus @ 7:24 am

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:

The Da Vinci Code, Firewall, The Good Shepherd, The Omen, A Scanner Darkly, Mission Impossible 3, Cars, Superman Returns, X-Men 3, Miami Vice, Bean 2 to name a few.


1 Comment »

  1. Many popular Hindi movies might be rip-offs of Hollywood movies but there are artistic ones too like Ab Tak Chhappan, Lakshya…. even Rang De Basanti, Lage Raho Munnabhai…

    You can’t stop watching all Hindi movies thinking all of them are copies, that would be unfair. Just avoid ones that give you a sneaky feeling that they aren’t worth your time, unless they later on become huge hits and no one finds any plagiarism in them. Then you might risk watching one.

    But films that look alright (not the masala type and which promise creativity) are safe to watch and very often brilliant showpieces of things in Indian context.

    After all don’t know about you but I got bored of watching movies in the American context and now I stay away from them and tend to watch the better Hindi movies.

    Comment by someone — September 8, 2007 @ 3:41 pm | Reply

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