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Deja Vu…

April 2, 2009

Déjà vu (noun): Also called as paramnesia,or promnesia, is the experience of feeling sure that one has witnessed or experienced a new situation previously although the exact circumstances of the previous encounter are uncertain.

How many times have you encountered a situation like that? I have…umpteen number of times, especially at movies. Flip through the newspapers, and you will realise that every statement or an event looks either heard or seen. That’s Deja Vu. It’s a little different in movies. Because, chances are more that you actually remember the previous encounters (read as the original film). Over the past few days, every film I saw reminded me of some copy cats in our Indian movies. But there’s a catch.

The narratives which our Indian films follow, makes it even more cumbersome to realise if a certain scene has been plagarised or not. Most of the times, it may be the most logical thing that someone would do, given a set of events. If you are a great fan of Telugu Films, especially those which include Venkatesh (Actor), Trivikram Srinivas (Writer), then you would remember this 2004 movie, Malliswari. Here’s what I realised about certain scenes in the movie….

Scene 1: Venkatesh, Katrina and Sunil enter some paddy fields in the middle of the night and Venki goes on to make a bed sort of thing from the hay for Katrina.

Original Version: “It Happened One Night”, Clark Gable does the exact same thing for Claudette Colbert.

Scene 2: Venkatesh perches Katrina on his shoulders while crossing a stream and then a whack!

Original Version: “It Happened One Night”. Ditto Version!

Scene 3: Venkatesh mockingly asks Katrina if she’s hungry and eats a carrot.

Original Version: “It Happened One Night”

Scene 4: Some goons chase Venkatesh and Katrina and they enter a mall. Then they dodge and try to escape from them.

Original Version: This entire sequence is directly lifted from Steven Spielberg’s “Minority Report” with few changes in the Telugu Version.

And yet, this film as a whole isn’t necessarily a remake/copy of other films. So, where does it all end? Where does the line between obviousness and plagarism blur? The direct result of these findings is the loss of trust in the writer. So far, I have revered Trivikram Srinivas as one of the most intelligent writers in Contemporary Telugu Cinema. And now, I doubt if I can have the same veneration of this writer/director. Of course, I still agree on the fact that he pens some of the most funniest one-liners in all his films. All I can hope is, lets not make it so obvious. Lets not stick to age old themes and tried and tested formulae. For once, maybe we can produce something original. Deja Vu…is sometimes a bad thing. We are always haunted by our past. Sometimes it’s a good thing. Because for everything there has to be a beginning.

Note: I still love Telugu Movies! They produce some of the funniest films in Indian Cinema. There are too many movies from umpteen languages in India which plagarise almost everything and anything, primarily Hindi films. I shall post the same, as and when I come across some…:P


3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2009 9:48 am

    Agree.Scene picks,stunts (most of which started with Matrix-revolutionised the style of freeframe technique),song style or just the song tune might never be a co-incidence but sometimes the escape route to shoot ‘that’ way.or may be inspiration but are we forgetting that film or movie-making in itself is the test of talent?as far as i see,the writer/director who shoot these plagiarized scenes claim the movie to have a new/different/fresh look.i don’t get is stealing creativity.yesterday i was watching ‘ready’ (dir: srinu vaitla) and it feels like a ten-picture-puzzle put together.
    after all this the reason i see why writers pick scenes from old movies(more from classics)is because they are forgotten.but movie-buffs/lovers like us will get to know and only expose it this way.
    oh btw there is a whole new blog having a list of all music directors and the songs (incl the videos) from where they have lifted 😛
    good post hem…aah this topic is so very exhaustive 😀

    • April 3, 2009 9:50 am

      oh btw do more research on this..maybe a link about original and copied versions from different movies 😀

      • Hemanth permalink*
        April 3, 2009 11:38 am

        definitely dude…shall write more about this topic soon!…:)

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