Vantage point

Friday, March 11, 2005

Second thoughts...

When I first saw the site Bollycat, I thought it would be a great repository of plagiarism in the Indian film industry. Sadly, it is run by folks who probably do not understand the meaning of the word "Plagiarism". What else can you expect from someone who spells "writes" as "rights" as seen on the Lagaan page.

Let's start off with Lagaan. Some idiotic reviewer in the Indian press wrote that the movie is probably "inspired" from the Stallone starrer 'Victory'. If you have seen both movies like I have, you will realise how absurd this sounds. Except for a vague similarity in the themes, there is nothing in common to them. "Victory" centres mainly around how the victims will escape from the stadium after the match. Lagaan spends most of the time exploring the dynamics of building a team out of diverse individuals. Except for an underdog team winning at a sport, the two movies are as different as pencils and yoghurt. In fact cinematically, Lagaan is way superior to Victory. Yet, the sitemasters insist Lagaan is a copy of "The Victory"

Going by such a half-baked definition of plagiarism, The Pianist is a copy of Anne Frank's Diary.

The owners of the site seem to have problems with basic comprehension skills, and seem keen to jump the gun without checking up on facts, contrary to all their claims at "cross-verification".

For instance, the site says - is a web-based directory that catalogs Indian movies from 'Bollywood' which have taken their concept from Hollywood movies and those from other industries worldwide without due respect to the original content or it's creators.

Then the site goes on to claim that Black is a "bollycat of" The Mircale Worker. Someone needs to tell them that The Miracle Worker is basically based on the life of Hellen Keller. And Bhansali gives "due respect" to Hellen Keller's life was the inspiration for the movie.

There is a definite need for a site like this. But such a site needs to be run by at least people with basic comprehension skills, if not cinematic knowledge.

What Bollycat ends up doing is riling up people by stupidly slinging mud at the 5% Indian films that are actually original.