Inspirations and Blatant Copies in Tamil Movies
by Rajasekar S. (Visitor Column)
There are two kinds of film makers. The first kind are the ones who are bold enough to quote the source for inspiration. The second kind vehemently denies of any inspiration and tries to convince oneself and others that it is purely a product of their own imagination.
It is natural that any creative person continues to be inspired or get stimulated by things happening in real or reel life, knowingly or unknowingly. But the one that deserves criticism are the filmmakers who are merely doing copy-paste work without giving credits to the original film maker and stealing credits for somebody else's hard work. It is basic courtesy for film makers to give due credits to the original. In that sense, Vetrimaran's bold gesture to credit the films which inspired him to make Aadukalam should be appreciated. Here are some popular movies that are well known among people to illustrate the above point...
INSPIRATION : Nayagan and Pudhupettai from The Godfather
I would say these two Tamil films are the best examples for "Inspiration". As everybody knows that these two movies share the same plot of Godfather trilogy. The basic plot is "How an unassuming normal person eventually becomes a powerful don". For e.g., After the death of Marlon Brando(Vito Corleone) and during the christening of Connie's(Marlon Brando's daughter) son, Al Pacino orders to kill the other New York Dons and Moe Greene. In Nayagan after the death of Saranya, Kamal kills the other dons in Mumbai during the last rites (pindam karaithal). In Pudhupettai, Dhanush orders his men to kill his own father and another don who refuse to pay him. In this scene, Dhanush will be shown sitting in his house with a pistol depicting the killings in a subtle manner.
Examples are plenty to illustrate examples of Inspirations. Devar Magan has scenes inspired by the Godfather. One such example is Sivaji Ganesan's death scene in the movie while playing with his Granddaughters. Similarly In Godfather, Marlon Brando is shown dying when playing with his grand son. Even though the essence of those scenes are the same, the treatment, style and scene construction are different. That is why Time Magazine included both The Godfather and Nayagan in its list of "All-Time 100 Best Films".
It is deplorable to note the number of movies in Tamil which were unflinching copies of Hollywood movies, without giving credits to them. Deiva Thirumagal is lifted from I am sam with some minor changes like Santhanam's comedy & Amala paul's character. It is shocking to see the movie getting the maximum number of nominations at Filmfare awards recently. Technically speaking, any copied movie should be automatically disqualified from awards. Similarly, Avvai Shanmugi is undoubtedly lifted from the movie Mrs. Doubtfire. There are a large number of movies in Tamil that would fall in this category.
As soon as a movie's first teaser release or first look poster releases, the rumors start flying around claiming that the movie is a copy just because of some minor resemblance in the narration. One such example of an accusation is "Vinnaithaandi Varuvaya" is lifted from "500 Days of Summer". The only thing that is common between these two movies is "Love"; Nothing more, nothing less. There are so many movies that people believe as copies based on hearsay. But, the reality is far from it.
I would like to place 2 humble requests. The first one is to the film makers & the second one is to common audience like me,
Audience: Next time, when you hear that a movie is a copy from Korean or Hollywood movie, make sure you don't blindly believe without watching both the movies.
Film Makers: If your work is inspired, give credit. If you are going to lift a plot, pay for the copyrights. If you are not prepared to do either one of the two, you have NO moral rights to complain about piracy.