I have been watching a lot of English flicks nowadays, and naturally I have spotted a few ripoffs. But most of these have been sad Bollywood remakes of brilliant movies (with exceptions off course – “Kante” vs “Reservoir Dogs”). Along the way I came across a few Malayalam movies exported from Hollywood. Well, Malayalam flicks nowadays have generally have the reputation of Hindi movies being ripped off from it thanks to the one and only Priyadarshan., but this is about the other side of the truth…
I had a light bulb flashing over my head, when I was watching Hitchcock’s classic “Vertigo” yesterday. The first half of the movie reminded me of the pyscho-thriller “Manichithrathazhu” (which was ripped off into Kannada as Apta Mithra , Tamil as the horrible Chandramukhi and recently in Hindi as Bhool Bhulaiyya ). However to be honest I don’t think the movie was really a rip off. The plot went in a totally different direction and the worst you can say is maybe the mallu movie was inspired in part by the concept (which was a relief, I didn’t really like the idea that one of my favourite movies was a rip off). But that isn’t the case with the list of movies I present below:
Thalavattom (1986) vs One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) : This was almost a direct lift with a romantic plot added and some adjustments made to suite the locale differences. Even then I have to say Mohanlal has done a good job with this one. Both movies have that great quality of providing you with some emotional distress that lingers in your mind.
Nirnayam (1995) vs Fugitive (1991) : Well a rip off can’t be more direct than this. Nirnayam was just an OK masala flick for me, the movie is most famous for the looks of Mohanlal and the incredibly stupid scene of him driving (flying) an ambulance over a few police jeeps. Was also ripped off in Telugu and Hindi as “Criminal”, but it did have that great song – “Tu mile.. dil khile..”
Life is Beautiful (2000) vs Dead Poets Society (1989) : Another direct lift, pretty poor too I should say for an actor of the caliber of Mohanlal. The original was such a brilliant movie. Robbin Williams was too good in it.
Ayushkalam (1992) vs Ghost (1990) : Not a direct lift, but the general plot and concept are too similar to forgive. But incredibly both movies are really enjoyable to watch.
Thooval Sparsham (1990) vs 3 Men and a Baby (1987) : If you have seen the mallu movie, the title of the English original should be enough to note that it is stolen (or inspired if you may!). Recently was remade into Hindi as “Hey Baby”
The list must be longer than I think. There are a lot of B-grade mallu movies, that are culprits too.. I don’t even bother to put them here! :D The whole point is, is there so much shortage of good stories? There is enough talent in the industry to produce good movies, so do we really need to get “inspired” from the west? I don’t understand…