Poster Perfect? Copy That!
Being ‘inspired’ is not new for Bollywood. In fact, it has long been known that for our desi filmmakers, taking inspiration is a a bona fide practice!
Be it scripts, songs, dialogues, punch lines and even posters of films, the inspiration saga is the oldest assumed formula for Box Office success. So, as the supposedly copied poster of the Priyanka Chopra-Ranbir Kapoor starrer “Anjaana Anjaani” hogs discussion space on most online forums, no one’s really taken by surprise. While the look is suspiciously familiar to three Hollywood movies with exactly the same kind of posters – “An Education”, “Adam” and “A Walk On The Moon” – the controversy only adds the movie to the list of Indian movies with posters inspired by their Hollywood counterparts. Ironically, the producer of the film, Sajid Nadiadwala, has been going hammer and tongs at everyone – including director Siddharth Anand – and has reportedly placed gag orders on everyone and even banned cameras on sets in order to protect the ‘look’ of his film. Maybe posters were exempt from the ‘copycat’ precautions!
But “Anjaana Anjaani” is in no way a solitary case – in fact, it’s only the latest and in no way the last. Bollywood has been inspired by foreign studios for pretty long. For instance, the poster of the Sunil Dutt starrer “Jaani Dushman” (1979) was an exact replica of the poster of British film “Horror of Dracula” (1958). While filmmakers could earlier get away with copies, the constant and cross-border flow of information on the internet now makes it impossible for copied posters to get away unnoticed.
However, it doesn’t seem to be much of a problem for our filmmakers – and examples abound. While director Satish Kaushik went hoarse trying to explain that his desi teen-pregnancy saga, “Tere Sang”, wasn’t a “Juno” remake, its poster looked only like a convenient modification of the 2007 film “Juno”. The poster of the Kareena Kapoor-Akshaye Khanna starrer “Hulchul” (2004) was also a lift from that of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” (2002), despite no similarity in the story lines of the two movies.
Decades of lifting apart, this year specifically has seen many copied stills and posters. While the poster of Ram Gopal Varma’s “Phoonk 2” (2010) is inspired from the poster of the Korean film “The Chaser”, the Shreyas Talpade starrer “Click” (2010) was uncannily similar to the poster of the Hollywood flick, “The Grudge” (2004). And how can the stills of “Kites” (2010) be forgotten, with their startling similarities to those of the Ryan Gosling starrer “The Notebook” (2004)? While the industry howls and screams for laws on piracy and copyright infringement, maybe they don’t care too much about the copyright of their videshi counterparts, wotsay?