“Creativity knows no bounds”. That’s an adage we’ve heard all too often. However, sometimes people take the saying a little too seriously. Inspiration is where the application of creativity becomes a debatable topic. Be it music, storyline, characters or theme, Bollywood has often been accused of lifting ideas from the West. While some might call it inspiration some prefer to call it plagiarism.
Inspiration or not, here are some movies from Bollywood which were…okay let’s play it safe… ‘inspired’ by Hollywood.
1. ‘Shaurya’ (2008) – ‘A Few Good Men’ (1992)
Unlike most films on this list, ‘Shaurya’ has a very interesting storyline that keeps you hooked to the screen from the first to the last frame. This film is about a lawyer in the Indian Army having to defend a soldier who killed a decorated Major. The soldier refuses to defend himself and talks about what made him take this step. How the lawyer is then able to turn the tables around and save the soldier from being incarcerated forms the crux of the story. The plot is inspired by the Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson starrer ‘A Few Good Men’, which was nominated for the Academy Awards.
2. ‘Partner’ (2007) – ‘Hitch’ (2005)
The Salman Khan and Govinda starrer slapstick comedy was a blockbuster at the box office. ‘Partner’ is the story of Salman being a consultant who helps people win over their love interests. One of his clients is Govinda, who is in love with his boss played by Katrina Kaif. A comedy of errors mostly by Govinda trying to woo her forms the entire story. The Will Smith starrer ‘Hitch’ has a similar storyline.
3. ‘Munnabhai MBBS’ (2003) – ‘Patch Adams’ (1998)
Sanjay Dutt plays Munna, a locally feared goon, who leads his family to believe that he is a successful doctor and that he is widely respected by everyone. The plot is inspired by the Robin Williams starrer ‘Patch Adams’, which was based on a real story about a doctor who uses humour to treat his patients. It goes without saying that what Dutt did in ‘Munnabhai’ is too good to miss!
4. ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ (2003) – ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ (1982)
Hrithik Roshan starrer ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ became a favourite with the Indian audience when it was released. Bringing in a different peg of an alien being stuck on Earth, and being taken care of by a group of friends is very similar to Steven Spielberg’s E.T. But we definitely loved ‘Jaadu’ who damn near broke our hearts.
5. ‘Bunty Aur Babli’ (2005) – ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ (1967)
© Yash Raj Films
The movie which features a couple who become successful con-artists and manage to dupe people to earn money and fame was a laugh riot and earned huge profits at the box office. The plotline was based on the famous biographical movie ‘Bonnie & Clyde’, however, unlike the dark undertones of the Hollywood flick, ‘Bunty Aur Babli’ was a comedy and ‘Kajra Re’ continues to be one of India’s top dance numbers.
6. ‘Sarkar’ (2005) – ‘The Godfather’ (1972)
‘Sarkar’ introduced us to the supremely intimidating Subhash Nagre, played by Amitabh Bachchan, who is a ruthless and influential man embroiled in a controversy and has an internal battle to fight in the family. How he faces his enemies, and how his sons rise to take control of the empire is what ‘Sarkar’ is about. The undertones of the film are inspired by ‘The Godfather’, the iconic movie which revolutionized Hollywood.
7. ‘God Tussi Great Ho’ (2008) – ‘Bruce Almighty’ (2003)
Starring Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Amitabh Bachchan, ‘God Tussi Great Ho’ is about a man who always thought of God being the one who brought all the misery in his life. Tired of his complaints, God appears before him and transfers his powers into the man. How the protagonist takes over the job is what the plot is about. ‘Bruce Almighty’ starring Jim Carrey and Morgan Freeman was the inspiration for this movie but didn’t really pull many audiences.
8. ‘Dostana’ (2008) – ‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry’ (2007)
Two straight men enter into an agreement to act as a gay couple in order to live in an apartment in Miami. Hilarity ensures when both of them end up falling in love with the owner of the apartment, who is under the impression that they are in a relationship with each other. How the men then try to seek her attention and yet not reveal the truth is what brings about the comic element of the plot. The story is heavily inspired by Adam Sandler and Kevin James starrer ‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry’, where Sandler and James try to pass themselves off as a gay couple, only to face repercussions of the same later.
9. ‘Heyy Babyy’ (2007) – ‘Three Men and a Baby’ (1987)
In this comic movie, the lives of three bachelors living together turn topsy-turvy when an unclaimed baby is left at their doorstep. They then decide to take care of the baby, while trying to find who the real parents are. The three men treat the baby as their own while trying to find the mother at the same time. The movie was an adaptation of the 1987 Hollywood film ‘Three Men and a Baby’, which was the biggest American box office hit for that year.
10. ‘Mohabbatein’ (2000) – ‘Dead Poets Society’ (1989)
© Yash Raj Films
A Yash Raj Films production that defined the meaning of love for many people. The plot of ‘Mohabbatein’, which revolves around a group of students in an all-boys school rebelling against the strict and unjust rules of the administration, is quite similar to the plot of Robin Williams starrer ‘Dead Poets Society’. In the Hollywood version there is a teacher who was an alumni of the school and now wants to change and make things better for the students in the strict school. In both the movies, he subtly suggests that the students should rebel, which they do.
Photo: © EROS (Main Image)