Anurag Basu is happy that his film Barfi! has gone the Oscar way. The director, however, is upset about the plagiarism charges levelled against the movie and says that Barfi! is completely original.
“It’s very difficult to make original cinema and I take a lot of pride in saying Barfi! is original. It baffles me why people are not appreciating the original plot, screenplay, characters and situations. The other films that are contenders for the Oscars are really good films. I am very privileged to be in that group. I paid homage to the films and filmmakers that I grew up watching. Martin Scorcese and Quentin Tarantino have done the same. Does that make them thieves? Great moments of cinema that you’ve watched through the years, stay with you and come out in your work. It doesn’t mean you’re copying anyone. Thank God The Artiste was not made by an Indian. If it had been, it would have never been nominated for the Oscar, let alone winning the award,” Anurag told Mumbai Mirror.
Meanwhile Manju Borah, chairperson of Oscars committee, India defends the film.
"Had we selected any other film, we would have got the same response. I’m not bothered. Watching 20 films back to back, then choosing the best, is a tough job. There’s no vested interest. We don’t care who the maker is or who the star is. It’s the product that matters. Barfi!, we genuinely believe, is worthy," Borah told Hindustan Times.
On 'copying' from various films
"The maker didn’t conceal that from the audience. In the beginning, it says it’s inspired by Chaplin. Ranbir’s mannerism is Chaplinesque. But what you take away is purely Barfi!. We selected Barfi! because of its treatment and freshness. It leaves you happy and hopeful. There’s no moment of sorrow. And every Oscar movie is about hope and happiness. In any case, every filmmaker is inspired by some cinema or some filmmaker," adds Borah.
Here's a look at the Top 10 scenes that seemed inspired:
I In the scene where Ranbir plans to rob a bank, he plays hide-and-seek with Saurabh Shukla's cop character using a sliding door. The sequence is similar to Charlie Chaplin's 1917 short film, The Adventurer.
II The sequence where Ranbir sits on a sofa with a dummy and tries to entertain Priyanka is also lifted from Singin' in the Rain.
Barfi! scenes on left are copied from the scenes on right.
III The ladder sequence at the start of the film looks like a copy from Buster Keaton's 1922 comedy, Cops. The scene shows Ranbir balancing on a ladder while cops try to pull him down.
IV The scene where Barfi is found sleeping under the cover of a statue that is unveiled is lifted from Chaplin's 1931 hit, City Lights.
V The bicycle chase scene in Barfi! also seems to be inspired by Jackie Chan's 1983 comedy hit Project A.
VI There is a scene in Barfi where Rupa Ganguly, who plays Ileana's mom, tells her about her past lover. It is taken from 2004 romantic drama, The Notebook.
VII Even the end scene where Ranbir and Priyanka die together, sleeping in each other's arms, is directly copied from The Notebook.
VIII The scene where Ranbir walks into a door and his nose gets bent is taken from 1952 American musical comedy Singin' in the Rain.
IX Apart from the scenes, the idea of the film seems to be inspired by 1993 Johnny Depp-starrer, Benny & Joon, which was a film about a mentally ill girl finding love with an eccentric man.
X Pritam's theme tune in Barfi! is also similar to what Yann Tiersen composed for 2001 French comedy, Amélie.
Do you think Barfi! is the right choice? Tell us in the poll below:
Oscars committee chairperson defends Barfi!’s selection
It’s a tough time for the Oscars selection committee in India. Barfi!, India’s official entry to the Oscars has faced criticism for being inspired by various films. Manju Borah, chairperson of Oscars committee, India, clarifies. READ INTERVIEW
Barfi! grosses Rs. 100 crore in 10 days
Barfi!, which will represent the country in the foreign films segment at the 85th Oscar Academy Awards, has grossed Rs. 100 crore in 10 days. It includes India as well as overseas collections. Taran Adarsh (@taran_adarsh) tweeted: "#Barfi has grossed 100 cr *worldwide* in 10 days." REPORT
Ranbir-Priyanka's Barfi! earns over 60 crore in 6 days at box office
The latest figures are in and it's a rosy picture for Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra's Barfi! According to trade analysts, Anurag Basu's heartrending tale is not only doing well at the box office but is, in fact, picking up even more! READ
Barfi! gets a sweet deal at BO
Anurag Basu’s Barfi! has found universal acceptance with the audience, if the weekend collections are anything to go by. The Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D’Cruz love story bagged approximately Rs. 34.6 cr in its opening weekend (Friday: Rs. 9.20 cr, Saturday: Rs. 11.50 cr, Sun: Rs. 13.9 cr). FULL STORY
Ranbir's Barfi! a winner at the box office
Rockstar Ranbir continues his success run with Anurag Basu's Barfi! as the film amasses Rs. 34.20 cr in its opening weekend. The film opened to positive reviews from critics. The word of mouth seems to have done the magic. MORE
Anupama Chopra's review: Barfi
In Barfi, writer-director Anurag Basu creates a gossamer, fairy-tale world. Sometime in the 1970s, somewhere in the misty hills of Darjeeling, a penniless but irresistibly charming deaf-mute boy named Barfi gets the prettiest girl in town to kiss him. FULL REVIEW
CRITICS VERDICT: Ranbir Kapoor's Barfi! is a must-watch
Anurag Basu has managed to impress the critics with Barfi!, starring Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D'Cruz. SEE REPORT
MORE ON BARFI!
I want to be the biggest superstar: Ranbir
He’s been in the film industry for five years, having debuted with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya (2007), but it didn’t take long for Ranbir Kapoor to be acknowledged as Bollywood’s next big thing. The acclaim he’s received for his role in Barfi! proves that both audiences and critics love him. RANBIR UNPLUGGED
BARFI BLAST: Ranbir Kapoor sings for the first time
Known for his cinematic legacy, good looks and acting prowess, one would think that Ranbir Kapoor is doing enough as a Bollywood actor. But the actor believes in taking it a notch higher, and has lent his voice for a new Barfi song, Fatafati. SCOOP INSIDE
Shah Rukh gave me perspective on Jhilmil: Priyanka
Actress-singer Priyanka Chopra, who plays an autistic girl Jhilmil in Anurag Kasyap's Barfi!, says superstar Shah Rukh Khan helped her play the character. Priyanka, 30, said Shah Rukh lent his research of autism from My Name is Khan, where his character showed mild form of the disorder. INTERVIEW INSIDE
Barfi! faces Rs. 50 cr suit for copyright violation
The makers of the Ranbir Kapoor film Barfi!, which releases on Friday, have received a legal notice seeking to halt the screening on grounds of copyright infringement. Murphy Enterprises, an electronics manufacturer, has served notice to producers UTV group and Ishana films for use of their registered trademarks? CONTROVERSY INSIDE
Stampede in Bangalore during Barfi promotions
On Monday at the Phoenix Mall in Bangalore, excited crowds broke free of the barricades separating them from the three stars of the evening, Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D'Cruz and Ranbir Kapoor, and nearly swooped down on them before Ranbir formed a protective cordon around the two ladies and fled-literally fled-with them through the back entrance of the mall. READ MORE
Murphy Radio shown in positive light: Barfi! producer
British radio company Murphy Radio has been shown in a "very positive light" in the film Barfi!, producer Siddharth Roy Kapur said on Wednesday after the firm sent a legal notice to the team for using their trademark. STORY INSIDE
Ranbir 'Barfi' Kapoor breaks his silence
When Ranbir Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz and Anurag Basu visited the Hindustan Times office last Friday, they were nearly two-and-a-half hours late. But the crowd that had gathered to chat with them at 4.30 pm had not dispersed. They were keen enough to meet the Barfi! team to even delay their Friday evening plans. ROCKSTAR RANBIR