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.
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.
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