Be it music, plots, character names or movie posters, Bollywood has often been accused of lifting elements from the West. While some prefer to call it an inspiration, others look at it as blatant plagiarism. The most recent example involves Udta Punjab allegedly based on High Society, a 2002 novel by Ben Elton.
Here’s taking a look at other films, which have come under the scanner in the past.
Kaante and Reservoir Dogs
Sanjay Gupta’s 2002 directorial became a cult classic that showed actors Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Suniel Shetty rob a bank. Things turned ugly, when lawyers for the film 1998 film Reservoir Dogs realised that the plot was completely copied from the Harvey Keitel starrer.
Satte Pe Satta and Seven Brides For Seven Brothers
Popular comedy film Satte Pe Satta (1982) starring Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini, along with an ensemble cast, was a copy of Hollywood’s Seven Brides for Seven Sisters starring Howard Keel, which released in 1954.
Murder and Unfaithful
Two years after Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez created waves with their intimate scenes in the romantic thriller Unfaithful (2002), actors Emraan Hashmi and Mallika Sherawat created a similar furore in Murder. The Bollywood film which released in 2004 was lifted from the popular Hollywood film, which talks about extra marital affairs.
Chachi 420 and Mrs. Doubtfire
Starring Kamal Hassan, the comedy film Chachi 420 (1997) was inspired from Mrs Doubtfire (1993) starring Robin Williams. Although there are many differences in the plot, the film broadly revolves around similar premise to the Hollywood counterpart, where a father cross dresses as a housemaid to remain close to his kids.
Pyar Toh Hona Hi Tha and French Kiss
French Kiss (1995) starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline was never a big hit in the West. Perhaps that’s why the makers of its successful Bollywood version (1998) never admitted that the film was based on the Hollywood film.
God Tussi Great Ho and Bruce Almighty
Even though director Rohit Dhawan of God Tussi Great Ho (2008) maintained the film was inspired from a folktale about a Brahmin boy, but, critics and reviewers found the Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra starrer similar to the 2003 comedy, Bruce Almighty starring Jim Carrey and Jennifer Aniston.
Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai and My Best Friend’s Wedding
When Uday Chopra decides to sabotage his best friend, Tulip Joshi’s marriage with Jimmy Shergill in the 2002 film, audience were quick to point out way too many similarities with the 1997 Hollywood film My Best Friend’s wedding.
Qayamat and The Rock
Seven years after Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage saved the city of San Francisco from a deadly chemical attack in the film The Rock (1996), Bollywood lifted the plot and showed Ajay Devgn and Aashish Chaudhary saving Mumbai from similar attacks by Arbaaz Khan and Sanjay Kapoor in Qayamat (2003).
Hum Tum and When Harry Met Sally
After Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan raised the question about whether a man and woman can be just friends in the 1989 film, Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukherji debated the same thing for Indian viewers in Kunal Kohli directorial in 2001.
Chocolate and The Usual Suspects
Taking a clue from Kevin Spacey starrer (1995) in how to mislead a policeman about a robbery, Irrfan Khan pulled off a similar thing in Chocolate (2005), when he misled his lawyer Anil Kapoor about a robbery that he claimed he never did.
Deewane Huye Pagal and There’s Something About Mary
Three boys fighting to woo a girl might have turned out to be one of the biggest hits in Hollywood in 1998. Not so much in Bollywood though, as Shahid Kapoor, Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal fought over Rimi Sen didn’t impress Indian movie buffs in the 2005 film.
Taxi No. 9211 and Changing Lanes
The John Abraham and and Nana Patekar starrer in 2006 was a copy of Ben Affleck and Samuel Jackson’s Changing Lanes (2002) , which saw a wealthy brat on the mercy of a cab driver.
The Killer and Collateral
The 2004 film showed Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx engaged in a high tension battle as Jamie Foxx - the cab driver tried to get away from Tom Cruise the assassin, who was on his mission. Few years later in 2006, Emraan Hashmi witnessed a similar thing, when the assassin Irrfan sat in his car and ordered him to take to the spot where he was about to commit his next murder.
Chak De! India and Miracle
Taking a cue from Kurt Russell’s speech in the 2004 film, which inspired the US’ ice hockey team to win an Olympic gold medal in 1980, coach Shah Rukh Khan too acted in the same way to inspire his girls to win the Women’s Hockey World Cup in Australia in the 2007 film.
Barfi and The Notebook/ The Adventurer
The Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra starrer (2012) was chosen to be the official entry to the Oscars in 2013. However the film was heavily copied from not one, but several films. Ranbir and Priyanka die together, sleeping in each other’s arms, is directly copied from The Notebook (2004), while, the scene where Ranbir plans to rob a bank, he plays hide-and-seek with Saurabh Shukla’s cop character using a sliding door, is lifted from Charlie Chaplin’s 1917 short film, The Adventurer.