If Devdas can inspire Dev.D, why can’t Chaplin inspire Barfi!?’
Barfi!, India’s official entry for the Oscars, is in the eye of a storm ever since a video that shows many scenes from the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer being straight lifts from Charlie Chaplin films and others such as The Notebook and Amelie (2001), has gone viral.chandigarh Updated: Sep 28, 2012 11:12 IST
Barfi!, India’s official entry for the Oscars, is in the eye of a storm ever since a video that shows many scenes from the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer being straight lifts from Charlie Chaplin films and others such as The Notebook and Amelie (2001), has gone viral.
The film’s director Anurag Basu stands firmly behind his work. “I don’t think they’re replicas, to begin with. Before the film released, I had said that I have taken inspiration from Chaplin. I never hid that fact. If Oscar winners like The Artist (2011) can take inspiration, why can’t we?
Also, it’s a Disney UTV film. I had to sign a disclaimer before doing the film that it’s a completely original concept. If a Dev.D (2009) can be made out of Devdas, why can’t I take inspiration from Chaplin? It’s me paying homage to him.”
What about the criticism that selectors have been in a hurry to announce Barfi! as India’s entry for Oscars? “We still have three months until the year ends and other films are yet to release. This is the time to send out nominations. Every country has a cut off time to send their entries. It would be too late otherwise. And, the Indian Film Federation thought Barfi! deserved it. The films that release now would be good, but they can go in for next year,” says Basu.
All entries in the foreign film category are original scripts, and the Academy sets high standards. But Basu is confident that his film is no raw deal. “Like I said, Barfi! is an original script. Prestigious festivals world over have applauded it. Only cynical people are saying otherwise. The jury is efficient. They wouldn’t select an Oscar entry that’s a copy.”
First Published: Sep 28, 2012 11:07 IST