Friday, November 11, 2005

dousing the flames

The big question behind Aditya (thanks Zero) Apurva Apoorva (that's how the credit reads on the soundtrack CD sleeve) Lakhia's Ek Ajnabee [a quick refresher] becomes a non-issue. It's Man on Fire indeed. And the events reported make me sick.

Lakhia had no qualms admitting that his film was inspired by Man On Fire, which is based on a novel by the late British author A J Quinnell.

"Man On Fire has been made into four films in five different languages," the director said. "So this is the Indian version. It has all the necessarily ingredients required for a movie to come out of India."

Consider the versions of Man on Fire. There was the 1987 and then the recent Denzel starrer in 2004. That's as much as IMDB knows. Even the Wikipedia page dedicated to Quinnell mentions no other films. What four films in five different languages are you talking about? The only concession I can grant you is that the languages listed on the IMDB page for the 1987 version are French, English and Italian. That makes 3. Not equal to 4. Not equal to 5. I refuse to grant the licence to make a colloquial wave of hands as far as facts like this are concerned.

Dude! Here's how you can put all accusations to rest. Credit Quinnell in your film. Then we'll have something in your favour. As of now, you're just another plagiarist in denial. And all you have to boast are slick previews (yeah, been there, seen that, move on) and an item number featuring Arjun Rampal.

Time to give RGV credit for Sarkar. The source (ignore the whiff of the sequel) was acknowledged and credited right from inception to the final print. I'll wait to see something like this on Ek Ajnabee. Meanwhile, it's time to rue the fact that No Entry is the highest grossing Hindi movie of the year.

addendum [november 15, 2005]: A delightful speculative breakdown of the various elements in Lakhia's flick. While you're there, you should see how beTelaal discovered the truth behind Zinda.

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