Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Telling God What To Do

Acknowledgements are due to Shivaramakrishnan K - whose knowledge of Amitabh Bachchan and everything associated with Amitabh Bachchan is quite legendary. His inputs pretty much made this post. 

In a few hours, Earth will stand still as the Universe starts celebrating the 62nd birthday of He Who Has Been Named as the modern incarnation of God himself.
A 3D version of an earlier hit is releasing. India's leading English publishing house is releasing his 'definitive biography'. Websites about him work without internet and urban legends sprout faster than he can put on his sunglasses. Many fans will be bathing his idol in milk and honey. In fact, I am sure some intern at Living Media is searching the 'net to provide dope for an editorial.

It was just the right time to go through some of his 'best of' lists and acquaint myself with his legend. And look what I found...

I started with Billa - the film (made in 1980) that spawned his legend as well as the legend of a next generation actor who remade the film. It turned out to be a faithful copy of a film named Don (1978). When I say copy, I don't mean a simpleton-posing-as-gangster story lift. I mean, a scene-by-scene copy - including some of the not-so-insignificant scenes like this one in a sauna.
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And not only the insignificant scenes. Even the pattern on the coat - not to mention the cabaret dancer - were alarmingly similar.
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Soon after Billa, came Thee (1981). Which came six years after a film called Deewaar (1975).
Both the films started with the pronouncement (from a benevolent dictator) about the long-term prospects of a shoe-shine boy.
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The shoeshine boy, needless to say, lived up to the expectations.
Do note Bachchan's  subdued and Rajini's flamboyant delivery of the same punchline.
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Again, Thee was a lock, stock and badge copy of Deewaar. No character seemed to have got missed. Including Rahim Chacha.
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The legend of Rajinikanth spread far and wide. In Mr Bharath (1986), he locked horns with his illegitimate father to build colonies. Though not before he confronted a goon and his gang with a compassionate attitude. He got an ambulance before beating them up. Sounds familiar?
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Amitabh Bachchan's monster hit of 1985 - Mard - was copied in Maveeran (1986). Though the famous display of the hero's chest ended up becoming bit of a chocolate icing in the Tamil version! See for yourself. Everything was exactly the same, including the way the titles appeared.
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By the way, Maveeran coopted the services of one Mr Dara Singh to put that icing on the chest.
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Amitabh Bachchan's famous Vijay Merchant-Vijay Hazare monologue from Namak Halaal (1982) was replicated word for word in Velaikkaran (1987), including the same objective (job in a hotel) and the same introduction (by a comic sidekick).
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If you are thinking that these are the biggest hits of Amitabh Bachchan's careers and would spawn imitations, let me give you the example of Padikathavan (1985), which was a scene-by-scene copy of Khud-daar (1982). Khud-daar, though successful, was certainly not one of AB's iconic films but it became fodder for a Rajini film anyway. The whole gig about an ungrateful younger brother kicking the hero's ass while a beatific  elder brother looked on (unaware of the relationship).
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And of course, the human taxi was there in the Tamil version as well!
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Millions of fans across the world imitate Rajinikanth - a fact that has become something of an urban legend. He imitated Amitabh Bachchan - film by film, scene by scene, frame by frame - to reach where he is today. I don't know if these movies were official remakes (as in, rights bought from original makers) or unofficial inspirations. Either way, God owes his divinity to Amitabh Bachchan.
Never forget that. Okay? 

3 comments:

Straight Cut said...

DEI, Jujupi!!!
6 kayinje 7 da, Rjini kayinje yevan da???

Translation – Run, Run, Run for your life, when you still have a chance!!!

bricks said...

Even Baasha had a resemblance with Hum. Seen that?

par said...

You don't know the difference between a copy and a remake and you have this many posts? Funny.