THEY ARE SAME, SAME BUT DIF­FER­ENT

A num­ber of films with sto­ry­lines that are alike are be­ing made. Experts say, these in­ad­ver­tent sim­i­lar­i­ties will affect busi­ness

HT City - - Front Page - Monika Rawal Kukreja

At a time when Bol­ly­wood is wit­ness to a host of films with fresh and off-beat scripts, another di­a­met­ri­cally op­po­site trend seems to be pick­ing up, too. That of films with stark sim­i­lar­i­ties in their sto­ry­lines. Sam­ple this: Habib Faizal’s di­rec­to­rial Qaidi Band that has just re­leased and Nikhil Ad­vani’s pro­duc­tion, Luc­know Cen­tral, slated for a re­lease next month, both nar­rate the same story of a mu­sic band formed in­side a prison. Also, Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra’s up­com­ing film, Mere Pyaare Prime Min­is­ter, ad­dresses the is­sue of open defe­ca­tion, just as Ak­shay Ku­mar’s Toi­let: Ek Prem Katha.

Speak­ing of why such sim­i­lar­i­ties crop up, Faizal ex­plains, “At any given point, film­mak­ers draw in­spi­ra­tion from what is hap­pen­ing around us — ei­ther some­thing dis­turbs you or some­thing ex­cites you. So there will be an over­lap and you can’t do any­thing about it.”

Film critic Omar Qureshi agrees, “There are so many movies to make and such few sto­ries and that’s been the bane of Bol­ly­wood. The prob­lem is that when biopics or true sto­ries are told, the dan­ger of some­one else mak­ing it with a sim­i­lar thought is even higher.”

Other re­cent ex­am­ples in­clude Ak­shay’s 2018 re­lease Pad­man that talks about a man’s en­deav­our to make low-cost san­i­tary nap­kins avail­able for women in his vil­lage, and Phullu, which re­leased in June this year, that nar­rated a sim­i­lar story. Star­ring Kalki Koech­lin and Richa Chadha, the film Jia Aur Jia is about two girls on a road trip, as will be Rhea Kapoor’s di­rec­to­rial, Veerey Di Wed­ding, which is yet to be shot. Ayush­mann Khur­rana’s Shubh Man­gal Savd­haan talks about erec­tile dys­func­tion and the 2016 film Fuddu, too, was loosely based on sim­i­lar lines. Even Indu Sarkar and Baad­shaho are both set against the back­drop of emer­gency in In­dia from 1975-1977.

Film­maker Anub­hav Sinha says two dif­fer­ent film­mak­ers work­ing on a sim­i­lar sto­ry­line is “un­for­tu­nate”. “More of­ten than naught, these co­in­ci­dences are in­ad­ver­tent. How­ever, they cer­tainly eat into each other’s busi­ness. If the films are of dif­fer­ent sizes and bud­gets, they might not hurt each other. Un­less there are four Bha­gat Singh biopics be­ing made si­mul­ta­ne­ously. Those episodes are rare,” says Sinha.

OPEN DEFE­CA­TION

LOW COST SAN­I­TARY NAPKIN

PRIS­ON­ERS FORM­ING A BAND

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