For a change, Bollywood gets original
Bollywood seems geared for a season of originals even though this season's two biggies - "Munnabhai M.B.B.S." and "Murder" - are adapted from Hollywood.
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Beginning with this week's "Shaadi Ka Laddoo", the Hindi film industry goes authentic in a big way.
Next week's mega-movie, "Main Hoon Na", is an absolutely new script about an army officer who infiltrates his brother's high school to get the wayward sibling back into the groove and also to crack a very special mission on behalf of the Indian government.
Director Farha Khan admits that although she is inspired by mainstream films of the 1970s, in content the script is absolutely original.
Farha seems to be triggering off a chain reaction. Bollywood seems poised for a series of non-adaptive biggies.
Mani Ratnam's eagerly awaited Hindi film "Yuva", which goes into the life of three childhood friends played by Ajay Devgan, Vivek Oberoi and Abhishek Bachchan, has no parallel in Hindi cinema.
Next comes Farhan Akhtar's "Lakshya", which delineates the rise of an aimless, jobless young man to a socially responsible citizen after he joins the army.
Two other big war films follow - Gaurang Doshi's "Deewaar: Let's Bring Our Heroes Home" and Anil Sharma's "Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon".
And that's not all. Many of the other biggies for the season like Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Black" and Ram Gopal Varma's "Naach" are absolutely original films.
Says Varma: "'Naach' is very much an original film. I've never made an unoriginal film in my life."
On the other hand, producers like Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt continue to remake Hollywood films. After the success of "Murder", which was adapted from "Unfaithful", the Bhatts are on to "Zaroorat", a rehash of the super-successful romantic comedy "Pretty Woman", with their own nephew Emran Hashmi in the lead.
But the days of Hollywood adaptations are clearly numbered this year, with more and more scriptwriters working on original ideas.
Suparn Verma, who adapted the Sean Connery-starrer "The Rock" in Qayamat, will soon turn director with an original film.
Abbas Tyrewalla of "Munnabhai M.B.B.S." fame and Milap Jhaveri of "Masti" fame are also determined to take Bollywood back on the path of originality.
It all depends on the performance of the super-biggies this year.
If they fail to create the impact they're expected to, Bollywood's screenwriters would be back to buying DVDs of the latest Hollywood hits.