Definition of a Rip-Off: It is a movie that is an exact replica of another, in terms of its story and flow. It is called a rip-off primarily because the director doesn’t accept that it is one. In the case that he DOES accept it’s copied… it is called an ‘Inspiration’.
I remember every time I ever saw a rip-off. I’ve always watched it in disgust. Well, at least most of the times. Sometimes, they just turn out to be good, simply because they’re exactly like their better half, so what you expect it to be, what you know it to be, it’s just that. So nothing to crib about. Other times, that is most of the times, they turn out to be a horrendous attempt at copying something too beautiful to ever be imitated. So that’s reason number 1.
TRUE BEAUTY CAN NEVER BE IMITATED. It’s why a real artist is never able to make something as good as his original. But bah! This is a stupid reason! I can totally take two printouts of the same picture and lo! I’ve imitated it already, right? This rule works 60% of the times, but in the case of the other 40%, like Ek Ajnabee starring Amitabh Bachchan, it doesn’t hold true. In this case, the movie just looks OK… because it’s exactly like Man On Fire, scene to scene. So it’s what people expect it to be. And it works out fine.
Then there’s the factor of the DIRECTOR TRYING TO INJECT SOME OF HIS OWN ORIGINALITY INTO THE RIP-OFF… so he tries to put in something of his own. Thing is, you need true and inspiring creativity for that. You can’t just wake up one morning and decide to change a perfectly aligned script with a beautiful everything and hope that all dominoes won’t fall. It just doesn’t happen, buddy! Just doesn’t happen! You can’t remove the Ace of Spades from an architecturally-created house of cards, and put a King there instead, and hoping all will be well! Nopes. So that’s number two. And stuff like Raat Gayi Baat Gayi is proof of that. Just average.
Number 3. Expectations. PEOPLE WHO KNOW IT’S A RIP-OFF EVEN BEFORE IT COMES OUT ALREADY HAVE A PRE-DECIDED NOTION OF ITS BADNESS, if there is such a word!, and so they decide beforehand that we’re going to hate it, no matter what. Stupid it may sound, but if you’re a die-hard Inception or The Dark Knight fan, you’ll understand why one feels angry when a director claims he’s making a movie about entering dreams and stealing ideas, and yes, it’s his own idea and he has no darn idea about which stupid Christopher Nolan has already made such a thing. It’s mine! He says, and that’s the way it will be. God, I hated the director of Raat Gayi Baat Gayi for that, whoever it was. I could feel the blood boiiiiliing.
There is another factor, the factor number 4. It may not seem to be that strong, and perhaps it may even seem discriminatory, but this is a space for personal views, and so I’m sharing mine. SOME THINGS LOOK GOOD SOMEWHERE AND NOT AT OTHER PLACES. For one, I totally cannot see something like the TV Series Skins being remade in a place like India. It would just not be acceptable, even if somehow the episodes turn out to be better than even the originals [even though that’s totally impossible!]. Likewise, I cannot imagine movies in the USA showcasing dancing and singing in the middle of the street in their movies. It’s just, let’s say… cultural in the filmi sense. There’s a reason that the Skins of UK is rated 8.7 on IMDb, and the same of USA is 3.3!
And now the final reason, and the one I guess is the most important one, and the most philosophical one… and that is THAT YOU CAN COPY A BODY, EVEN PUT IN THE EXACT SAME BONES, THE SAME PIMPLES, THE SAME EXPRESSIONS AND EVERY LITTLE SCRATCH CAN BE PUT ON, MEANING TO SAY THAT YOU CAN CREATE A PERFECT CLONE… BUT YOU CAN’T COPY FEELINGS. YOU CAN’T COPY THE SOUL. It’s… logical. I can steal the script of 127 Hours from Danny Boyle’s private desk, I can totally re-write each sentence in Hindi, get it perfected by the best of Hindi experts, I can get Ranbir Kapoor to sign himself on, get him to give his best performance ever, and make an entirely look-alike of 127 Hours called Ek Sau Sattais Ghante… but somehow, I can’t copy, I can’t imitate the soul of the original. Everything has one soul, and that is why we say everyone is special. It’s like in Katy Perry’s ‘Fireworks’… “You’re original, cannot be erased.” You can’t ever be copied, pal.
Period. That’s what I think. And for me, that is the truth. It’s why I’ll never try making a rip-off in my life, because either way, I know it’s going to fail.
Watch Below: We all remember the Hollywood 1999 Blockbuster ‘The Matrix’. Remember the famous Lobby Scene with Keanu Reeves? Well, Awara Pagal Deewana with Akshay had something similar in their movie… rather… too similar…
Original: The Matrix Lobby Scene