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The curious case of filmmakers simultaneously making films on the exact same subject

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Making films is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Filmmakers are always trying to think out of the box and bring out the best for the audience. With the advent of digital media, the filmmaking world is facing stiffer competition as these days everyone is trying to outdo others and stand out from the crowd.

Now in their quest to present something trendy, novel and unique, we have witnessed several incidents were the filmmakers simultaneously end up making films on the exact same subject! What is beyond me is the fact that how can big banners commit such a grave mistake?

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Making films on a similar subject is understandable as every filmmaker’s perspective is different and also there are so many versions of a given episode of historical importance. But what amuses me is the fact that how these production houses end up making films on the same subject simultaneously.

We all recently saw how eerily similar Ayushmann Khurrana’s ‘Bala’ and Sunny Singh’s ‘Ujda Chaman’ storyline is. Not only that, even some scenes in their respective trailers are similar! This definitely can’t be passed off as a COINCIDENCE.

‘Bala’ and ‘Ujda Chaman’

Recently Ayushmann Khurrana’s ‘Bala’ and Sunny Singh’s ‘Ujda Chaman’ were embroiled in a legal battle. Both films are based on the story of a young man suffering from premature balding. Makers of both the films locked horns and were adamant on even releasing their films on the same date. The makers of ‘Ujda Chaman’ slapped the makers of ‘Bala’ with a legal notice stating they have the official rights of the 2017 Kannada movie ‘Ondu Motteya Kathe’ on which their film is based. Eventually after a lot of debate on who announced their film first and whose film is ‘Takle ki pehli aur asli film’, ‘Ujda Chaman’ released a week before ‘Bala’. Unfortunately, ‘Ujda Chaman’ turned out to be a dampener.

Interestingly, Ayushmann while talking about the similarities between these two films, had said- “Anybody can come up with the same idea(sic)”. Well, I certainly agree that in the creative field sometimes people do tend to come up the similar ideas but then what is the need of battling out on releasing both the films at the same time? What picture are you trying to paint when it’s out in the open that you have clearly lifted your film’s story from somewhere else! Apart from ‘Ujda Chaman’ makers, several other filmmakers and writers have also accused the makers of ‘Bala’ of copyright violations. ‘Bala’ will be releasing this week i.e on N0vember 7.

‘Phullu’ and ‘Pad Man’

Both ‘Phullu’ and ‘Pad Man’ revolved around the same subject of menstrual hygiene. While ‘Phullu’ released in June 2017, Akshay Kumar‘s ‘Pad Man’ came out in February 2018. Abhishek Saxena, the director of ‘Phullu’ had alleged that his film is the first one to be made on menstruation, whereas the makers of ‘Pad Man’ claimed that theirs’ is the world’s first film on menstrual hygiene.

Saxena also accused CBFC of being partial towards Akshay’s film as it was given ‘UA’ certificate while his film was given ‘A’ certificate. The only difference between these two films is that ‘Phullu’ is a satire, whereas ‘Pad Man’ is based on the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham who invented low-cost sanitary napkins.

‘Qaidi Band’ and ‘Lucknow Central’

Back in 2017, Yash Raj Films and Viacom Motion Pictures simultaneously announced their films ‘Qaidi Band’ and ‘Lucknow Central’. Now once again both the movies had strikingly similar plotlines. While ‘Qaidi Band’ starred newbies ‘Lucknow Central’ featured seasoned actors. Both the film’s story revolved around how a bunch of undertrials form a band and plot their escape from the jail.

‘Qaidi Band’ starred Ranbir Kapoor‘s cousin Aadar Jain, and Anya Singh. Whereas ‘Lucknow Central’ had Farhan Akhtar playing the central character. While both the films turned out to be completely forgettable ones however the Farhan Akhtar starrer performed better than the Yash Raj’s film.

Maharaja of Jamnagar

Again in 2017, filmmakers Ashutosh Gowariker and Omung Kumar announced that they both are making a film on the Maharaja of Jamnagar. The ruler from Gujarat had helped save the lives of 640 Polish children during World War II by providing refuge to the orphans at his Jamnagar palace.

Gowariker had even acquired rights of the same. However, Omung claimed that he has already started work on the same film! While the status of both films is still unknown, but again both Ashutosh and Omung are acclaimed filmmakers then how can they get themselves entangled in such a scenario?

In the past too, we saw several directors announcing their films on lives of Bhagat Singh, Jhansi Ki Rani and the event of Battle of Saragarhi at the same time. While some of them went ahead with their project, others backed out from the race at a later stage.

If the big production houses preplan these kinds of a clash then we must say its a very unhealthy way of competing. And one should do away with such cheap tactics right away. Because at the end of the day, its the reputation of the entire industry which is at stake. There’s already paucity of fresh content in Bollywood and on top of that not one but several films being made on the same subject (with no fresh perspectives) is a complete waste of time and money.

Now let’s see what wonders Ayushmann’s ‘Bala’ does at the box office.

Also Read: Why watching Priyanka Chopra-Farhan Akhtar’s ‘The Sky Is Pink’ can be cathartic for all of us

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