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Copycat filmmaker lacks creativity

We know the way to the DVD library too, Mr. Sanjay Gupta.

So if you want us to watch a movie that you are absolutely fascinated with, talk about it in an interview. Don't make the film again. At least, do not replicate it with the same elements. Maybe you could change it a little to feign originality considering you do talk about all your movies like they are the most creative films ever conceived.

True, they ARE among the most creative films ever conceived — but not by you, remember? If "Kaante" was "Reservoir Dogs" dumbed down, and "Musafir" was "U-Turn" with a twist, this one is a terrible rip-off of the Korean Cannes (2004) winner "Oldboy."

"A man, taken and locked up for 14 years (15 in "Oldboy") without any reason, is suddenly released, and has 4 days (5 in "Oldboy") to figure out why this was done to him," is the outline for "Zinda" in the Internet Movie Database echoing the plot outline for "Oldboy" in the same database.

The fine line between a tribute and a copy does not change by just altering a digit in the outline.

You cannot make a career out of someone else's work. You have faithfully reproduced scenes from the original: Be it the much acclaimed stunt where Dutt fights a bunch of thugs with a knife sticking out of his back or the bit when the kidnapper comes calling with a mask while he's sleeping.

Duh! Reproducing the same frames amount to plagiarism, no matter how much you have toned down the sexuality in the film.

Also, the plot in "Oldboy" was just an excuse to unleash great cinema.

"Oldboy" is the stuff movies are made off, despite its bizarre plot not because of it. That's where "Zinda" hits a dead end. There is a world of difference between what someone like Quentin Tarantino does to his sources of inspiration and what you do to them. To begin with, he pays to acquire rights. He changes the entire world, Americanises it. He loads them up with his attitude-laced smart lines, stylises it beyond recognition and value adds to the scenes in a way that even its previous author sits up and takes note of the tribute.

So if you thought having rugged, dishevelled bad guys in suits walking to slick cuts was going to make you India's own Quentin Tarantino, you need a makeover. Your remakes would make the original creator file for copyright violation. Many might find John Abraham and Lara Dutta pleasing to the eye indeed. We also know Sanjay Dutt has charisma and an incredibly powerful screen presence. We can sit through "Zinda" for him alone, for the sincerity with which he goes about doing his bit — a portrayal so real, that one might be tempted to forgive the filmmaker for his dishonesty.

But it's high time copycat filmmakers stopped taking refuge behind stylish cinematography, slick editing and credible performances.

I'm sure people who have seen the original would find "Zinda" entertaining on TV, purely to sit back and watch a wannabe director's desperate attempt to come across as Tarantino.

And, those who have not seen the original probably still remember the way to the DVD library.

Sudhish kamath

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