Plagiarism, believe it or not still haunts Bollywood. But there’s always a weapon of self-defence that makers have to counter such charges. Amid reports, that the Shah Rukh Khan-Alia Bhatt starrer Dear Zindagi is a ‘lift’ from the Canadian TV series Being Erica, Gauri Shinde, the director of the film has vehemently rubbished such claims.
According to the director, her film takes inspirations from real life events. There are also stories floating around that Temple Street Productions which produced the TV series has sent a legal notice to Dharma Productions though the latter has denied.
“Dear Zindagi’ is a deeply personal film. There is only one thing it borrows from, that’s my life. There are millions of films and serials with therapists like there are with doctors. Just because there is a doctor in a film does not mean it borrows from another film with a doctor,” says Shinde in a statement.
“I am deeply disturbed by irresponsible comments from people who have no clue what it is that they are referring to. I have not seen this series that they refer to. I cannot comment on what is in it,” the director adds.
“In today’s world where everybody sees everything, I am not so dumb that I believe I can get away by deliberate plagiarism nor am I so insensitive to borrow without giving credit from anybody who has created anything for such a sensitive and important cause,” Shinde elaborates.
At a time when some makers are going around town harping on content and the necessity to have strong subjects in Hindi films, such allegations of plagiarism are disturbing enough. We don’t know the truth yet, but such charges do create doubts in the minds of avid movie-goers who believe directors’ words blindly.
Without blaming Shinde and team, a doubt persists: Is there a dearth of strong subjects back home in India? Over and over again, Hindi films have had to face the onslaught of allegations of copying. Udta Punjab and Bajrangi Bhaijaan are two recent examples. If we look back, then there is a plethora of examples: Zinda, Krrish 3, Ra. One, PK, Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon, Kriti and so many other films.
Isn’t it time to set the records straight? Isn’t it time to take the proper route if we are ‘encouraged’ by subjects?
The audiences cannot be taken for granted and that day may not be far, when they start losing faith in the credibility of directors and story tellers. Lot to ponder over, despite not holding Shinde guilty. Only time will unravel the truth.
(With inputs from PTI)