• Thursday, October 06, 2022

Arts and Culture

Aamir Khan’s major Bollywood movies ‘inspired’ by Hollywood

SOMETHING BORROWED: Aamir Khan

By: Manju Chandran

HOW THE ACTOR SOUGHT STORY IDEAS FROM THE WEST LONG BEFORE HIS FORREST GUMP REMAKE

by ASJAD NAZIR

ONE of the most anticipated Indian films of 2021 is Laal Singh Chaddha, which is an official Bollywood remake of hit Hollywood film Forrest Gump.

Although this is the first official Hollywood remake lead star Aamir Khan has been in, it isn’t the first time one of his films has drawn inspiration from the west. In fact, he has starred in multiple, not so original films across the decades, including blockbusters that have borrowed heavily from Hollywood.

With that in mind, Eastern Eye presents a guide to the superstar’s films that were ‘inspired’ by western classics.

Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991): The romantic road movie was a straight copy of massively influential Hollywood film It Happened One Night (1934), which revolves around an heiress unexpectedly falling in love with a news reporter while fleeing to meet her fiancé. The idea to remake it in India also wasn’t original, as there were a number of Bollywood films in the past which had also been inspired by the same film.

Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992): There were enough elements in this coming-of-age cycling drama to indicate that it had been heavily inspired by Breaking Away (1979). Writer-director Mansoor Khan denied he had copied the film and said he had only become aware of the original after his film came out, but both movies having so many themes in common has led people to believe there was some ‘borrowing’ going on.

Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993): The actor took a screenplay credit for this smash hit musical drama, but perhaps should have also acknowledged the writers of Hollywood classic Houseboat (1958) as the stories were suspiciously similar. Khan played the role originally portrayed by Cary Grant of a man who hires a charming housekeeper to help him look after his children and then falls in love with her. The film was directed by Mahesh Bhatt, who has notoriously ‘borrowed’ storylines and scenes from other international films without permission over the decades.

Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995): The poster for Akele Hum Akele Tum may have been ripped off from romantic comedy Sleepless In Seattle (1993), but the musical drama was very much a copy of award-winning classic Kramer Vs. Kramer and was also directed by Mansoor Khan. The actor played a single father who must suddenly contend with his ex-wife coming back onto the scene and seeking custody of their son.

Aatank Hi Aatank (1995): If 2005 Bollywood film Sarkar was a superb remake of Hollywood classic The Godfather (1972), the same can’t be said about this awful effort. Khan took on the role originally portrayed by Al Pacino in this monstrously bad mafia drama, which could have been even worse had it not been for some terrible scenes reportedly being removed in the final edit.

Ghulam (1998): Although this powerful drama did well at the box office, it was a very poor copy of classic Hollywood film On The Waterfront (1954), with Khan taking on the iconic role originally portrayed by legendary actor Marlon Brando. He played a boxer who had his sporting dream crushed and was working as a small-time hood, but then decided to fight for what was right. The film was directed by Vikram Bhatt, who would become notorious for copying other people’s films.

Mann (1999): Hollywood film Love Affair (1939) has been officially remade a number of times across the decades, including the unforgettable An Affair To Remember (1957), but it also got an unofficial remake in Bollywood with Mann. Khan and Manisha Koirala play two people in relationships who fall in love during a cruise, but then vow to meet up six months later. It was another decent enough film, but unoriginal.

Ghajini (2008): Although the record-breaking film of a man who loses his long-term memory and goes after a killer was an official remake of a 2005 Tamil drama of the same name, the original source material was ace director Christopher Nolan’s star-making classic Memento (2000). Khan completely transformed himself physically for the movie, but that too was a copy.

Did you know?

  •  Aamir Khan had started shooting for an unofficial Bollywood remake of Back To The Future, but the Shekhar Kapur-directed project was abandoned after it commenced shooting.
  • One of the biggest’s hits of Aamir Khan’s career is Raja Hindustani (1996), but that was heavily inspired by the Bollywood classic Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965).
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