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Why KJo doesn’t complain when Bhojpuri film rips off his blockbuster’s title

New Delhi, April 12 2024-

On Friday morning, Amrapali Dubey shared the first look of an upcoming Bhojpuri film where she has been cast. Nothing unusual about it, but the movie’s title did manage to raise eyebrows.

One would have expected the title, in the tradition of Bhojpuri cinema, to be something raunchy with a double meaning, but it turned out to be ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam’, ripped off from Karan Johar’s Bollywood blockbuster.

Admittedly, the universe of Bhojpuri cinema is very different from the urban multiplex audience that KJo caters to, but it is abundantly evident that Bhojpuri filmmakers are happy to piggyback on popular Hindi film titles.

According to the veteran industry watcher and IANS columnist, Vinod Mirani, there’s nothing illegal about an upcoming film using the title of a movie that has already been made and shown in theatres around the country. What is not allowed is a film using the title of one that is under production.

Legal nuances aside, the copycat effect is an expression of Bollywood’s deep influence on regional cinemas across the country. Ripped-off movie titles not only pay homage to the popularity of the Hindi originals but also help attract an audience familiar with Hindi cinema.

Here’s an IANS selection of eight out of numerous Bhojpuri movies with famous Bollywood titles:

‘Border’: The 2018 Bhojpuri war film directed by Santosh Mishra, and starring Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’, who’s the Lok Sabha MP representing Azamgarh, and Amrapali Dubey, is the story of Abhay Shastri, and how he takes revenge on Pakistan by becoming an army officer.

The name of the film is a straight lift of the 1997 J.P. Dutta directorial ‘Border’, which was all about the historic Battle of Longewala (December 4-7, 1971). The movie had a stellar cast comprising Sunny Deol, Suniel Shetty, Jackie Shroff and Akshaye Khanna.

‘Patthar Ke Sanam’: The 2019 Bhojpuri romantic action drama, directed by Niraj Randhir, features Arvind Akela ‘Kallu’ and Yamini Singh.

It’s title, of course, was lifted from the 1967 movie ‘Patthar Ke Sanam’, based on a Gulshan Nanda story, and starring Manoj Kumar, Waheeda Rehman and Mumtaz. It was also a romantic movie that featured hit songs of the era, including the title number ‘Patthar Ke Sanam’ sung by Mohammed Rafi.

‘Rakhwala’: The title of this 2013 Bhojpuri actioner directed by Aslam Sheikh, starring Dinesh Lal Yadav and Rinku Ghosh, has been lifted from D. Rama Naidu’s pan-India movie, released in 1989 and starring Anil Kapoor in the Hindi version.

‘Satya’: The 2017 Bhojpuri film is an action-romance drama, featuring Pawan Singh, who’s been making news for his flip-flops on contesting the Lok Sabha elections, and Akshara Singh, has little in common with its famous namesake, the gritty crime drama directed by Ram Gopal Varma and released in 1998.

‘Aashiqui’: The 2022 Bhojpuri film is a romantic action drama, revolving around social topics such as untouchability and inter-caste marriage, with Khesari Lal Yadav and Amrapali Dubey playing the lead roles.

Again, the film has very little in common with the 1990 Hindi movie ‘Aashiqui’, a romantical musical directed by Mahesh Bhatt, starring Rahul Roy and Anu Aggarwal.

The successor to the 1990 film was ‘Aashiqui 2’, also a romantic musical drama, directed by Mohit Suri, starring Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor in the lead.

‘Dhadkan’: The 2017 Bhojpuri film is yet another romantic action comedy that has Pawan Singh and Akshara Singh in the lead roles. It owes its name to the 2000 Hindi movie ‘Dhadkan’, which was a musical romantic drama, starring Akshay Kumar, Shilpa Shetty and Suniel Shetty.

‘Khiladi’: The 2016 film directed by Aslam Sheikh is another romantic action drama, a popular genre in Bhojpuri cinema, starring Khesari Lal Yadav and Madhu Sharma.

The 1992 Hindi film ‘Khiladi’ was a musical thriller directed by Abbas-Mustan. It became Akshay Kumar’s breakthrough movie with Ayesha Jhulka and Deepak Tijori in pivotal roles.

‘Coolie No 1’: The 2019 Bhojpuri film helmed by Lal Babu Pandit is a romantic action drama with Khesari Lal Yadav and Kajal Raghwani playing the lead. David Dhawan’s 1995 directorial ‘Coolie No. 1’ was a comedy masala film featuring the unbeatable duo of Govinda and Karisma Kapoor. (Agency)

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