Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy: Episode 1
This is the new series where we discuss a film which inspired many other films and it itself was inspired by multiple films. (Interestingly, our title of the topic is also inspired by the dialogue of the film 'Fight Club').
Today, we are going to discuss a film which is considered a classic in Indian cinema, particular Bollywood and i.e. Sholay.
Sholay released in 1975, was directed by Ramesh Sippy. This film re-defined commercial ‘masala’ films in Indian cinema.
The plot of the film is about retired police officer Thakur who hires small time goons Jai and Veeru to avenge Gabbar Singh who brutally murdered his family and terrorize the villagers of Ramgarh.
The film as given many iconic characters, scenes, and dialogues to Indian audience which is inspired many filmmakers to reuse the plot and content of the film.
But, as the legends said in art form nothing is original and ideas don’t have any kind of copyright. Sholay was inspired by other films and it inspired future films.
Here is a list of some of the films which are the inspiration for Sholay and inspired from Sholay.
1) Seven Samurai (1954)
The film is directed by the iconic filmmaker Akira Kurusowa which talks about a bunch of farmers from a particular village who hires seven rōnin (masterless samurai) to combat bandits who will return after the harvest to steal their crops.
It was also voted the greatest foreign-language film in BBC's 2018 international critics' poll. It has remained highly influential, often seen as one of the most "remade, reworked, referenced" films in the cinema.
The actions sequences of this film even inspired the maverick filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, especially his film Kill Bill.
2) Magnificent Seven (1960)
The original Magnificient Seven was inspired by Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. The plot is the same but takes place in a different location.
This 1960 film was remade in 2016, the cast included Samuel Jackson but didn’t receive well.
3) Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1971)
Mera Gaon Mera Desh plot is quite similar to the story of Seven Samurai and Sholay when you mix both the films and filter you create Mera Gaon Mera Desh.
The plot is Ajit (Dharmendra in a similar role) is a petty thief and is arrested by a cop Jaswant Singh and remains in jail for 6 months. After his release, Jaswant Singh calls him and gives a job in his village as a farmer. There he gets to know about a dacoit Jabbar Singh portrayed by Vinod Khanna (name has an uncanny similarity with the name Gabbar Singh). And the rest of the movie is about the face-off between Ajit and Jabbar.
The film was directed by Raj Khosla.
4) Once upon a time in West (1968)
This film is directed by Sergio Leone who is considered as the pioneer of Spaghetti-Western genre movies.
Though the plot is different Sholay has a particular scene, which is important to the film is an exact copy of a sequence from Once upon a time in the west.
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1) Shaan (1980)
Ramesh Sippy, the director of the film made this film after Sholay.
Though he tried to make it in James Bond film style with an urban setting, the core of the film looked like a spiritual remake of Sholay. Considering two protagonists, avenging the death of their brother and a larger than life villain Shakal (inspired by Bond villain, Blofeld).
2) Karma (1985)
Karma too had a similar plot like Sholay, just add three actors and kill one because he is an art-house actor, not a commercial hero (Naseeruddin Shah) comparing the two commercial stars Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff. Dilip Kumar is the Thakur and Dr. Dang (Anupam Kher) is the Gabbar Singh.
3) China Gate (1998)
The film directed by Rajkumar Santoshi was actually inspired by Magnificient Seven but its soul was created from Sholay by using the commercial elements from it, such as the item song Chamma Chamma (This film is only known for this song) and the villain Bagheera.
We are not mentioning about the 2007 disaster Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag because this article is not written to insult Sholay.
Meet the author
A 27 year young writer, graduated in Journalism. A Cinephile who just wants to talk Cinema, walk Cinema and eat Cinema. And obviously write about it.
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