Director Mani Shankar has always been known for his fiercely original films like 16 December, Mukhbiir and Rudraksh. Reacting sharply to the plagiarism charges against his latest film Knock Out which stars Sanjay Dutt, Irrfan Khan and Kangana Ranaut.
Argues Mani, "First of all just because my film shows some shots of a man in a phone booth being targeted by a man with a gun, it doesn't mean I've made Phone Booth. How utterly ridiculous! It's like saying every love story which has a climax on the airport is copied."
Then Mani adds the clincher. "Phone Booth itself is apparently a copy of Kari Skogland's Liberty Stands Still. So I don't see how charges of plagiarism can be levelled at us when the film is itself is not the epitome of originality." L. K. Advani who watched Knock Out on Saturday night in Delhi certainly found the film refreshing and thought provoking. He was seen emotionally holding the director's hand after the screening.
Says Mani, "It was a golden moment for me. He wanted to know how I had got to know so many inner details on the 70 lakh crore rupees that were taken out of our country. Advanji now wants to watch my earlier political thrillers. I'm sending him DVDs of 16 December and Mukhbiir. My film Knock Out is a multi-layered political thriller about a real scam that rocked and nearly ruined our nation. A man being held hostage in a phone booth is a very small part of the film."