How many of you have heard about the most famous Hollywood comedian (after Charlie Chaplin of course) Peter Sellers? If not, please watch his movie The Party. Anyway, the point to bring up a man of such repertoire is because his films are still inspiring a lot of filmmakers from Bollywood. Peter Sellers 1966 Italian film After The Fox (Caccia Alla Volpe) is one such example. Yes, you heard it.
But the word 'inspiration' is too cliche. It's 'similarities' that count when our filmmakers get inspired. After a bit of research, we found out that one of the most anticipated films of this year, Tees Maar Khan starring Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif, is an inspired version of the 1966 comedy, After The Fox starring Peter Sellers. And after watching the trailer, here are some of the 'similarities' evident between both the films:
Peter Sellers plays Aldo Vanucci (aka the Fox), one of the greatest criminals of the world, and master of disguise. After Aldo escapes from the Italian prison, he meets his friends again and plans to retrieve the 'gold of Cairo', a large shipment of gold, that waits to be unloaded somewhere in Italy. Aldo devices the perfect plan. Posing as a famous director, he finds the ideal coastal village to unload the shipment and persuades the entire population that he has chosen their village as the set for his new movie. Everybody, including the idiot chief of the local police is so excited that they can't even imagine that they are helping the Fox to get the 'gold of Cairo'.
1. After The Fox: Peter Sellers plays a master of disguises ,thief who makes an entire village a movie set to pull off a heist.
Tees Maar Khan: Akshay Kumar plays a master of disguises who makes an entire village into a movie set to pull off a heist.
2. ATF: Victor Mature plays a vain movie star acting in the "film within the film" and Sellers plays on his vanity.
TMK: Akshaye Khanna plays a vain movie star acting in the "film within the film" and Kumar plays on his vanity.
3. In both cases there is a bumbling police chief.
4. In both cases, the hero's mother really thinks he's a filmmaker.
5. In both cases there's a femme fatale.
6. ATF: A ship is heisted.
TMK: A train is heisted.
We contacted director Farah Khan to find out the truth in this. She, however, denied TMK being inspired by After The Fox. Says Farah, "It is about the genre of a conman movie. In every genre, there will be certain common factors. In this case, the conman will put on disguises; he will do a con and a robbery. But that does not mean that TMK is copied from any movie. We have always said we have taken Tees Maar Khan character from Amar Chitra Katha comics."
Farah says that no one can claim Tees Maar Khan to be a copy of any film as no one has even seen the movie yet. "Till now, only Shirish and I have seen the film. No one else has seen the movie to decide that it is a copy."
In the past, we have seen many Bollywood filmmakers getting inspired by World cinema and Hollywood films and making their own desi versions of the films without realizing the consequences. Well, it's time they do! In fact in the recent past, many Hollywood studios have taken Bollywood producers to court due to plagiarism and copyright infringement. Will Tees Maar Khan producers also face the music now? Well, this is something that only time will tell.