Saturday, August 11, 2012

Worst copycat posters of Indian movie history!

As if copying scripts and music from the West is not enough, Indian film makers are now also copying movie posters as well. Don't get me wrong. I love most Indian movies. But all these blunt plagiarism in the name of inspiration just has to go. And before some of you haters start with all your abusing, scroll down as see for yourselves our beloved Indian cinema's originality.

Perhaps the director was planning to make it appear as if Ra.One is at the same standards as Nolan's Batman movies. But you all know how Ra.One ended up being, and not to mention SRK actually rejected Endhiran for this! But that's a different story. The only difference is Katie Holmes' body is facing one direction while Bebbo is facing another. Apart from that, the fact that both heroines' hands are hanging loose to the destructive background, it is a clear copy.

This could easily be a coincidence, right? But how do you explain the couples' annoyed looks, the smiling middle guy in a suit, and of course, those white sheets?

Okay, fine. So the girl is carrying the guy and she is obviously the alpha in the relationship. But the Desi dude just had to looked afraid, didn't he?

Vijay fans are going to have a field day on this. Apart from his continuous masala flicks, he is definitely a good actor if not a great one. But I mean, seriously.The pose, the background, the suit; is it just me or is it a coincidence?

So the bride and groom are in their wedding dresses. Yes... And the bride is staring at the camera while smiling. Right... And the groom is leaning towards her while smiling. Oh... And did anyone notice the crowd behind the bride. What the..! Then there are wedding sprinklers falling onto the crowd. Okay, fine! I see it!

Words cannot express how, apart from the direction in which the guy and girl are laying, everything else about this poster screams copycat. The girl's hands over the guy's face, her right hand on her tummy, the guy's costume and not to mention his coat on the ground, everything seems... what's the word... 'inspired.'

Yup, as iconic as Titanic is, they didn't spare her poster too. Both leads are in a waltz with the girl looking at down while the guy looks at her. And not to mention the girl's Vintage hairdo as well. Oh, and did I mention the ship below as well?

The creepy big black tree roots with hands coming out is an easy target. So, let's leave that alone. Check out the leads. In Bollywood, it might be a little too explicit to have a nude guy on the girl while they are at it. So instead, let's have them topless nice and close not just to each other, but to the frame so we can Photoshop the guy's bulging muscles and the girl's skinny physique. Yeah, that should work.
And in case you don't know the director Mahest Bhatt, well he is someone who can never run away from being unoriginal. Here is another poster of the same movie. Once again, for the sake of escaping the censors' scissors, they had the heroine's bottom slightly covered.

Right, in this one we have three male leads. Let's give them some stuff to hold. Now let's have the guy with the best body to go shirtless. Maybe he should lick his lips just like the original guy too. Oh, but wait. He is not the main lead, it is the director's brother. But never mind, we'll put the shirtless one in the middle nevertheless since he is the biggest star anyway. We'll let the director's brother wear the sleeveless top instead. Alright, perfect! Let's shoot!

I really don't think the red cloth played any significance in Hisss. But, hey. The Arthur poster looked cool, and that's all we want basically, right? To have a cool poster.

Dear lord. At this point, I just have no idea what to say. The film makers could have at least had the decency to give the hero a different type of shirt, or at least had a different pose, or maybe... I don't know... a different freaking wall decoration!

This is really hard to expect from a Shankar film, one of India's top directors. But nevertheless, the cast and crew are keeping mum about the entire project. So the hype surrounding this Hush Hush novel-inspired movie poster is definitely allowing fans to anticipate and predict what the movie 'I' is going to be all about!

Once again, Ilayathalapathy fans will have a field day over this. But if anyone has any common sense, they would see the clear copycat work going on here. So maybe we'll just leave it smart people to judge.

Twp topless guys, both lacking in desirable physique, unshaven around the cleavage, arms folded. Oh, just stop!

Pictures courtesy of =)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Changing Names of our Streets

We love changing the names of the various places in our country, from streets to hills and even whole cities. In Kuala Lumpur itself, names of various streets have been changed from time to time. During the early seventies, most streets had very colonial names like Gurney Road, Mountbatten Road, Perry Street, and many more.

It has been claimed that these British names made it appear as if we were still worshiping our colonial masters. We justify this name changing because we want to rid ourselves of this alleged colonial conspiracy. But modern, post independence buildings in the country seem to have English names such as the famous 'Time Square' is not bad invaders? We are also more familiar with the Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) than the Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra. And why is it we use the term KLCC, which is an acronym for Kuala Lumpur City Center rather than Pusat Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur?

There have been times when street names have been changed for the most obscure of reasons. Lorong Haji Taib, for instance, was changed because the name was deemed to be not in accordance with the street's infamous reputation of housing several unhealthy activities, including prostitution and drug addicts. Shouldn't cleaning the area of its sins be a better step rather than a name change?

Also, the famous Jalan Alor in the center of shopping hub of KL has been changed into the Jalan Kejora. The Kuala Lumpur City Hall has not released any statement justifying the name change and it created quite a stir back then. After all, Jalan Alor is a famous street where visitors and locals alike come for the variety of hawker's food, making it a hugely popular tourist spot.

Besides, 'Alor' is not even an English word, nor is it Dutch, Portuguese or even Japanese. It is a Malay word. So on what basis has the City Hall decided to change Jalan Alor to Jalan Kejora? Many would agree that the original name should be retained because it is known among tourists. 'Alor' itself loosely translates into 'morning star' which is such a beautiful name.

Other town councils and city halls should take Penang for example, which has mostly retained most of its colonial names. Even when small changes have been made to the name of some streets due to the National Language Act 1967, the original English names are provided alongside the directly translated Malay new names in multilingual street signs.

It is admirable how much the people of Penang value their rich colonial history. So much so that even in some rare cases where a few streets have been given completely new names like Jalan Masjid Negeri, which used to be called Green Lane, Penangites largely continue to use the streets' old names during informal situations. It is interesting to note that even with these small changes, Penangites have been so unhappy that they deface the new street signs, forcing the local government to place replacements as high up as on lampposts to avoid future vandalism.

Monday, August 6, 2012

I by Shankar: What is it all about?

Tamil moviegoers are going abuzz this pass few days with the confirmation of ace director S. Shankar next flick, simply titled ‘I’. It is like 'Endhiran' all over again. The recent release of a couple of its promotional posters have definitely heightened fans' expectations worldwide. 

There has been not much news on what the central storyline will be about, but it has been confirmed that Vikram Kennedy, Amy Jackson, Suresh Gopi and Santhanam will be starring in this romantic thriller. Academy award winner AR Rahman and India’s top cinematographer PC Sriram will be working on the movie as well. For the first time, Shankar has also roped in SuBha, the writer duo famous for their Tamil detective novels. With this little information we have for now, one can speculate what the movie might be about. 

"The Tamil character 'I' has several meanings like ‘beauty’, ‘king’, ‘vulnerability’, ‘music’, ‘teacher’ and ‘fear’. We cannot be sure if the movie will be dealing with one of these themes, or two, or maybe more than two of them. 

Politics and Corruption

A favourite theme of the director indeed. The project was previously titled ‘Therdhal’ which is Tamil for ‘election’. The movie could be set in the backdrop of the Tamil Nadu state elections and we can expect a politically thriller - drama on the lines of ‘Mudhalvan’ which deals with corruption, leadership and morality even. But I would doubt this would be the case because then they would have roped in an Indian actress for the female lead. It does not appear patriotic to have a foreigner as the male lead’s love interest now would it? 


Vikram has always been known for taking the daring step in playing roles that Tamil film actors usually shy away from, like an autistic father in ‘Deiva Thirumagal’ and a mentally disabled patient in ‘Pithamagan.’ So it would be completely logical to speculate that, based on the movie’s first promotional poster that Vikram might be playing the role of an anti-hero, probably a sociopath, a contract killer or anyone obsessed in bringing harm on Amy Jackson’s character.

The poster does show a muscular topless Vikram with his oiled haired sleeked back carrying a seemingly unconscious or even unwilling Amy over his shoulders in a rather threatening nature. 

Fantasy thriller 

The term romantic thriller, plus the poster which looks almost similar to the American fantasy novel ‘Hush Hush’, and not to mention the generous use of red to suggest blood does seem to hint at a rather Twilight-like film. And I am not talking about a film that ploy on adolescent girls’ hormonal development, but rather a film with a fantasy edge.

This could be a possibility since ‘Men In Black’ costume designer Mary Vogt is in charge of the wardrobe and Rising Sun Pictures, the Australian company behind the camera tricks of the Harry Potter saga is handling the special effects. Yes, we can expect some pretty breathtaking graphics here. The question is: could Vikram be playing the role of a love-bitten vampire who literally and metaphorically sweeps Amy’s character off her feet, or perhaps a fallen angel like in ‘Hush Hush?’ Or could it be, based on this latest promotional poster which some have claimed to be fake, Amy plays the role of the evil vamp?


Probably it will not be an all out mystery crime film. But it might have elements of it, since the popular detective story writing duo is co-writing the script. Or perhaps at least a twist end like what 'Ko' had, which was also written by Subha. Mystery is such an intriguing genre and it is sad that it is not well explored in Indian cinema. Hopefully Shankar might make the genre the new it-thing in Tamil cinema, just like how it made sci-fi and sex comedies possible through 'Endhiran' and 'Boys' respectively.

Whatever the story will be about, there is no doubt Shankar will be giving us a treat. He is the perfect combination of two differing schools of thought - one half Mani Ratnam and one half Ravikumar. His movies are both educational and entertaining, both world class and local flavored.