I was having this heated discussion with this film critic friend recently which calls for your opinion and hence is suitable for this space. So, I present both the cases in front of you and you have the liberty of picking either side.
Let me start from the beginning. It all began when I happened to watch the promo of this upcoming action-thriller "Knock Out". It began with aerial flashes of Mumbai city, intercut with the most bizarre punch-line (so much that you want to punch the guy who wrote it!). It said, "All politics is economics" followed by an exchange of wise cracks between the lead cast (Sanjay Dutt, Irfan Khan) and then the second blow, "All economics is money". While you try to decipher the deep message this film is trying to convey, you're presented with the re-enactment of the classic scene from the film Phone Booth where a person has been kept hostage in a telephone booth and instructed to perform certain tasks.
Only here, Colin Farell is replaced by Irfan Khan (with his Whitney Houston-style-greasy locks) and our desi Kiefer Sutherland is Sanjay Dutt, donning a sober sweatshirt and spectacles (is that the standard costume for a genius sociopath?). Needless to say, the film seems like a photocopied rip of the Hollywood blockbuster.
Getting to the point (Yes! There is one!), I wanted to understand the logic behind senseless Hollywood rip-offs? This is even more upsetting at a time when many Hollywood directors are trying to explore Indian scripts and produce local projects. "Ethically, it's not right. But then it's only helping reach out to a larger audience as most people don't have access to many Hollywood films, let alone foreign films," is what my critic friend argued.
Yes, making rip-offs is a noble deed (indeed?) as imitation is the best form of flattery. But then don't our filmmakers ever question their personal worth? Is their job limited to renting DVDs and then attempting to translate the script with Indian sensibilities? This brings me to the question I want to pose in this forum: Is our film industry headed for a creative recession?