The online rage that ‘Kali’ triggered

Music and writing are supposed to be original arts, expected to come organically.

Not so, at least for some music composers and scenarists in Mollywood. One of the worst kept secrets in the industry is that of composers and writers lifting tunes and scenes straight from foreign films on the convenient plank of inspiration.

To be fair to them, not all of them do it on purpose. Some are cajoled into it by filmmakers. Such ‘inspirations’ went unnoticed in the past when international films were mostly inaccessible to the larger audience here.

But now that has changed as films made anywhere in the world are just a click away. That coupled with the strong presence of keen observers of world cinema in the social media has made life difficult for copycats.

The trailer release of director Sameer Thahir’s Kali with Dulquer Salman in the lead has come in for some harsh criticism on social media.

Music buffs are pointing fingers at music composer Gopi Sundar, alleging that he has lifted the original soundtrack of Hollywood movie The Man from U.N.C.L.E for Kali ’s trailer. They have even released the original soundtrack along with Kali ’s background music on various social media platforms.

A series of internet trolls targeting the music composer are also doing the rounds.

It must have been a déjà vu moment for Sundar who had received brickbats in the past for allegedly lifting the popular ‘Summer of 69’ by noted singer Bryan Adams for one of his songs in the film Bangalore Days .

“I have not seen Kali ’s trailer or listened to the soundtrack of the movie The Man from U.N.C.L.E. But photo copying of any original work remains unjustifiable. It’s not a healthy trend. You have to be intellectually honest. What is your creative contribution if you are lifting it frame-to-frame, line-to-line from the original,” wondered noted scriptwriter John Paul as Tinsel Town caught up with him on plagiarism.

Noted filmmaker Mohan, who was head of the recent State Film Awards jury, said the thin chances of facing legal issues over copying emboldened such acts. “The production house in Hollywood or other foreign countries may not bother to take legal recourse in such cases,” he said.

The directors of the films might not know whether the tunes are lifted or not. “Getting inspired is an easy way to cover up copying,” Mr. Mohan added.