PLAGIARISM v/s INSPIRATION in Hindi Movies, Music & Songs:
PLAGIARISM is taking another’s work and passing it off as your own, INSPIRATION is taking Inspiration from another’s work, creating your own.
With the emergence of Social Media, the people around the World get to see news from various corners of the World within seconds. In the past, it took a lot of time to decode a Movie or a Song and analyze whether it was on the lines of some other Movie/Song or not. But, nowadays, even a first look Poster goes under severe criticism, stating, the look, colour, angle has been taken from some other Movie and it gets spread like forest fire.
Most people would probably agree that rarely any of us reinvent ourselves. We are all surrounded by other people and their work, and they will undoubtedly influence our own creative process. We often copy and then change until we feel the end-product is something we are reasonably happy with. We use other people as role-models, their creative work inspires us, which in turn enables us to create something of our own.
The question is how and where a Film Maker or a Composer stops himself/herself at the line before Inspiration becomes Plagiarism & makes a Film or composes a Song with the line he admired from a different source. To be honest, most of the Stories/Narration in Movies have been pretty old and follow a similar path for decades together, but we tend to dismiss them by calling Plagiarism.
Invariably such Movies, Music & Songs, if done by one’s favourites it is called INSPIRATION & they need not acknowledge it and if done by others it is PLAGIARISM & they need to acknowledge it and since everybody is somebody’s favourite, the debate over finding the proper line between Inspiration & Plagiarism is never ending & keeps growing and there is nothing to frown about.
CHORI CHORI (1956) is INSPIRED by the 1934 Frank Capra directed Hollywood Film ‘It Happened One Night’ starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, and has the legendary pair of Nargis and Raj Kapoor at the fore supported by Pran, Bhagwan Dada, David, Johnny walker etc. Directed by AnantThakur and Produced by L B Lachman it has Story & Dialogues by Aghajani Kashmiri.
Chori Chori seems to strike a perfect balance between slick Hollywood and heart on sleeve Bollywood. The adapted Movie narrates the story of a wealthy socialite Kammo (played by Nargis) who flees her home when her father Girdharilal (Gope) objects to her decision to marry a pilot Suman Kumar (Pran) with a reputation for womanizing and greed. En route to Bangalore, she encounters Sagar (Raj Kapoor), a journalist hoping to scoop this exciting story about an heiress on the run. Throughout the course of their journey, the initial bickering and animosity between Raj Kapoor and Nargis gradually transforms into love and the Movie ends happily.
This film’s most memorable asset is the on-screen chemistry shared by Raj Kapoor and Nargis, who were involved in a real-life affair that became the talk of the town in the Hindi Film Industry during that era. Raj and Nargis are stunning and deliver beautifully nuanced performances. With their legendary affair in mind, the romance on screen seemed that much more compelling as one wonder what is acting and what is revelation. The film has style, beautiful cinematography, lovely songs and strong performances.
The Music is used to perfection in this Film. Each song acts to illuminate the innermost thoughts of the characters singing or those observing the performance. ShankarJaikishan have the perfect big band sound for the romantic duets and the orchestration is lush as befits this story. The songs show a range of musical influences and are very well integrated into the narrative. And who does not swoon just a bit on hearing Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey and Mohammad Rafi all singing ShankarJaikishen melodies And what great Picturizations. The visuals are stark, songs are stylized with numerous dramatic shots of the clouds, with geometric patterns made of light, shade and people.
All song in the Movie stand out as excellent examples of Hindi Music Perfection. It is also worth to note that the songs are primarily from a Female Point of View. Nargis gets two solos -the sublime “Rasik Balma” and the springtime frolicking of “Pancchi Banoon Udthi Phiroon”and being an AVM Film there are three additional Female Dance numbers by South Indian Dancers/Actresses Kamala Laxman, Sai-Subbulakshmi and Rajasulochana (with Bhagwan) . Raj Kapoor has no songs to himself and only comes in on the three love duets –“Aaja Sanam”, “Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi” , “Jahan Main Jaati Hoon” – and in two of them, he comes in Second. This is all very notable, as all the gender conventions are reversed.
The song “Panchhii banuu.n udthi phiroon”is sung by Lata & picturized on Nargis as she basks in her newfound freedom after running away from home. Composed by ShankarJaikishan and penned by Hasrat Jaipuri, this song is INSPIRED by a traditional Scottish Folk called “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye.” In addition to its Western influences, Hindustani classical Music Buffs may also argue that this melody is based on the Raga Bhupali. Indeed, the diversity of musical influences found in the Chori Chori soundtrack make this one of ShankarJaikishan’s most treasured scores.
From Hindustani Classical to Carnatic Classical to Folk to Western, the compositions in Chori Chori are remarkable for their technical quality and popular appeal. It is no surprise that ShankarJaikishan received a well-deserved Filmfare Award for this soundtrack in 1957. The exuberant essence of “Panchii Banoon Udthi Phiroon” is undeniable: and with the spirit of ” Joie de Vivre” in mind its exaltation of life brings a smile to face with every listen.
This was a Film that just ‘Came Together’ for want of a better Phrase. Script, Dialogue, Music, Acting, Direction, even the Comic side plots just fell into place to form a Whole that was greater than the sum of its excellent Parts.
The Movie’s 10 songs are as under:
1. Aaja sanam madhur chaandni me hum-Hasrat Jaipuri-Lata, Manna Dey
2. Us paar saajan iss paar saare-Hasrat Jaipuri-Lata
3. Jahaan main jaati hoon wahin chale aate ho-Shailendra-Lata, Manna Dey.
4. Man bhaawan ke ghar jaaye gori Hasrat Jaipuri-Shailendra-Lata,Asha.
5. Panchhi banoon udti phiroon mast gagan mein-Hasrat Jaipuri-Lata & Chorus.
6. Rasik balma haay dil kyun lagaaya-Hasrat Jaipuri-Lata.
7. Tum arbon ka her pher karne waale raam jee-Shailendra-Lata, Rafi.
8. Ye raat bheegi bheegi ye mast hawaayen-Shailendra-Lata, Manna Dey.
9. All Line Clear-Hasrat Jaipuri-Rafi
10. Thillana-Traditional-M L Vasantha Kumari
Here is the Youtube link to the song “Panchhi banoon udti phiroon mast gagan mein” sung by Lata & Chorus-https://youtu.be/VR7IvqqOae0
and the Scottish Folk “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye.” from where the same was inspired in the Comment Column.