In the ancient days of video rentals, it was the done thing for Indian film-makers to rent a clutch of World Cinema videos from Cinema Paradiso, check into a five-star hotel room, order booze and food and binge watch Korean flicks.
In the trade, these are called ‘inspiration’ sessions. From out of these sessions came many an ‘innovative’ cinema script, making many a reputation.
It should gladden the hearts of cinema purists that things have turned a full circle, and South Korean film-makers are allegedly ripping off south Indian films. According to Tamil film producer L Thenappan, even Parasite, which earlier this month became the first non-English film to win the best picture Oscar, could be the product of someone’s ‘inspiration session’ in a Seoul hotel, bingeing on Tamil films.
After Parasite won four Oscars earlier this month, there was chatter on social media about how similar its theme was with a Tamil film Minsara Kanna starring Vijay and Monica Castelino.
The talk inspired Thenappan to see Parasite and lo! he found that the film was indeed an ‘inspiration’ from the 1999 Tamil movie directed by K S Ravikumar. He’s not going to rest at that now, he told The Times of India that he’s going to court and sue the Korean film-makers.
His take is that the basic plot of Parasite has been ‘lifted’ from Minsara Kanna. He isn’t bothered if the details may vary. He’d like to leave it to the courts to decide.
“Let the court decide that. There have been cases of a few Korean filmmakers suing makers of Tamil films. Let the court look into everything,” he’s quoted as saying.
The problem is, Thenappan is not the producer of Minsara Kanna. The maker of that movie is deceased.Thenappan’s own filmography lists 14 major films but has no mention of Minsara Kanna.
Incidentally, according to a Twitter user and a fan of the director's work, director Bong Jong-ho has already acknowledged that Parasite was inspired by 1960 korean movie "The Housemaid", incident of two french maid killing their employers, and his own life! Poor families being employed in rich families is a very common issue, even in real life.