After Parasite, the South Korean black comedy thriller bagged 4 awards at the recently concluded 92nd Academy Awards, the film has been receiving more praise internationally. While the movie continues to earn rave reviews, with popular American review-aggregator Rotten Tomatoes giving it a 99% "fresh" rating, Tamil actor Vijay's fans are convinced that Bong Joon Ho's Parasite is a remake of Minsara Kanna (1991).
What started off as a seemingly harmless banter among netizens quickly became ugly when south Indian producer PL Thenappan, who produced Minsara Kanna issued a clarification on the issue. In a brief statement given to a local media, he stated that Bong Joon Ho's Parasite is a remake of his film starring Vijay and that he will sue the makers on the grounds of plagiarism.
He further added that on Monday (Feb 17) he will be filing a case with the help of an international lawyer. 'They have taken the plot from my film. When they find out that some of our films have been inspired by their films, they file cases. Similarly, it is only fair for us to do the same,' he said.
The film's director KS Ravikumar for his part fuelled the rumours on the claims made by Thenappan when he said, I'm happy that the story (Parasite) has received an Oscar, even if Minsara Kanna served as an inspiration. However, the director did not comment on the producer's decision to sue the Parasite team.
I can't believe Minsara Kanna won the Best picture academy award 😍— Jawa Kumar (@jawa_kumar) February 10, 2020
Minsara Kanna is about a wealthy man (Vijay) settled in Germany, who chooses to relocate to a small town in Tamil Nadu, along with his entire family and work for a businesswoman (Kushbhu), all for love, and whether he succeeds or not forms the crux of the film. Needless to say, this isn't the first movie of this nature as the premise of a boy going undercover in the girl's house used to be a popular trope in regional cinema in the 80s and 90s.
Parasite is a black comedy thriller about a family struggling to make ends meet that crosses path with the owner of a global IT firm and attempts to make the best of the situation by tricking him to get his whole family a job at his house. While one is a love story with similar subplots and the other is a parody of capitalism and asks a larger more looming question about the lifestyles of the rich and the poor.
Even though on the surface there appear to be some similarities, it is simply not enough to make the grand accusation of plagiarism, let alone filing a case against it. But it does raise a question: How exciting would it be if an Indian film ever gets to win the Best Picture Oscar?
(Minsara Kanna image credits: @FabFlickz)
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