Rangasthalam in fresh plagiarism row with parallels drawn to Anjaam, Sidney Sheldon’s A Stranger in the Mirror

Writers Association clears plagiarism charges against Rangasthalam but paves way for comparison with Anjaam and A Stranger in the Mirror.

Raja Sekar May 31, 2018 11:36:15 IST
Rangasthalam in fresh plagiarism row with parallels drawn to Anjaam, Sidney Sheldon’s A Stranger in the Mirror

A writer named Gandhi alleged that Rangasthalam director Sukumar lifted the climax of the film from his script 'Ukkupadam' and filed a complaint at Telugu Cine Writers Association. Gandhi felt that the climax of Rangasthalam is the major reason for the blockbuster success of the film. Seeking explanation from Sukumar, the association wrote to him but in his handwritten statement, the director denied that he never met Gandhi in his life.

Sukumar said that the climax is his own idea and ever since he watched 1979 film Dharma Yuddham, he wanted to make a revenge thriller like the Rajinikanth starrer. In Rangasthalam’s climax, when Prakash Raj falls into a coma and is paralysed, Ram Charan helps him recover only to take revenge for the death of his brother (Adhi Pinisetty). In the film, Adhi blindly believes Prakash Raj but only, in the end, we get to know that the latter is a cunning politician who gives more importance to his caste and status than the welfare of people. As his daughter is in love with Adhi, who hails from the lower economic background, Prakash Raj sketches a secret plan and kills him.

Rangasthalam in fresh plagiarism row with parallels drawn to Anjaam Sidney Sheldons A Stranger in the Mirror

Samantha Akkineni and Ram Charan in a still from Rangasthalam. YouTube

The basic idea is that Ram Charan waits patiently for the recovery of Prakash Raj so that he would feel the pain of betrayal. The climax of the film was appreciated by critics and everyone raved about Sukumar’s brilliance by placing an unexpected twist in the end.

According to Sukumar, he was also inspired by the ethics that in capital punishment, officials would wait for the person who suffers from fever to recover. The director has used the same concept in Rangasthalam but in their clarification statement, the writers association pointed out the similarity of the climax with Shah Rukh Khan-Madhuri Dixit’s Anjaam and Sidney Sheldon’s A Stranger in the Mirror so they refused to buy the fact that Rangasthalam was inspired only by Ukkupadam.

Now, netizens have started comparing Rangasthalam’s climax with Anjaam. In the 1994 super hit psychological thriller directed by Rahul Rawail, Madhuri Dixit assists Shah Rukh Khan who becomes mentally challenged and paralyzed after killing her family in a car accident. Shah Rukh was also responsible for the death of Madhuri’s husband in Anjaam so she assists him to recover from his illness and kills him.

In fact, Sidney Sheldon’s A Stranger in the Mirror is a big inspiration for Anjaam. In A Stranger in the Mirror, the conflict between Toby and Jill was tweaked a bit in Anjaam. To Rangasthalam’s luck, all these comparisons started only after the film registered a humongous collection at the box office. Currently, Rangasthalam is the biggest non-Baahubali Telugu grosser in Tollywood.

This is not the first time that a hit film has been mired in plagiarism controversy, AR Murugadoss faced the heat from writer Gopi Nainar (who delivered the critically acclaimed Aramm) alleging that the story of Kaththi belongs to him. Later, Kaththi was also remade in Telugu with Megastar Chiranjeevi as Khaidi No. 150 and went on to become as the highest grosser in the actor’s career.

Superstar Rajinikanth’s Lingaa, Shankar’s Endhiran (Robot) and Kamal Haasan’s Dasavatharam are the other popular films which were mired in plagiarism rows.

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