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'It was my shortcoming', Anurag Basu responds to plagiarism charges

IBNLive.com
Sep 26, 2012 at 04:07pm IST

New Delhi: Anurag Basu, the director of the much-loved but controversial film 'Barfi', has finally spoken out about the plagiarism charges levelled against him by critics.

Though appreciated by the audience for its fluid and heart-warming storyline featuring a hearing and speech impaired hero and an autistic girl, Barfi came under attack from film critics who accused Basu of "lifting" scenes from eternal classics to create a patchwork of sequences for his film.

But Basu clarified on the CNN-IBN show 'Face The Nation' that Barfi was indeed a homage paid to cinema's greats from the silent era - Charles 'Charlie' Chaplin and Buster Keaton.

"How many people knew Buster Keaton in India? We said in the interviews (prior to the release of the film) that there are scenes inspired by Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Even before the release of the film I said it on record," Basu said.

Joseph Frank 'Buster' Keaton earned the nickname of 'The Great Stone Face' for his deadpan comedy in the era of silent cinema. His brand of physical comedy is considered one of the world's best.

"And yeah, it was my shortcoming because there was a lot of physical comedy in the film. I couldn't think original out of it...I had to see silent era films to understand that. You will see there's a scene where the camera pans and stays on a Charlie Chaplin poster. I wanted to give homage to him," Basu said.

Director Sudhir Mishra said: "If you see films like The Artist, they are all Chaplinesque in a sense."

Barfi is India's official entry to the Oscars this year. It stars Ranbir Kapoor as Murphy aka Barfi, Priyanka Chopra as the autistic Jhilmil and Illeana D'Cruz as the beautiful Shruti.

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