Director Anurag Basu, who is accused of copying scenes from Bollywood and Hollywood movies for his latest flick "Barfi", has defended by saying that the film is "original".
The romantic comedy film starring Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D'Cruz landed into controversy after critics accused Basu of "lifting" several scenes from various Charlie Chaplin movies and other Hollywood films like "Notebook" and "Singin' in the Rain" among others.
"Barfi" garnered positive reviews from critics and audiences when it was released but several bloggers posted clips of different movies from where "Barfi" scenes are lifted, which went viral on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
The criticism came after the movie was selected as India's official entry to the Oscars 2013 in the foreign film category.
However, the director justifying himself told a leading daily that "Barfi! is completely original."
"It's very difficult to make original cinema and I take a lot of pride in saying Barfi! is original. It baffles me why people are not appreciating the original plot, screenplay, characters and situations. The other films that are contenders for the Oscars are really good films. I am very privileged to be in that group," Basu told Mumbai Mirror.
"I paid homage to the films and filmmakers that I grew up watching. Martin Scorcese and Quentin Tarantino have done the same. Does that make them thieves? Great moments of cinema that you've watched through the years, stay with you and come out in your work. It doesn't mean you're copying anyone. Thank God The Artiste was not made by an Indian. If it had been, it would have never been nominated for the Oscar, let alone winning the award," he said.
Earlier, the director during an interview with CNN-IBN said, "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."