Australia's iconic comedy-drama film The Castle celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. Did you know that it inspired a Bollywood film?
For some time, but particularly since the 1990s, the connections between Australia and Bollywood have really taken hold.
Bollywood (a portmanteau for Bombay and Hollywood), the informal term for the Hindi-language popular film industry based in Mumbai, often becomes the face of “Indian cinema” as a whole. But it was only in the 1990s that Bollywood really emerged as a post-economic liberalisation of the film industry of India.
Today, people are aware of the strong links between India and Australia, generated through our shared colonial history, Indian diaspora, cricket, tourism, and our governments’ strategic interest in the Subcontinental region.
The Castle (1997) and Khosla ka Ghosla (2006)
The Castle is an iconic Australian comedy-drama film that has completed 20 years. The film builds on the idea of the working-class Australians. The Kerrigan’s fight their case for compensation for compulsory acquisition of property in Court and win.
WATCH VIDEO: The Castle
Khosla ka Ghosla or ‘Khosla's Nest’ is Bollywood comedy drama film. This film, just like The Castle, was made on a small budget and won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi for 2006. Khosla ka Ghosla build on a middle-class man’s dream of owning his own home in Delhi. After trying the police and court, Khoslas take things into their own hands to save their dream home.
WATCH VIDEO: Khosla ka Ghosla
We can all agree with Darryl Kerrigan and KK Khosla that a house is more than just a structure of bricks and mortar - it is a home built with love and shared memories.
And after watching all these movies, we might agree that in the moment of “inspiration” Bollywood creates a unique cultural adaptation packaged with romance, melodrama, action, costumes, songs and dance extravaganzas that suit global Indian audiences’ desires and their understanding of the world around them.
The 1996 film Indian (released in Hindi as Hindustani) has been credited for featuring the first appearance of kangaroos in Indian cinema.
WATCH VIDEO: Indian or Hindustani
“Just hop, skip and jump every Thursday to Perth Sydney.”
Various Australian state tourism bodies have since supported Indian productions and used Bollywood stars as ambassadors to promote Australia as a welcoming nation.
Since, the Indian film industry’s very beginning many films are accused of being copied or inspired from world cinemas.
Three such moments of inspirations what I would like to call - 'Australian story, Indian screen' are presented below.
Mad Max (1979) and Yamakinkarudu (1982)
Mad Max is an Australian dystopian action film created by George Miller and Byron Kennedy. The film follows the adventures of Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson), a police officer in a dystopic future Australia. Max is the saviour warrior in an Australia that has degenerated into barbarity. He is always out there on the road to stop a violent motorcycle gang.
WATCH VIDEO: Mad Max
Yamakinkarudu is technically not a Bollywood film. It is Telugu film starring South Indian superstar Chiranjeevi. Vijay (Chiranjeevi) is a police officer who has vowed to stop Jackal and his bikie gang.
WATCH VIDEO: Yamakinkarudu
The Picture Show Man (1977) and Road, Movie (2009)
The Picture Show Man is an Australian comedy film about a travelling film exhibitor in the 1920s. The picture show man, his son and a piano player travel around Australia showing the first silent movies in black and white. The film shows how the picture show man deals with the rebelliousness of his son and a rival American exhibitor.
WATCH VIDEO: The Picture Show Man
Road, Movie is a Bollywood film directed by Dev Benegal. It is the story of a restless young man who itches to escape his father's faltering hair oil business. The young man’s ticket to freedom is an old truck - a 1942 Chevrolet. In the backdrop of the harsh terrain of Indian desert, the battered vehicle doubles up as an old touring cinema. The eccentric collection of films and the two forty-year-old film projectors are the highlight of this journey.
WATCH VIEO: Road, Movie
The Man Who Sued God (2001) and OMG - Oh My God! (2012)
And, who can forget the 2001 Australian comedy film The Man Who Sued God. This film starring Billy Connolly and Judy Davis is about a disillusioned lawyer turned fisherman who files a claim against God. Steve’s fishing boat is struck by lightning and sinks. His insurance company declines the claim as the boat was destroyed due to an “Act of God.” Steve names church officials as representatives of God and thereby the respondents.
WATCH VIDEO: The Man Who Sued God
The 2012, Indian film OMG – Oh My God! 2 is a satirical comedy-drama film. It was reported that storyline of this film was based on a Gujarati stage-play titled “Kanji Virudh Kanji.” But, one look and it is clear that The Man Who Sued God is definitely a source of inspiration. The film features Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal in the lead roles, along with Mithun Chakraborty. When an earthquake, an “Act of God” according to the insurance company, destroys Kanji Lalji Mehta’s shop of Hindu idols and antiques in Mumbai, he files a claim summoning all religious gurus to the court as representatives of God on earth.
WATCH VIDEO: OMG - Oh My God!
Let’s Get Skase (2001) and D-Day (2013)
Let's Get Skase is an Australian comedy based on the life of failed Australian businessman Christopher Skase. After the collapse of his Qintex business, Skase flees to Spain and a team of patriotic Aussies track him at his sprawling mansion to confront the devious businessman and bring him back to Australia. This film was based on a real life proposal to abduct Christopher Skase but is mostly fictional in nature.
WATCH TRAILER: Let’s Get Skase
D-Day is an Indian action thriller film directed by Nikhil Advani and stars Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor in prominent roles. It is about bringing back India's most wanted D-Company leader, Goldman. Indian Intelligence assembles a small team quickly, nabs the target and then the mission commander shoots Goldman in the head indicating that there is no place for mafia in a “New India.” This film is fictional in nature as well but talks about India’s most wanted mafia don – Daud Ibrahim.
WATCH TRAILER: D-Day