“Yes, I copy from Hollywood movies. It’s obvious and most of you know that,” said ace filmmaker SS Rajamouli while addressing the students of IIT Madras in the Student Activity Center (SAC) auditorium in IIT-M, Chennai. Setting the record straight for the first-time in public, Rajamouli admitted that he “copy” from Hollywood films.
When an enthusiast student in the crowd asked Rajamouli that whether any of the Hollywood films he grew up watching has ‘inspired’ any scenes or sequences in his films, after much thought Rajamouli replied to crowd, “He’s being very respectful. The actual question is Do you copy from Hollywood?” As soon as Rajamouli said the crowd cheered and clapped for being straight forward. Rajamouli added, “The answer is, Yes, I do.” However, Rajamouli said, “But I haven’t copied from any of my contemporaries.”
Reasoning his “copy” act, Rajamouli said, “When I was an assistant director most of my fellow assistants weren’t good enough in English and they didn’t watch English movies. During the story sitting, if I narrate a scene from Hollywood movies, the others will believe and say, ‘Hey, this guy has a lot of creativity’.”
Clarifying it, Rajamouli hinted that he never felt copying was something wrong since he grew up in such an atmosphere in the industry. Rajamouli expounded, “The movies were so much part of my life, my DNA that I felt it compulsory to recreate them. Then I started questioning myself and by reading various works came to the conclusion that Art itself is a copy and develops on your predecessor’s works.”