Bollywood remakes Russian classic, sans permission

The classic Russian film ‘The Irony of Fate’ has received a reboot Bollywood style. Called ‘I Love New Year,’ those behind the original Soviet production had no idea a remake was in the works.
The Snow Maiden
‘I Love New Year’ movie. Source: kinopoisk.ru

Indian filmmakers have put their own slant on Eldar Ryazanov’s classic festive comedy ‘The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy your Bath!’ In the film titled ‘I Love New Year,’ the events have been shifted from Leningrad to New York, and the main protagonist is not a doctor, but a Wall Street banker. Apart from that, everything else is pretty much the same. A Mumbai native is hanging out with his friends at a sauna (banya in Russian). After having one too many, he sets off for New York with his buddy, where his wife is waiting for him. 

The story then develops just like in Ryazanov’s film – an apartment building that looks exactly the same and has the same layout, a key that works in the door, and the female lead, Kagana, is getting ready to celebrate New Year with her fiancé Kumar.

The film has been slated to release in India in late August and has been well received well by critics and viewers abroad. The lead roles are played by Bollywood stars Sunny Deol and Kangana Renaut.

It’s worth noting that neither director Eldar Ryazanov’s nor screenwriter Emil Braginsky’s names appear in the credits. Ryazanov’s assistant has come out to say that “the director has no knowledge about the film and has nothing to do with it.”

“Let them do a remake if they want to. It makes no difference, nobody will ever be able to match what we did. It was probably one of my best roles,” the original’s lead actress Barbara Brylska said in an interview with the newspaper Metro. “It’ll be a shame, of course, if it turns out that they’ve infringed upon copyright. And I don’t think Eldar Ryazanov will be best pleased to hear that someone has unashamedly stolen his film.”

For decades, Bollywood filmmakers have been accused of plagiarising American and other foreign films. When contacted by RIR, sources close to the production team of ‘I Love New Year,’ denied any copyright infringements. The Hindi film’s director Radhika Rao could not be immediately reached for comment.

Source: T-series / YouTube

‘The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy your Bath!’ was released on January 1, 1975. In 1976, it was voted film of the year by readers of Sovetsky Ekran (‘Soviet Screen’) magazine. In 1977, it received the USSR State Prize. In 2007, director Timur Bekmambetov released a sequel, The Irony of Fate 2.

First published in Russian in Utro.ru.

Soviet original movie 'The Irony of Fate'. Source: zubast2012 / YouTube

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