Shah Rukh Khan and Prabhas’ fans have been battling it out online to prove that Salaar and Dunki are remakes
Ever since it became crystal clear that the battle royale at the Christmas box office would be between Shah Rukh Khan’s Dunki and Prabhas’ Salaar, the fans of both the stars have been involved in an on-going social media tussle. While at first it was about taking pot-shots at the films and claiming that one would have to bow out of the race for fear of the other, it then became about proving that both films are not original tales. Salaar is KGF maker Prashant Neel’s latest, while Dunki is a Rajkumar Hirani project.
For the longest time, there have been unconfirmed rumours that Salaar is Prashant’s bigger and better version of his directorial debut Ugramm. During the promotions of KGF: Chapter 2, Prashant had spoken about how difficult it was to make Ugramm, a film that he produced, and that while the film is considered a cult classic today, he lost money on it. The filmmaker had said that his biggest learning from Ugramm was that he should have made it with a big star and when Salaar was announced as a Telugu film, it was believed that he finally got his wish. This was further reinforced by music director Ravi Basrur, who when asked whether Salaar was the remake of Ugramm, quipped that it is something that everyone knows.
More recently, when the Dunki vs Salaar online clash broke out, these rumours gained traction again and this was fuelled by reports that the production house, Hombale Films, had removed Ugramm from all streaming platforms. Shah Rukh Khan fans then made it their mission to find the film and post links on social media. In response, Prabhas fans came up with the theory that Dunki was the Hindi version of the Malayalam film CIA (Comrade in America), which had Dulquer Salmaan in the lead. While this was quickly refuted, the Salaar faction has been busy digging up other films that could have inspired Dunki. After the Dunki Drop 1, it is being pointed out that Shah Rukh’s film is the remake of the Spanish thriller Desierto, about a bunch of Mexican immigrants trying to cross into the US illegally.
Comments ranged from, “#Dunki is a remake of #Desierto? Illegal immigration, same shots and a similar story... The only difference is countries. Shocking”, to “Confirmed - #Dunki is a remake of #Desierto Illegal immigration, same shots and similar story... In Desierto it is Mexicans who want to go to US, in #Dunki it is Punjabis who want to go to UK. Disappointed”, “Confirmed - #Dunki is a remake of #Desierto Expected for Cia But Desierto Came out of syllabus. As expected from Raj kumar hirani and remake wood” and “#Dunki was my most anticipated movie for me but #DunkiDrop1 beginning shot seems to be copied from 2015 film #Desierto. Theme, location, intention, even the antagonist’s scarf is copied. Didn’t expected this from @RHFilmsOfficial @RajkumarHirani @iamsrk”.
The debate about whether either of the films or both are remakes after all will continue until they drop in theatres on December 22. Interestingly, Drishyam maker Jeethu Joseph also has a film coming out that week. The Mohanlal-led legal drama Neru will release on December 21. Could that be the original film this Christmas, or has Jeethu managed to cleverly adapt a foreign film/book this time too as he did with Drishyam (The Devotion of Suspect X)?