It took forever for Shahrukh Khan‘s upcoming Yash Raj romance to finally get a name but it took no time at all for plagiarism accusations to be made public.
Shahrukh is starring alongside Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in Jab Tak Hai Jaan, a film fans have been kept in suspense about for over a year. But when the film’s poster and trailer were released many noticed some striking similarities to other works.
The first accusation was made against composer A.R. Rahman. The score which plays in the background of the Jab Tak Hai Jaan trailer sounds remarkably similar to Gustavo Santaolalla’s work in The Motorcycle Diaries. Surely an Oscar winning composer with a long history of original work in the Indian film industry wouldn’t directly lift a tune from a non-Indian artist and claim it as his own (that line of work belongs to Pritam, after all). But the scores are uncomfortably similar. Is this another case of “inspiration” rather than outright plagiarism?
The second accusation refers to the film’s poster. The poster for Jab Tak Hai Jaan features Shahrukh Khan standing in the center of the print while scenes from the film (including an intimate moment with Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma on a motorcycle) are worked into the outline of his body. It’s become a fairly common film poster design, but some fans and critics are wondering if the idea was stolen from the French film Forces Speciales. This is a bit of a silly accusation given how popular the photo style is.
So are these plagiarism accusations serious or just the work of overzealous critics? The poster complaint is a bit overblown. As for the score, judgement should be reserved until the full Jab Tak Hai Jaan soundtrack is released.