Is Batti Gul Meter Chalu inspired by Actor In Law? -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Is Batti Gul Meter Chalu inspired by Actor In Law?

Pakistan Press Foundation

Though it has become a norm to compare Pakistani films to not one but multiple Bollywood films that have released in recent memory, it’s the opposite this time around.

The recently released trailer of upcoming Indian film, Batti Gul Meter Chalu, which stars Shahid Kapoor in the lead role, is being compared to Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza’s 2016 film, Actor In Law. The film highlighted the issue of load shedding in Pakistan, among other things, and Batti Gul Meter Chalu follows a similar theme, hinting that India is also facing the same issue.

Mehwish Hayat, who starred as the female lead in Actor In Law, took to Twitter to share her sentiments after watching the trailer.

“Just saw the Batti Gul Meter Chalu trailer. Major déjà vu!” she tweeted on Friday. “It reminds me a lot of my film Actor In Law; great to see that our neighbours are now taking inspiration from our movies.”

If we take a closer look at what we know of the two films so far, we can draw a comparison of Fahad and Shahid’s character, both of whom play the role of a lawyer in their respective films. They fight for the people and against the system that continues to haunt the common man with one issue after the other.

In a recent interview, producer of Actor In Law Fizza Ali Meerza shared with a publication, “This just proves that people are watching our cinema across the border. Be it discreetly, they’re still watching.” Given that Actor In Law was screened in India on August 10, Fizza feels that this will prove where the inspiration for Batti Gul Meter Chalu has come from.

“This is a very interesting timing for us, as obviously, their media will also be present,” she continued. She also said that it would be better if they start releasing our films in India the same way their films are released in Pakistan.

“And if they just want to take inspiration, they should do it ethically by giving due credit at least,” she added.

While we agree with Fizza that if that if someone takes inspiration from their work, they should be credited for it, we aren’t sure if that was the inspiration in the first place. Highlighting a similar theme doesn’t mean it’s a copy of the film that was made first. It could also be a coincidence as it is just one of the themes that Actor In Law explored in addition to other themes explored in the Pakistani production. The treatment of Batti Gul Meter Chalu feels entirely different; a more intense one perhaps and that might be a good thing given just how serious an issue it is in India as well.

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