Nana Patekar starrer Shagird is finally releasing but it had to court trouble en route to its arrival on the big screen. Reason being that not too long back, Hollywood bigwig Warner Bros. threatened to send a notice to the film’s presenters Reliance Entertainment while accusing them of lifting the script of their popular cop drama Training Day (2001).
“Shagird is a gritty cop drama about two Delhi Crime Branch officers”, says a source attached to the film, “While Nana Patekar is a veteran officer whose tactics and ethics are more than a little bit questionable, the plot thickens when he mentors a new junior officer (Mohit Ahlawat) who has his own principles.”
One is bound to raise eyebrows on going through the synopsis of Training Day which sounds suspiciously similar. It reads – ‘Denzel Washington plays a L.A.P.D. detective, a veteran narcotics officer, whose methods of enforcing the law are questionable, if not corrupt. Training Day follows Washington as he trains rookie Ethan Hawke over a 24-hour period.’
This is not all as many have even pointed at Al Pacino and Colin Farrell starrer The Recruit (2003) as a possible inspiration. Informs an industry source, “The Recruit was about CIA’s infamous closed doors and gives an insider’s view into the Agency around how trainees are recruited, how they are prepared for the spy game, and what they learn to survive.” The film had Al Pacino in the role of a Senior and Colin Farrell a fresh recruit.
When contacted, Tigmanshu Dhulia – director of Shagird – doesn’t blink an eye and laughs away all the speculation. In fact he himself goes on to reveal that Warner Bros. had challenged the film to be a copy.
“Yes, I have been accused of lifting these two films. I am not worried though because I always knew what I had made and now those who were accusing me know the truth as well”, says Tigmanshu, “Warner Bros. wanted to read the script and my response to them was ‘you are most welcome’. When they read it, they knew Shagird had nothing to do with their film. As for The Recruit, then again, there are no similarities whatsoever.”
“As an artist I do feel quite bad when someone throws a copying charge on me”, says the Haasil director, “I have never lifted any film till date, I would never do that in future either.”