Twitter Asks Shekhar Kapur to Credit Erich Segal for ‘Masoom’

Shekhar Kapur’s ‘Masoom’ is inspired from an Erich Segal book.

2 min read
Twitter Asks Shekhar Kapur to Credit Erich Segal for ‘Masoom’
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On Thursday, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur took to Twitter to reminisce his 1983 blockbuster hit film Masoom. The film stars Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi.

Shekhar tweeted a poster of the film with the words, “So many people that ‘Knew’ wanted me to change the script of this film. People that were famous, experienced and ‘knowledgeable’. Told me it had no drama, no villain. I was naive unknown unskilled untrained. But rebellious. Thank God for that !”

However, controversy was quick to follow.


Almost immediately, netizens on Twitter began pointing out that Masoom was actually a copy of Erich Segal’s novel Man, Woman and Child and Shekhar Kapur did not credit the author or the book.

Another user pointed out that a year before Masoom, a Malayalam adaptation of the book had released. It was titled Olangal.

Another user pointed out that even the Malayalam adaptation Olangal did not credit Erich Segal.


Others came to Shekhar Kapur’s defence, crediting his “superior” filmmaking skills. One particular Twitter user wrote, “Masoom is a terrific film. It was an adaptation of a novel. There is no crime in that. Also if you watch the Hollywood film based on the book, you will realise why Shekhar Kapoor is a superior filmmaker.”


While it is true that nowhere in the film does Shekhar Kapur credit Erich Segal’s novel Man, Woman and Child as the inspiration behind Masoom, he has also never denied it.

In fact, in an interview he said, “The idea of Masoom obviously came from the book Man, Woman and Child. I read it, I cried. When I cried I thought “Oh that’s a great thing if a book can make me cry. This is my first film so I just went ahead and made it. It’s a novel that inspired me. I didn't give any credit to them because I changed it so much. I thought my film was far better than the book. I think he should give credit to me. I was actually kind of provoked by the plot.”


While this does not take away from the fact that Masoom did plagiarise the plot of a book without giving due credit, it’s also helpful to remember that this was common practice in Hindi cinema earlier. Like a netizen tweeted, “But those were the 80s. People were cavalier about copyright.”


This isn’t the first time an issue like this flared up. One Twitter user tweeted about how this controversy reminded her of another Bollywood blockbuster 3 Idiots. She wrote, “Shekhar Kapur's nontroversy on Masoom reminds me of how Chetan Bhagat was not given due credit by Vidhu Vinod Chopra for 3 Idiots - based on his book Five Point Someone - initially; after Bhagat raised his voice, they added his name to the end credits as a favour!”

Most recently, a European artist Flora Borsi took to social media to accuse the makers of Kangana-starrer Judgementall Hai Kya for plagiarising her photographs for the film’s posters.

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Topics:  shekhar kapur   Masoom 

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