When Deewangee Not Only Borrowed Its Plot, But Also Its Soundtrack From 1996 Thriller Primal Fear, Film Companion

This week’s article is almost a continuation to last week’s note on My Fair Lady and Man Pasand, and the note from 3 weeks ago, on how a music composer character in a Tamil film (Mugavari) helped himself to others’ tunes with impunity.

Let us start with the 2002 Hindi film, Deewangee. The film starred Ajay Devgn, Akshaye Khanna and Urmila Matondkar, and had music by Ismail Darbar. The film’s plot, centered around split personality, was inspired from 1996 Hollywood thriller, Primal Fear. The English film was officially based on William Diehl’s novel of the same name, but the Hindi film had no such pretensions of wanting to be an official remake – Anees Bazmi, the film’s writer-director, simply took what he wanted.

It looks like the director’s brazen act was contagious. Since they have anyway used Primal Fear‘s plot, I assume they would have played the original film for this film’s crew as pre-production planning. And composer Ismail Darbar could have been part of that team too.


Because the unauthorized remake of Primal Fear also has a song copied from that film’s soundtrack! Primal Fear‘s soundtrack had a Portuguese fado song “Canção do Mar” sung by Dulce Pontes.

Listen to Dulce Pontes’ Canção do Mar:

That song’s tune was used as-is by Ismail Darbar, to create his Hindi song, “Ai Ajnabi”, sung by Sunidhi Chauhan!

Listen to Ai Ajnabi in the film here.

Listen to Ai Ajnabi’s full version from the soundtrack:

This is one of those instances where the makers of Deewangee cannot use the ‘coincidence’ card since they have copied two things from the same original!

Canção do Mar has a rich history. The song was originally called “Solidão” and was composed by Ferrer Trindade (with lyrics by Frederico de Brito) for the 1955 French movie Les Amants du Tage. It was first sung by Amália Rodrigues. Listen to Amália Rodrigues’ Solidão:

Interestingly, Ajay Devgn plays the role of a music composer in Deewangee, and happens to be Urmila Matondkar’s (who plays a singer) mentor. In the film, for Ai Ajnabi, it is shown that the tune is Ajay’s composition and he conducts his orchestra to score the music for it, while Urmila is seen singing it. This is one of the connections with the earlier post on the Tamil film Mugavari, where the protagonist was a film music composer.

The other connection with that post is about the composer himself – Tamil composer Deva.

Before Anees Bazmee and Ismail Darbar helped themselves with the plot and a song from Primal Fear, Deva had already used Canção do Mar for his 2000 film Khushi, in the song “Oh Vennila”!

Listen to “Oh Vennila”:


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