There’s no denying that Bollywood has often taken inspiration from Pakistan when it comes to shamelessly copying our music. Be it Munni Badnaam to the infamous Dil Dil Hindustan; we’ve lost count of how many times the Indian film industry has felt ‘inspired’ by artists on this side of the border.
However, this time around, it’s Akshay Kumar’s latest offering, Raksha Bandhan, which has garnered our attention. The film features Bhumi Pednekar as Akshay’s childhood sweetheart. The trailer further reveals that the two are keen to marry each other, however, unfortunately, their wedding constantly gets pushed as Akshay’s four sisters are still unmarried. Directed by Anand L Rai and set against the backdrop of a small town, Raksha Bandhan tackles the sibling bond but with a pinch of comedy in it.
The storyline seemed eerily similar to Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza’s 2018 offering, Load Wedding and was pointed out by social media users.
A tweet read, «Akshay Kumar’s upcoming film seems to have ‘borrowed’ heavily from Nabeel Qureshi’s Load Wedding.» It further stated, «Imitation is flattery? Because this isn’t the first time they’ve copied Nabeel’s work.»
The filmmaker joined in on the discourse and responded, «Load Wedding Pro Max?» He then quipped, «Ya Load Wedding dikhana bhai — thora aur expensive main (Please present Load Wedding but in a more extravagant setting).»
Another one pointed out, «Our very own Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza get copied in Bollywood again! Akshay Kumar replaces Fahad Mustafa and Faiza Hassan’s Baby Baji is divided into four sisters while Bhumi Pednekar is being Mehwish Hayat.»
Adding on, the tweep shared, «Last time it was Shahid Kapur’s Batti Gul Meter Chalu, now Raksha Bandhan!» Batti Gul Meter Chalu was touted to be ‘inspired’ by Nabeel and Fizza’s 2018 offering, Actor in Law which starred Fahad and Mehwish in lead roles alongside late Indian actor, Om Puri. «You mean, Load Wedding reloaded!» the director tweeted.
Nabeel’s 2018 social drama was a mix plate of buoyant ambiance, unforgettable love affair, a delightful fusion of laudable slapstick, relatable social problems, sharp dialogues and charged performances. One could easily conclude that Load Wedding is a fresh dramedy with a compelling storyline and enchanting music, all set in the background of a vibrant Punjab.
The film revolved around the premise of a straightforward young man, Raja, who wants to marry his childhood crush, Meeru. However, a red card is shown by Raja’s mother, played by Samina Ahmed, to signify that he can’t marry until his sister Baby Baji gets married. Baby Baji is overweight and due to Raja’s bleak economic conditions, his family cannot afford a lot of dowries. His mother, however, is scandalised by the idea that he would want to marry before his sister.
Moreover, the film also decoded how unmarried, obese women face difficulties in getting proposals, how they tackle fat-shaming and their constant struggle to shed some weight. It seems that the film tackles some of the sensitive social stigmas attached to arranged marriages, divorce, dowry and obesity in a conventional society.
Both Load Wedding and Raksha Bandhan are touted to tackle the societal issues regarding dowry, marriages and fat-shaming. Another thing we couldn’t really ignore was the mustache! Akshay seems to be nailing the worried brother requirement — just as Fahad — with a clean-cut look and a trimmed mustache!
On the work front, Nabeel is currently prepping for his upcoming venture, Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad. The Mahira Khan and Fahad-starrer is all set for an Eid release next month and revolves around the topic of corruption.
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