"Beeveemaa" - the recently released "Dhivehi" movie?

And while it is common to question and discuss the lack of originality in Dhivehi productions, it appears to be a bit more than just the question of originality when it comes to ‘Beeveemaa’ movie.

When it comes to the Maldivian film production industry, a lot of the time one is left wondering whether a movie is original, a remake or if the movie contains some inspiration taken from another movie. It is no secret that in the Maldivian film industry, some of the biggest hits are the movies from the 90s which showcased originality along with true Maldivian culture and society.

As the film industry grew and got bigger, movie after the movie started looking the same. Each plotline starts and ends with a love triangle with more foreign influence coming into play as traditional Maldivian stories and the reality of the Maldivian society was showcased less. 

In recent times, one cannot help but wonder, whether with bigger budgets are there really any better films being produced that are worth watching? And is there any originality in the movies that are being produced as of late?

The best case to look at as an example of this would be the recently released movie ‘Beeveemaa’. This story which is based on nostalgia and lost love was showcased recently in the Olympus Cinema. As one of the heavily advertised Dhivehi movies to be produced in recent times, the poster and marketing material for the movie could be seen on the roads of Male’ City. 

And as one of the most recent Dhivehi movies to be produced and showcased in Olympus cinema, the question around the originality of the movie and its themes was something that appears to have piqued the interest of news reporters. 

But why care so much about the originality of a movie? Well, the answer is simple. Curiosity. When it comes to Dhivehi songs, movies or even advertisements, there is always a trend of copying from the Indian or Tamil creative industry and the lack of originality is always noted. So, when it came to this brand new, highly marketed movie, the originality was yet again of interest to many.

And while it is common to question and discuss the lack of originality in Dhivehi productions, it appears to be a bit more than just the question of originality in this movie. 

Following the viewing of the movie, a well-known Maldivian online news platform ‘Dhauru’ wrote a piece that largely indicated that the movie ‘Beeveemaa’ was the remake of a Tamil movie ‘96’. Following the publication of this article, Dark Rain Entertainment, the company that produced this movie quickly published a statement accusing Dhauru of publishing false news as they only took inspiration from the Tamil movie and ‘Beeveemaa’ is in fact not a remake of the movie ‘96’. 

So why is all this conflict so interesting to read about? While a lot of people may not know that copyright laws are in fact a thing in the Maldives due to the large number of productions that are definitely not original ideas, it might be interesting to know that when a movie is being produced the production team/party is legally required to get the rights from the producers of the original movie before production can be started.

In this case, if ‘Beeveemaa’ was not a remake and included inspirations from the movie ‘96’, then Dark Rain Entertainment would be legally required to get rights from the Tamil movie producers before they can produce and take this movie to the cinemas.

The problems and questions started arising as remakes or inspired movies always highlight that they are ‘inspired by’ so and so movies during the advertisement period for references. However, in the case of ‘Beeveemaa’, the production company failed to mention that they are referring to the Tamil movie ‘96’ and basing it in the Maldives to fit the Maldivian audience until the movie posters and marketing material was put out, causing the public to compare the two movie posters and so questioning whether this movie was an original, an inspired movie or a remake.

Following this confusion, Dark Rain Entertainment came out stating that ‘Beeveemaa’ is in fact a movie that was created with inspiration taken from the Tamil movie ‘96’.

At this point, the discussion has been going back and forth but the production company, Dark Rain Entertainments yet again published a statement which stated that from the start of production ‘Beeveemaa’ was marketed as a film with inspiration being taken from the Tamil movie ’96’. They also claimed in their media statement that this information was passed down to the Maldivian media as well as the cast members throughout the filming of the movie.

And while this debate is ongoing, to most, this question on the originality of this movie is just another day in the Maldivian film industry. 

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