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I watched Vertigo recently and I noticed that there were some really striking similarities between Vertigo and Chandramukhi/ Manichitrathazhu /Bhool Bhulaiyaa.

Is it true that the makers really copied Vertigo, or was it really original?

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I recently read the novella The Anastasia syndrome by Mary Higgin Clarke and found it very similar in theme to Manichitrathazhu. This novel was published first in 1989 and the movie was released in 1993. If it is a adaptation of the novel then it is a brilliant adaptation. – user2158 Oct 8 '12 at 12:15
OT: The answer is NO. But if you are looking for the film that inspired from Vertigo, it's 'Mannar Mathai Speaking' – QuickSilver May 24 '13 at 11:16

2 Answers 2

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Manichitrathazhu story is influenced from a tragedy that happened in Alummoottil Tharavadu, a famous central Travancore family, in the 19th century. Here heroine suffers from personality disorder and some strange things happen, solves problem with exorcism and psychiatry.

Where as in Vertigo, a retired police detective suffering from acrophobia who is hired as a private investigator to follow the wife of an acquaintance to uncover the mystery of her peculiar behavior. This novel is written by Boileau-Narcejac. Hero suffers from acrophobia.

There might be few scenes borrowed from Vertigo.

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May be some scenes and plot elements match but nothing else is common in between. Manichitrathazhu seems to be an original work. – Vimal Raj Dec 2 '11 at 11:12

I don't think Manichithrathazhu shares any similarities with Vertigo. Also to me, remakes of Manichithrathazhu often felt like inaccurate description of Ganga's medical condition (her anger directed at Hero in these movies, which could be a deliberate detour from original narrative to give more screen time to Hero).

Manichithrathazhu script is inspired from the case dairies of a Psychiatrist. Original movie has decent medical accuracy in which it portrays Ganga, a patient suffering from Dissociative identity disorder. Split personality / multiple personality have its roots in child-hood trauma (sexual abuse and other trauma, including dejection). Lonely childhood of Ganga has enough clues to establish roots of DID. More importantly Manichithrathazhu also has strong themes suggesting that the dejection from Nakulan could have triggered Split personality in Ganga's adulthood. Watch carefully two scenes when

  1. Ganga ask Nakulan to wake her up when he is done with his work (both are newly weds as per the opening scenes from the movie, her tone says she wants to spent the night with him and not sleep alone).
  2. Ganga passionately talks about opening Manichithrathazhu when Nakulan is still working (a work Computer in newly weds bedroom). Nakulan nods his approval, without looking away from his computer screen.

Over all it feels like Manichithrathazhu is a serious attempt to portray DID and not inspired from Vertigo.

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