Nora Fatehi: Beyonce's Mine one of many reference points
After Nora Fatehi's Pachtaoge 2.0 is slammed for being a rip-off of Queen Bey's 2014 single, actor-dancer claims she turned to the works of several idols, including Madonna, Billie Eilish, for inspiration
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But we wonder what Beyonce might have to say about Nora Fatehi's new single, the female version of Pachtaoge. After the song dropped over the weekend, Fatehi was trolled on social media following anonymous Instagram handle Diet Sabya's observation that the video is strikingly similar to the international pop star's 2014 single, Mine.
As we get in touch with the actor-dancer, she sounds surprisingly sprightly for someone in the centre of a controversy. "I felt good seeing myself in an artistic zone. We have done something different from the usual style of shooting music videos in India," says Fatehi, who also conceptualised the offering. The video, directed by Rajit Dev, aims to depict the different stages of heartbreak symbolically. "As we started working, we looked at different visuals, costumes and iconic looks of pop stars from my favourite tracks that would illustrate our concept perfectly."
Is that when she chanced upon Beyonce's Mine? "I am inspired by Beyonce, among other stars. Mine was one of the many reference points, in terms of dancers, set-up and mood. However, the outfit was inspired by Mother Mary, not her," she asserts. Incidentally, the video of Mine was inspired by Michelangelo's sculpture Pietà that depicts Jesus on the lap of Mother Mary. "We also referenced the [works] of Madonna, Billie Eilish and Zayn Malik. Billie's dark subliminal-themed offerings represent the kind of zone we wanted for this number. My second look was heavily inspired by Black Swan ; it made sense to adopt that look to depict the toxic stage of heartbreak."
(From left) Natalie Portman in Black Swan; Nora Fatehi in the video
Even as she agrees that the songs belong to "a similar zone", Fatehi argues that Pachtaoge is novel in its choreography. "Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's new track [WAP] has the same concept as Beyonce's Haunted. That doesn't mean it was copied; it just implies that the zone and messaging are similar. I am happy if people feel [Mine and] Pachtaoge have a similar vibe. I always take inspiration from my idols and pay homage to them through my work. Here, the choreography is original as are the cinematography and the emotional storyline."
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