The gruesome murder of 26-year-old Shraddha Walker by her live-in partner Aftab Ameen Poonawala in Delhi has sent shockwaves in the entire country. Aftab, the accused in the horrific murder case, had watched many crime movies and web series before committing the crime.
During interrogation, he confessed to have murdered Shraddha and dismembered her body after watching American television series ‘Dexter’ and Hindi movie Drishyam. He reportedly took inspiration from TV series Dexter to chop her body into 35 pieces.
However, this is not first time any criminal took inspiration from a movie to execute his plan. He is not the only one inspired by reel-life crimes. There are many films that inspired people to replicate crimes in real life. Besides, a research has proved that most people with a tendency to commit violence are influenced by movies. Let’s have a look at the list of films from Darr to Drishyam, how cinema has inspired people to replicate reel-life and commit real-life crimes.
This film influenced several murders from Ghaziabad to Kerala. The remains of a man were recently dug up from a house in Ghaziabad’s Sikrod village. He was missing since 2018. During investigation, it was learnt that the victim had caught his wife who had an illicit affair with his neighbor. It was then the two conspired to murder him. They dumped the body in a pit in his house and cemented it.
A similar case came to light from Kerala’s Kottayam district where a man’s body was recovered from an under-construction house. The accused had buried the body and cemented the floor.
This movie inspired Ashwani Kumar, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, to commit three murders before shooting himself dead when police closed in on him. On September 26, 2019, Ashwani murdered two persons to avenge an insult. After four days, the jilted lover, Ashwani, killed Dubai-based air hostess Nikita Sharma on whom he had a crush. Sharma never reciprocated and was to get married in December. Before killing the air-hostess, he had posted videos and images of Shahid Kapoor from ‘Kabir Singh’ and lip-synced the dialogues on his social media. In one of the videos, he had warned, “Jo mera nahi ho sakta, usey kisi aur ke hone ka mauka nahi doonga.”
This movie had so much impact on Ghaziabad-based Devendra that he made an elaborate plan to abduct Snapdeal employee Dipti Sarna to win her love. Dipti’s abduction hogged national headlines in 2016 after the main accused and kidnapper Devendra said he took inspiration from 1993’s Bollywood film Darr in which Shah Rukh Khan played a stalker. After several foiled attempts, Devendra successfully kidnapped Dipti and took her to a stranded location to win her love.
Inspired by Special 26, a resident of Mumbai named Jagdish Mewada and seven of his friends committed a daring day-time robbery at his uncle Jayanthibhai Sarvaiya’s home posing as fake I-T officials. They decamped with a bounty worth Rs 1.65 crore, including jewelry and several valuables. Though the movie itself was based on real-life incidents, it became the reason of over one dozen such robberies in different parts of the country.
Munna Bhai MBBS
This movie instigated a group of men in Delhi to leak question papers of the postgraduate course at AIIMS. They would SMS answers to students during the examination. Four years later, a similar racket was busted and police nabbed 12 people for appearing in the Uttarakhand Ayurveda Pre-Medical Test on behalf of other aspirants.
This movie prompted a man to commit a murder in a moving train in 1971 after watching Amitabh Bachchan starrer Parwana, a psychological thriller. Following it, people demanded a ban on the film.
Silence of the Lambs
In December 2010, a man killed his wife in Dehradun and cut her body into more than 70 pieces. Police investigation revealed that the killer was inspired by the Oscar-winning film The Silence of the Lambs which featured Anthony Hopkins as a serial killer.