Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘controversy

‘3 Idiots’ director Rajkumar Hirani accuses novelist Chetan Bhagat of slander

By TNN (January 04, 2010)

A still from 3 Idiots

Director Rajkumar Hirani is flabbergasted by author Chetan Bhagat’s allegation that 3 Idiots was majorly copied from his bestseller Five Point Someone without giving him due credit. Terming it a “clear case of defamation”, Hirani says they may take legal action against Bhagat for flouting their contract.

“It’s a clear case of defamation because contractually what he (Bhagat) was bound, he was given. Now why is he slandering us? We are consulting our lawyers. But that’s a call Mr. Vinod Chopra has to take. He is the producer of the film,” Hirani told IANS.

“I am sure it’s defamation because lots of people I know are wondering about the issue (due to Bhagat’s allegation) In lots of Twitter and Facebook sites we have been abused saying, ‘we won’t watch Hirani’s film or Abhijat’s film’. This kind of muck is flying all over the place. I think Vinod Chopra is looking into it, I guess he will follow the legal path,” he added.

Hirani clarified that once Bhagat had given the rights to make a film on his book, there shouldn’t be any “percentage issue”.

Hirani maintained that the basic plot of the film is completely different from the book.

“In the book, there is no bet between the two friends, the journey to find their friend is not there, the child delivery scene, the ‘Balatkar’ scene, the two weddings where they crashed these key scenes are not in the book. There are certain similarities, which I am not denying, but we had bought the rights for that.

“We can use 100 per cent of it. What does he (Bhagat) mean by 70 per cent? Are we supposed to pay more money for using 70 per cent? Are we supposed to give different credit for 70 percent? I do not understand this percentage controversy,” said Hirani.

Baghat has reportedly posted a blog saying he should have got a prominent place in the rolling credits. He also said that he was not shown the final script.

Reacting to his allegations, Hirani said: “We have officially bought the rights for the film. We drew a contract with him and it clearly mentions about the position of his credit. With open eyes he had seen the contract, consulted his lawyer and signed the agreement.

“In the contract, we have said that the title would be given in the rolling credits. We haven’t changed the font size. We haven’t increased the speed of the title. It’s exactly there where it was agreed to be,” said Hirani.

The director, who has a hattrick of hits – Aamir Khan starrer 3 Idiots, Munnabhai M.B.B.S. and Lage Raho Munna Bhai, says after signing the contract with Bhagat, they were not obliged to show the script to the author.

“I was not obligated to narrate the script to him. I have bought the script from him and I am supposed to use it the way I want to use it. I had changed the script drastically, so out of good gesture I wanted him to know it has changed so much and if he feels he doesn’t want to be associated with the film, he can tell me.

“He heard the script for four hours and readily agreed to stay associated, saying ‘I want to stay associated with the film, it’s a fine script’ which he has said in your (IANS) interview too. He signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Now he writes in his blog ‘I wanted to see the final script and it was not shown to me’. It is a blatant lie, he is telling,” Hirani added.

Asked if Bhagat could have a vested interest in kicking up the controversy, he said: “I guess there is a motivation to create the controversy so that people read the book and see the film.”

Hirani says that they never relied on controversies to publicise their creative work.

“Our film is doing exceedingly well. It’s beyond my dignity to create a controversy for a film. We have never sold our soul for our cinema. I’m not stooping to that level to sell my cinema or make extra money.

“When you talk of that percentage thing, it creates a curiosity to read that book and judge the film.”

Would he again adapt Bhagat’s book?

“This came as a shock to me that suddenly he is trying to hog the limelight; suddenly he is trying to take away the credit from the screenwriters who slogged for three years to modify the script. He doesn’t understand the difference between book writing and writing for a film. If he continues doing these things, I would rather not associate with him.”

Currently Hirani is working on two scripts with Abhijat Joshi. One among them is Munna Bhai Chale America, while the other one is a completely different plot. He will start shooting either of them by the end of 2010.

YAHOO.COM (January 2, 2010)

The raging controversy over the credit for the story in ‘3 Idiots’ escalated on Saturday with director Rajkumar Hirani accusing author Chetan Bhagat of “lying” despite agreeing to several conditions including a rolling credit in a contract.

Hirani, who also shares the writing credit with scriptwriter Abhijat Joshi in the Aamir Khan starrer, said Bhagat had approved the film’s script and agreed to the condition that it would be different from his book.

Addressing a press conference in Mumbai, Hirani showed the contract signed with Bhagat, whose novel “Five Point Someone” became the basis for the film. The director said he had made a four-hour narration of the script to the author.

“We never denied Bhagat the credit. I am confused as to why is he saying all these things after the film’s release. We have not stolen the story, we have purchased the rights of the book and can modify or change it as per our requirements. There is nothing illegal in it. Chetan is lying,” Hirani said.

He said that as per the contract signed between Bhagat and producers of the film, it was obligatory on part of the latter to mention in rolling credits that the film was based the novel.

“His name appears immediately after the main cast in the rolling credits. If he wanted to see his name in opening part of the film, he should have asked us after reading the contract itself. I am myself a writer and I respect writers,” Hirani said.

Reacting to Hirani’s statement, Bhagat accused the film-makers of abusing the contract.

Shivangi Kolhapure talks about living life on her own terms

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 26, 2009)

Shakti Kapoor’s wife Shivangi Kolhapure prefers Canada over Mumbai. She even got her Canadian citizenship three years ago. But she is now in Mumbai to support her daughter, Shraddhaa, who debuts with Teen Patti. A source close to her family said, “Shivangi spends a lot of time in Canada. She is in Mumbai because the release of her daughter Shraddhaa’s film Teen Patti is round the corner.”

Shivangi is quite excited about Shraddhaa’s film. She said, “Shraddhaa got offers from many filmmakers, but she refused them all. Most of them wanted to make quick films to be released before Teen Patti. It would have been unethical to sign those films.”

But why did she move to Canada? Shivangi said, “It’s an open economy out there. I want to make movies in Canada. I am very excited about my plans.” Doesn’t she miss her family? She said, “They certainly miss me. But they know I want to structure my life this way. Shraddhaa was studying in Boston, so she was near me. My son Siddhanth was busy studying in London. So, there was no problem until now.”

Did the decision to spend time in Canada stem from her discomfort over the media glare? After all, her husband Shakti Kapoor is no stranger to controversy. Shivangi replied cautiously, “Not at all. I am not running away. I really like it this way. Think about it, there was a controversy around Siddhanth too. In fact, he was the only guy who tested negative in that party that was busted by the cops. Did anybody write about that?”

(L): Shraddha (R): Shivangi Kolhapure


Smita Patil’s son Pratik, who turns 23 today, opens his heart to BT

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 28, 2009)

Pratik who shot to fame with Aamir Khan’s Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na last year, has been signed by filmmakers Sanjay Leela Bhansali for a comedy and Rohan Sippy for a thriller respectively. Clearly Raj Babbar and Smita Patil’s son is now in the A-league. For the boy who is described “as a natural born actor” by Rohan, there was a sense of deja vu when he signed on the Sippys’s film. “It was only after I met Ramesh Sippy (Rohan’s dad) did I know that he had directed my mother and Amitabh Bachchan in Shakti. I just watched Shakti and I must say, not only was it a brilliant film, the chemistry between Mom and Mr Bachchan was amazing.” While Rohan adds that his coming together with Pratik is a small moment in film history because as Gen-Now both he and Pratik have the responsibility of a legacy to carry forward.
Pratik says, “My filmmakers be it Sanjay Leela or Rohan will do all the talking about their films. I’m under a contract and unable to say much.”

The star son, however, clears the air about a controversy that said he kept Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan waiting on the sets of Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat because he was holidaying in Goa. “I haven’t been to Goa in five years,” says Pratik. “I may be young, restless and even stupid but I would never keep a senior actor like Aamir waiting.” Brickbats be damned, then. It will rain bouquets in Pratik’s backyard on his birthday, today!
Nandita Das is dating industrialist Subodh Maskara

By Mumbai mirror bureau (November 21, 2009)

Looks like love has come calling again for Nandita Das.The winsome actress who has won much national and international acclaim both as an actress and director is now seeing Subodh Maskara, an industrialist based out of Mumbai.

Nandita married her long time friend Saumya Sen some years back but is now divorced from him. Subodh has been married earlier too.

The couple is looking to buy a home together and have been spotted looking at flats in the Madhuli Building at Worli, itself famous as the building in which Harshad Mehta had several flats.

The 40-year-old Nandita has always been unconventional in her choice of films and has never shied away from controversial roles like Fire (1996).

By Bollywood Hungama News Network, October 10, 2009 – 11:18 IST

Ajay Devgn

Next week’s big Diwali release, All The Best, finds itself in the middle of an uncalled for controversy. Apparently, producer Karan Ramsay (of Om Films Company) has filed a copyright infringement suit against actor and producer Ajay Devgn over the script of the film.-

Ramsay claims that the script of All The Best is almost the same as his under-production film called Uncle Samjha Karo. He has even gone on to mention that he had purchased the copyright of his film’s script from writer Paritosh Painter in November 2006. Ramsay further adds that in 2007, Paritosh Painter had tried to get back the copyright of the script from him but in the arbitration process that followed, the IMPPA ruled the case in his favour thereby declaring Ramsay as the owner of the copyright.

Devgn films meanwhile claim that their film is based on the American play ‘Right Bed Wrong Husband’ and that they had in fact acquired the script from an American firm for $40000. Devgn is even livid at the fact that despite knowing all this long before, Ramsay files a petition only at the last minute close to his film’s release.

When we tried to contact Devgn Films, their spokesperson said, “Right now we are in Delhi for the promotions of our film. The matter is currently in court and we would not like to comment on anything at this point of time. We should get a clearer picture by Monday.”

One will have to wait and watch if the makers of All The Best are able to come out of this soup in a clean way.

Bollywood Hungama.com

Fearing a controversy, Right Yaa Wrong director Neeraj Pathak re-dubs the word Bombay to Mumbai

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 07, 2009)

Right Yaa Wrong

Filmmakers are growing increasingly wary of having to deal with controversies because of politically incorrect words and references in their films. After the word ‘Bombay’ in Wake Up Sid stirred up a hornet’s nest, the makers of the Sunny Deol and Irrfan Khan starrer Right Yaa Wrong have decided to use the word Mumbai instead of ‘Bombay’, which has been used twice in the film.

Neeraj Pathak, the director of Right Yaa Wrong, said, “I had not realised that the word Bombay was like a bomb, waiting to explode. It was only when I heard about the Wake Up Sid controversy that I decided to check my film. We have a sequence where the Goa Police and the Mumbai Police get together for an operation during which Deepal Shaw says Bombay Police instead of Mumbai Police. In another scene, a TV reporter too says Bombay Police. Although I’m done with the film’s dubbing, I have decided to re-dub these bits rather than risk inviting any controversy.”

By Bollywood Hungama News Network, September 22, 2009 – 16:49 IST

Ram Gopal Varma Ram Gopal Varma is yet again embroiled in a controversy that has one of his protegee at the hilt of it all. The man who is known to have launched many a careers in Bollywood is now being accused of destroying one.

Lalit Marathe who struggled his way into finally completing his first directorial venture Shabri under Ram Gopal Varma banner is rather miffed. Reason being that his film has been stuck for the past three years. To vent his feeling, he took up his cause on Facebook, where, he claims, the campaign is quickly gathering steam as the users are starting to feel that Varma is playing with Marathe’s career.

Marathe’s ire seems to brew from the fact that even though the film is ready, it’s still not getting a release from its producers, RGV and Adlabs. What further aggravated matters was when people from Rome Film Festival approached RGV for the film; they were never directed to Marathe.

While RGV claims that the film is in its post production stage, Marathe calls it an excuse and wonders why it’s taken three years for a film’s post production to be completed.

Apparently, many Facebook users feel for Marathe’s cause and have pledged their support for same. An overwhelming experience for an emotional Marathe.


By Subhash K. Jha, September 12, 2009 – 11:42 IST

Katrina Kaif, Ranbir Kapoor There are many reasons why Katrina ko bahut gussa aata hai. Earlier this week a television channel went ballistic with an image showing her reaching out and hugging Ranbir Kapoor on the road. The suggestive clipping had the channel wondering aloud what Salman Khan would have to say about Katrina’s public display of intimacy.

Katrina is defiant and cheesed off. ”Nothing .Why should he have anything to say about a scene from a film? It’s a scene we shot for Rajneeti on a street of Bhopal. Obviously some camera outside our unit shot and decided to up the channel’s TRPs with one more scandal story. But it’s disgusting.”

Katrina sees this as a clear case of ‘match’-mixing. ”First of all it’s illegal to shoot people without their knowledge. And then how can they pass off a shot from a film as a paparazzi scoop?”

Getting indignant Katrina says, ”People can easily see I’m dressed for the character in Rajneeti. And am I so dumb as to indulge in a public display of affection with my co-star? Grant me more common sense.”

The lady who’s in Bhopal shooting non-stop with Ranbir for Rajneeti took off for Delhi on Tuesday to shoot for Vogue. She had to skip the music release of Salman Khan’s Main Aurr Mrs Khanna in Mumbai. ”Another controversy?” she sighs. ”We’re all busy with our commitments. And I’m also busy fighting off strange allegations.”

Strangest of them all is the one that Ayesha Shroff shot off alleging that the surname given on Katrina’s passport was ‘Turquotte.’ ”That’s my mother surname,” is all Katrina will say before clamming up on the subject.


slumMohammed Ismail, left, holds the hand of his son, Azhar, 10 – a star of Slumdog Millionaire – and his wife Shamim in the flat bought for them by the filmmakers. The picture was taken the day before his death Photograph: Gethin Chamberlain

The father of Slumdog Millionaire child star Azhar Ismail has died of tuberculosis at the family’s home in Mumbai.

Mohammed Ismail’s premature death will inevitably fuel the controversy surrounding the fate of the slum children who appeared in the movie, which has grossed more than £86m worldwide since its release.

He died today in the new flat bought for the family by the trust set up by director Danny Boyle. Azhar, 10, was at school at the time and did not learn of the death until he returned home in the early evening.

In the movie Azhar played the part of Salim, the brother of the film’s lead character. In February he travelled to Los Angeles for the Oscars ceremony, where the film picked up eight awards, and on his return to the slum with co-star Rubina Ali he was greeted by cheering crowds.

But the failure of the children to subsequently escape the slum life has been the subject of controversy both within India and abroad.

Ismail found himself at the centre of a media storm after he was photographed slapping Azhar for refusing to talk to journalists shortly after the Oscar ceremony.

Azhar later said that the image portrayed of his father was undeserved. “I was being naughty and he slapped me like any father would. I was the one who was wrong,” he said.

Ismail refused to abandon his dependence on alcohol – something he shared with a large number of men in the slum – despite the media spotlight on his life. But he was clearly very proud of his son’s success. “The fact that a poor man’s child has made such a name for himself, that’s what makes me most happy,” he told journalists.

Until two months ago the whole family still lived in the illegal Garib Nagar slum in the Bandra area of the city. A makeshift shelter that was their home until the film propelled them into the public eye was replaced by a slightly more substantial tin sheet structure built with the help of neighbours, but that was later torn down by the city council.

Ismail had been ill for some time and had twice been admitted to a tuberculosis hospital in Mumbai after being turned away by another hospital in the city, which refused to admit him in case he infected other patients.

His wife said he had been unhappy with the treatment he received in the hospital and had discharged himself.

Tuberculosis is now rare in the UK but remains a major killer in India, where about 1,000 people die of the disease every day. Most of the £1,725 Azhar earned for appearing in the movie was spent on treating his father’s illness.

When The Guardian visited the family in the flat yesterday, it was clear that Ismail’s situation was critical. He lay on the floor of the one-bedroom flat, wrapped in a bundle of blankets, his body wasted, no longer even able to stand up. Asked what would become of him, he said it was in the hands of Allah.

Dinesh Dubey, a family friend who witnessed his death, said it was peaceful.

“He was waiting for me to arrive, I think,” he said. “When I got there his clothes were still moving and his hands were shaking and, after a couple of minutes, there was no more movement.”

Until a few days ago Ismail had still been living in the slum where Azhar was born and brought up. He had stayed on when his wife and son moved into the new flat a short distance away from the slum, because he said that he needed to be there to continue his business selling scrap wood and he was reluctant to move away from his friends.

Unable to understand why the family had not been immediately rehoused when the film became a box-office success, he had regularly criticised Celador films, which made the movie, for abandoning them to their fate.

But the company maintained that it was doing everything it could to help the families of the child stars and had set up the Jai Ho Trust to take care of their welfare and to find them new accommodation.

The new apartment will be transferred into Azhar’s name when he reaches 18 and he is expected to stay on there with his mother. They share the flat with Azhar’s older brother and his wife.

GUARDIAN.CO.UK (September 4, 2009)


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