Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘writer

By Subhash K. Jha, January 4, 2010 – 14:18 IST

Chetan Bhagat Those multitudes who have read Chetan Bhagat’s book novel Five Point Someone would agree there are uncanny resemblances between the novel and Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots. The film apparently set out to adapt Bhagat’s novel and then decided to go its own way, for whatever reason. Chetan Bhagat shouts foul as he finds his name missing from the opening credits of 3 Idiots, instead they are in the rolling credits in the end. On the other hand, the producers of the film claim that it was mentioned in the contract that Chetan had signed. Hurt and amused Chetan reacts.

You must be very upset by the latest proceedings?
You’re a writer. You should know how it feels to have credit taken away from you. And it’s not something only I’m saying. It’s out there. The book is there. The film is there. They’ve tried to take away from my contribution. My name is at the very end of the credit titles after the junior artistes and still photographers. From the time they started making the film, they’ve been stressing that their product is different. It’s like a systematic effort (to underplay my contribution). If you read the book and saw the film, you’ll see the similarities.

My name is at the very end of the credit titles after the junior artistes and still photographers

So would you say 3 Idiots is an adaptation of your novel?
3 Idiots is a total adaptation of my book. Some things are direct lifts, others indirect adaptations.

Aamir thinks you are trying to take away credit from the film’s writer Abhijat Joshi?
I heard his comments. But then he says he hasn’t read the book. There’s no denying Abhijat has done the screenplay. What Abhijat has done with my book can only be known if you’ve read it. If Aamir is so concerned about Abhijat not getting the publicity, he should let Abhijat talk. I very much respect Aamir. He’s the reason I thought the project would have a lot of integrity. I know for a fact he was told not to read my book because they told him it’d affect his understanding of his story. I was told it was a different script.

Even dialogues about matar-paneer and Maruti 800 cars are from my novel. The novel was set in the 1990s. Aaj Maruti 800 kaun bolega?

How would Aamir’s perception have been affected if he read the book?
I don’t know. I’m on a firm footing with the facts. See the film, read the book. And judge for yourself. The whole plot-structure narrative, even dialogues about matar-paneer and Maruti 800 cars are from my novel. The novel was set in the 1990s. Aaj Maruti 800 kaun bolega? I mention 42 exams and 16 broken bones in my body. They have kept the same numbers in the film. Kareena’s brother committing suicide on the railway tracks…so many other things in the film; it’s all there in my novel.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Aamir have accused you of trying to make mileage out of their movie?
If I didn’t take up the issue properly, I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself. If someone else goes and collects the award for best story at the awards functions how will I feel? Only once I met Aamir. When I landed at Bangalore where they were shooting 3 Idiots they said, ‘Don’t come we’ve too many visitors.’ They prevented me from going on the set. The book has been selling for six years. There’re lakhs of fans of the book. It’s not about Chetan being naraaz and Aamir being naraaz. My issue is not with Aamir. When the other film Hello based on my novel One Night At The Call Centre came, did I say one word against the characterizations or treatment? I was credited properly for that. I haven’t been credited for 3 Idiots.

When I landed at Bangalore where they were shooting 3 Idiots they said, ‘Don’t come we’ve too many visitors.’ They prevented me from going on the set.

Have you become embittered towards Bollywood?
You could make up any kind of contract. But is there any contract that stops people from being petty? My last novel Three Mistakes Of My Life is being directed by Abhishek Kapoor. I am co-scripting it. There’s a lot of interest in adapting my latest novel 2 States: The Story Of My Life. I don’t think there would be any problem with future project. With 3 Idiots, I know I’m in the right. I’m just telling people to see the film and read my book. I know Aamir is a very powerful person. But finally the truth has to prevail, no? I’m no great artiste. But there has to be fair play. I’m being accused of trying to get mileage.10 lakh copies of the book have been sold. The book has been read by 1 crore readers. Wouldn’t they know the truth?

Chetan Bhagat What do you intend to do?
The makers of 3 Idiots are busy with their victory tours all over the country. They’re naturally being asked about the similarities between my book and the film. Sorry I spoilt their celebrations. The truth had to be told. I’ve been told by them, ‘You’re just a writer. You don’t realize how big we are.’ Maybe I don’t realize how big they are. Main kya karoon? But the truth is above everything. Aisa nahin ke pura Bollywood kharaab hai.

Do you think you’ll be ostracized by Bollywood after this incident?
I’m not dependent on Bollywood for my livelihood. I’m a big Krishna bhakt. I’ll follow the right path. If I’m wrong I’ll leave writing and join ISKCON. What does a writer want? That his words should make a change in society. Maybe by taking up this issue I hope to bring about a change in the way writers are treated. Vidhu Vinod Chopra assured me that he would treat me like a king. Kahan ka raja?

Vidhu Vinod Chopra assured me that he would treat me like a king. Kahan ka raja?

What do you hope to achieve?
When they go to pick up the story award I want people to know whose story it is. When they make eye contact with their children they should know they’re lying. We’ve to show that truth comes before everything else. I don’t write for money or glamour. I just need paper and pen. Lord Krishna takes care of the rest.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

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.

Agencies

By Subhash K. Jha, December 31, 2009 – 11:35 IST

Abbas Tyrewala Abbas Tyrewala who directed one of 2008’s biggest successes is also a writer of great repute, having written among other things, the prophetic dialogues of Munnabhai MBBS and the screenplay of Maqbool.

Abbas went to see the latest Yashraj production Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year not only as a writer and director but also as an eager fan of the films that the banner comes out of.

“I love Jaideep Sahni’s writing and Shimit Amin’s direction. But what were they thinking while doing Rocket Singh? Where is the payoff in the screenplay? Where is the hero? Ranbir plays a timid Sardar who steals phone lines and computer hardware from his work-place to start his own business. And we are supposed to accept him as a man of integrity! Would he be able to start his own business if it wasn’t for the nefarious support he gets from his work-place? In other words the ‘hero’ resorts to those very underhand tactics that he claims to abhor and takes the help of that very organization which has disgraced him!”

Most damaging of all, Abbas couldn’t see a hero in Ranbir’s character. “The boss (Manish Chowdhary) is so over-the-top he belongs to another sensibility altogether, calls Ranbir a ‘bastard’ several times, humiliates and disgraces him publicly. We wait for our hero to have his revenge on the boorish boss. I completely believe in the old-fashioned Hindi film formula where the hero gives his tormentor tit for tat. But Boss, where’s the comeuppance for the villain? In fact the story comes across more as the boss’ redemption story as the hero’s.”

Abbas is now more than sure what he wants to do with his own hero John Abraham in 1-800-Love at the end. “I want my hero to either win or die at the end. Not a hero whose fight for the right simply peters out to a dead-end.”

In fact Abbas’s disappointment with Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year has given him a renewed creative strength. “I now know exactly how my hero’s journey to end. I’m an old-fashioned storyteller. And we’ve at heart a very traditional audience. They want to see the hero triumph at the end, not walk away from the villain as he makes an apology speech.”

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

For the first time, Deepika Padukone will star opposite Salman Khan in Kick directed by AR Murugadoss

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 09, 2009)


The self-effacing AR Murugadoss, who directed Aamir Khan in Ghajini, has now been signed on to direct Salman Khan in producer Sajid Nadiadwala’s next action-romance Kick, a remake of the 2009 Telugu film directed by Surender Reddy, starring Ravi Teja.

What comes as a surprise is that Deepika Padukone, who has till now been close to the Shah Rukh-Farah Khan-Karan Johar group, will star opposite Salman in the film.

Deepika Padukone AR Murugadoss Salman Khan

Although Deepika has just wrapped up Houseful with Sajid Nadiadwala, he was hesitant when he approached her for Kick wondering if she would have any reservations about working with Salman. According to reliable sources, Deepika made it very clear to Nadiadwala that she is open to working with every actor.

Nadiadwala doesn’t deny the presence of Murugadoss and Deepika in the Hindi remake of Kick. “Murugadoss I’ve met and Deepika of course is already my leading lady in Houseful. I loved Murugadoss’s work in Ghajini and so did Salman. We were very clear about not getting the original Telugu director as I don’t believe in letting the South Indian directors do the Hindi remakes,” he says.

The challenge now is to make Salman’s action sequences in Kick different not only from Ghajini but also Wanted.  Nadiadwala says, “I don’t want Kick to look like Wanted 2. We’ll be shooting the action scenes in Tokyo.”

Salman will be doing a lot of martial arts and kick-boxing in Kick and Murugadoss wants to make sure the action quotient in his next film is on par with the action sequences in Ghajini.

Sajid has roped in the Munnabhai writer Abhijat Joshi to script the Hindi adaptation of Kick. “He lives in the US but is expected to be in India during the release of 3 Idiots (co-written by him). That’s when we will lock in on the script,” adds Nadiadwala.

Abrar Alvi, writer of classics Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool, passed away on Wednesday

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 20, 2009)


 

Abrar Alvi with his niece Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam


Abrar Alvi, who passed away on Wednesday due to a stomach complication, lived most of his life as Guru Dutt’s resident writer. He was 82 years old. His health gradually deteriorated after he suffered a paralytic attack four years ago.

Though he wrote some films outside Guru Dutt’s banner including four back-to-back Vyjanthimala starrers Suraj, Chotisi Mulaqat, Sungharsh and Saathi between 1966-68, his name remained associated with Guru Dutt for whom he  directed the classic Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and wrote the dialogue and/or screenplay for Aar Paar, Mr & Mrs 55, Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool and Chaudvin Ka Chand.

Gulzar saab had a very interesting encounter with Abrar Alvi in 1968 .”Abrar Alvi saab was the uncle of one my favourite protégés Salim Arif. I was asked to write from scratch a screenplay earlier written by Abrar Ali Saab for HS Rawaail’s Sungharsh. The screenplay and dialogue had to be re-written from scratch by me, on the behest of the film’s leading man Dilip Kumar as they just couldn’t see eye-to-eye. It was one of my first  writing assignments in films. We spent a lot of time together during those days. He was a very warm, humane and cultured man. He remained associated with Guru Dutt’s cinema. He hardly wrote for anybody except for Guru Dutt and his brother Atma Ram. I’d never pass by his home in Janki Kutir without stopping by to pay my respects. Another pillar has fallen,” says Gulzar.

Asha Parekh got to know Abrar Alvi during the making of Shikar in 1968. “Shikar was directed by Guru Dutt’s brother Atma Ram. Abrar Alvi wrote that film. I’d sit and chat with Abrar saab. He knew so much about many things besides cinema. He was a very sensible, refined , cultured and educated man.  One by one all the stalwarts are going away,” says Asha.

Abrar Alvi is survived by his wife, two daughters and three sons.

WHAT’S COOKING? Don McKellar with Seema Biswas in the film; (centre) Lisa Ray and (right) Shabana Azmi
… in test of the kitchen, lands lead role with Canadian actor Don Mckellar which requires her to cook

SUBHASH K JHA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; Aug 7, 2009)


Strangely, Bollywood did not really have a finger in this pie that was baked in Delhi. Canadian actor, writer and filmmaker Don McKellar slipped into the capital and shot a fulllength Indian film with Lisa Ray and Seema Biswas (yes, the same) and left without anybody getting wind of what was happening.


The film, Cooking with Stella, is made by Deepa Mehta’s brother Dilip Mehta, but features all of Deepa’s favourite stars — including Shabana Azmi — who the Indian-born Canadian director has used in earlier films like Fire, Earth and Water.
The story goes that Shabana
missed out on the title role in Cooking with Stella because, well, the actress is lousy at cooking! And the role requires the protagonist to play a cook in a diplomat’s (Lisa Ray) household who teaches the diplomat’s chef-husband (Don McKellar) the best culinary secrets of India. Seema Biswas, on the other hand, is a fabulous cook and was just right for Stella’s part. And she and Don whipped up a storm in the kitchen on the Delhi sets of the film. Bollywood, of course, is mystified why Shabana could not have acted out the part. If Amitabh Bachchan, who notoriously cannot even boil an egg, played a famous London chef in R Balki’s Cheeni Kum, why could not Shabana be Stella!


Don, who was seen last year in the dramatic thriller Blindness (which he also scripted), is an amazingly versatile actor and Dilip Mehta was thrilled to have him play the lead role. “He was intrigued by the character, we couriered him the script, and he was on. He came straight to Delhi and hit the deck running. All this
two weeks prior to principle filming,” said Dilip.


shabana The film is a social satire about a Canadian diplomat and her chef-husband who are posted in Delhi and inherit a household of Indian servants headed by the charming, totally-inspiring and wily cook Stella. Don, incidentally, did manage to take back to Canada with him several tips on Indian cooking that he learned while shooting from Seema!