January 4, 2010 5:11:05 PM IST Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
AAMIR KHAN, VIDHU VINOD CHOPRA, CHETAN BHAGAT
Explanations, counter-explanations, arguments counter-arguments, evidences in writing, oral affirmations etc., all are flying in the air from one party to another. On one side Chetan Bhagat is holding the court, and on the other all those associated with 3 IDIOTS have dug their heels. While it is not clear whether the collections of 3 IDIOTS have perked up or not Chetan Bhagat's 5 POINT SOMEONE has indeed gone out of publication and publisher and the writer are already laughing all the way to their bank.
However in the case of 3 IDIOTS the controversy does not seem to die, though of-late films with big star casts which had a sense of anticipation were embroiled in one controversy or the other, mostly under the same pretext of copyright violations. The difference between 3 IDIOTS and other such cases lay in the fact that the other party was not of the near equal stature and therefore by exchange of some monetary compensation the issue was reconciled. With 3 IDIOTS, however both the associated parties are nearly on an equal footing and therefore the stakes have suddenly risen. The stakes have also arisen on account of the fact that 3 IDIOTS has emerged as one of the biggest hit films produced by the Hindi film industry so far.
If one were to compare it with situation in Hollywood, where films are adapted from written works, the terms and conditions are clearly defined and there are no gray areas. As Hindi films are looking for innovative content to entice the audience the question of copyrights would continue to rear its head in a serious manner on a regular basis. Therefore the need of the hour is to define and delineate the terms and conditions in black and white. 3 IDIOTS is probably the first film where the issue of copyrights has reared its head in a serious manner. However Hindi films have been adapting works of literature for films for quite a long time. One of the celebrated examples that can be quoted is that of CHITRALEKHA, which was based on Bhagwati Sharan Verma's novel by the same name. Creative freedom was adapted during the making of CHITRALEKHA as well.
May be, the difference this time around with 3 IDIOTS is that the media is also fighting the battle, which has made it a news item. While the associated controversy would die down, 3 IDIOTS also needs to be viewed as a point of departure to clearly delineate the relationship between a writer and a filmmaker. The sooner it is done, the better.