How many idiots does it take to make a Box Office hit? Regarding the movie Three Idiots, does anyone really know what the real controversy is all about?
As per the agreement between the author Chetan Bhagat and the movie producers, the credit roll is to have:
Based On The Novel
FIVE POINT SOMEONE
Chetan says he was informed by the movie producers that they have written a completely new story, ‘influenced’ by his book. According to Chetan, the movie Three Idiots has “a big front Story credit for Mr Hirani and Mr Joshi.”
I agree with Chetan that the movie cannot have Story Credit for anyone else, if the story is based on his novel.
That said, did Chetan accept the two payments, (10 Lakh Rs) One Million Rupees from the movie producers? Only Chetan can answer this question. I will put the question to him through twitter. . If Chetan accepted the money, how come he didn’t ask at that point (November 2009) why he is being paid for a story which is supposedly an original written by Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi (the scriptwriter)?
Watch this clip: http://tr.im/JjQX
I am yet to watch the movie. And I must admit I haven’t read any of his books. My friends tell me that the movie is very much an adaptation of the book. As a journalist and lover of words I must back the writer in this controversy. By having made the payment to Chetan, the producers are very much admitting that the movie is an adaptation – no matter what the percentage of content/storyline has been taken. That is why it is called an adaptation.
The real controversy here is the Story Credit given to Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi.
How come Chetan is not taking the producers to court? He says, he believes in God and that the movie makers will get their judgment in due course of time, if not in this life – in any of their future births. This is what makes me angry. He calls himself the ‘small person’ in this battle of truth. And now he is leaving it to the Gods. If every crime was left to God for final judgment, why do we even have courts and legal systems?
Chetan, as a renowned author, has a moral responsibility to fight the good fight for all the other small authors who get fleeced by the big corporations. Wouldn’t God judge him for his reluctance to fight the Dharm Yudh? It is at this point even I get a bit cynical about the whole “Credit Drama”.
I checked the Reliance Big Entertainment website – it says, “Inspired from Chetan Bhagat’s novel, “Five Point Someone” the film chronicles the tale of three friends together in an engineering college. What seems to have touched the right chord in people’s heart is the witty writing and terrific acting and the incisive look which the film takes at the education system in India.”
In an interview published here http://tr.im/Jksb “On the eve of 3 Idiots release, Chetan Bhagat speaks to Bollywood Hungama and talks about why 3 Idiots is a special film, his next big project and lots more.”
The screenplay has been written by Raju Hirani and Abhijat Joshi…Would you have liked to be a part of the screenplay writing process?
Initially I did sit down with Raju and Abhijat while they were deciding to make a film based on ‘5 Point Someone’. I even went to IIT with Abhijat a couple of times. But it was just not possible for me to be involved at every stage of the screenplay writing process since I was in Hong Kong at that time, working full time and busy writing other books. Moreover, Abhijat is based in USA, Raju was in the US for quite a while working on the screenplay but it was not practical for me to do that.
The question on everyone’s mind is how similar the film is to the book? Raju Hirani says that the film is just 10% of the book….your comments.
I don’t think Raju must have said something like that. In fact I just met him a few days ago and we spoke at length about the film etc. See…’5 Point Someone’ has over the years achieved cult status and has its own loyal fans. I am sure they would like to see each and every moment of the book on the big screen but that is not how the process works. Adapting a book and making it into a film is a relatively new thing in India. The film retains the soul of the book. 3 Idiots is different from the book but at the same time it does borrow many things from the book. The core theme and message of the film is coming from the book itself. And that’s why the makers have officially credited the film as ‘Based on a novel by Chetan Bhagat’
And then Chetan says this:
“I am really inspired by Aamir’s marketing. In fact there is a lesson for a lot of Indian marketing companies on the way Aamir does the marketing of his films.”
Perhaps it is this statement which has made many in India believe the entire controversy is a ‘promotional stunt’ – an extension of ‘Advertising and Marketing’ of the movie.
When a company wants to promote its product through any media, most editors avoid ‘advertorials’ (advertisements masqueraded as editorial content). Even if Advertorials are published – it is clearly mentioned that the content is advertorial. Advertorial is a terrible attempt to fool the readers/audience. You won’t be wrong, if you want to call it cheating.
If Chetan is involved in this publicity stunt to make the movie a box office hit, and also push sales of his current and to be published books… there is a great deal of insincerity in the whole exercise. Chetan has a lot to lose in the public domain, even if the public has a very short memory. I hope Chetan is not involved in this dirty publicity games.
If Television and Print media has been used – by creating an artificial crisis – media people must feel cheated for denying them advertisement revenue. Like in the case of the missing Balloon Boy in the US… people have to be sent to jail for misleading the public for personal gains. The line has to be drawn. Has the fourth estate been made into the fourth fool? If so the media has to fight everyone involved in this particular publicity circus.
Chetan is a free man to decide not to fight the good fight. By not fighting the good fight for the sake of every aspiring artist in India, he clearly is letting a lot of people down. There is more honour in returning the Million Rupees back to the producers and taking them to court… If you need money to fight the case, many Indian citizens like me will donate for a good cause.
The people in India refuse to be the fourth idiot.