Before we go further, you might be interested in taking a look at the arguments and counterarguments that made into headlines big time after the release of 3 Idiots, a film based on Chetan’s first novel, Five Point Someone.
|Chetan’s Arguments ||VC Team’s Counterarguments |
|Chetan argues, with the support of his Fan Mails, more than 70% of the film is directly from FPS, though the film makers claim 3 Idiots is only 2 to 5 % inspired by the book. ||A site called thefourthidiot.com, launched by Amit Jotwani, lists out at least 25 ways in which the film is different from the book. |
|Chetan said he was hurt and shocked to see that the film makers did not give him due credit in the film. ||VC Team claimed that they gave Chetan the credit due to him as per the contract the Production House had entered into with Chetan. |
|Chetan claims that he was never shown the final script ||Hungama.com interviewed Chetan before the release of the film and during the interview he tells us Raju Hirani narrated the script to him more than once. |
|Chetan claims that he was never shown the film before it was released. ||Hirani claims that when he tried to contact Chetan when the final print arrived, he was in Hongkong. And Chetan had seen the film during Premiere. |
Let us accept that “Rolling Credits” indeed meant “Closing Credits”. Chetan can again argue that he accepted that thinking only 2 to 5 % is taken from the book and rest of it is VC Film’s own doing. We all know what VC Films was trying to feed us before the film released. They were claiming that the film is completely different from the book. After I watched it, I am sure I can give 50 examples for why the film is ripped straight off from the book, against “thefourthidiot’s” 25 examples for why the film is not the book. Just because you add a few subplots to the original plot, splash a little colour and add a couple of songs do not mean that a story is original. And everyone knows what Closing Credits mean to Indian Audience. Closing Credits is a time when we get ready to leave the Movie Hall. Chetan clearly deserved an Opening Credit and what VC did was a clear violation of Copyright Laws.
You may argue Chetan did not object about credits when Hirani “narrated” the script to him several times. Give me a break! Do you know the difference between hearing a ‘narrated’ script and ‘reading the final script’? We do not know what script Hirani narrated to Chetan. We will never know because Chetan is not going to talk about it anymore. We will also never know if Chetan made it to the Premiere of the Film. I hope Hirani has tickets to show that Chetan travelled from Hongkong to India for the Premiere. Otherwise, that will not be considered in court.
It is very evident that VC Films, with the help of AAmir Khan and Hirani, is trying to take our attention away from the key issue. The issue here is “Credits”. Everyone knows that Chetan was not given due credit. Like Vikas Swarup was given credit for his Q&A in Slumdog Millionaire. If VC Films can figure out what Swarup’s Credit in Slumdog Millionaire meant, they will understand what Chetan is talking about.
I am sure we would not have heard about Swarup if an Indian Film Maker produced Slumdog Millionaire. We heard about Swarup because there is a Writer’s Guild in Hollywood and they would have sued Danny Boyle’s ass had he not given Swarup his due credit. And that is exactly what we lack in Bollywood, a Writer’s Guild. I think the FPS vs 3 Idiots Row should lead us there. Chetan should think of using his advocacy charms to woo the Bollywood Writers, get them together and form a Writer’s Guild in India.
Update: Just like I thought. Chetan confirmed today [Jan 5, 2010] that he did not read the final script. It was only narrated to him. Now, there is a big difference between reading the script and hearing the script.