While healthy competition is always welcomed, it becomes rather unhealthy and unnecessary when it takes a legal route. And that is exactly what is happening between the makers of Ayushamnn Khurana’s Bala and Sunny Singh Nijjar’s Ujda Chaman.
While Bala was earlier slated for a 15th October release, it has now been preponed to the 7th of November, i.e just a day before Sunny’s Ujda Chaman which is set to hit the theaters on the 8th of November. And now, the director of Ujda Chaman, Abhishek Pathak who marks his directorial debut with the film has filed a case of copyright violations against the makers of Ayushmann’s Bala.
Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, Abhishek has revealed that his film is an official remake of 2017’s Kannada film Ondu Motteya Kathe. He further said, “I believe good stories need to be seen by maximum number of people. My company Panorama Studios always looks out for such gems… Alone and Drishyam are official remakes by us. We acquired Ondu Motteya Kathe in the last quarter of 2018, with a clear intention to release my version within a year. My team suggested November 8 for release and our campaign commenced. In contrast, the Bala team has been changing their release date, from November 22 to November 15 to November 7, which is a day before my film. At least let it be healthy competition. In this case even their poster design is similar. We are discussing it with our legal team and will take action in a few days. This is a clear case of copyright violation. I can understand two films around a bald character releasing within a short span of time, but in this case, there are striking similarities with my film and the original whose rights are with me.”
Raging that Ayushmann Khurrana is a very salable name in the industry today, Abhishek further said, “At least let it be healthy competition. In this case, even their poster design is similar.”
Meanwhile, Dinesh Vijan who is the producer for Bala has been quoted by the same daily saying, “Bala has been in the works for several months now as it has been widely reported in the press. The film is very close to our hearts as a project because we want to meaningfully contribute to the conversation on challenging social themes of our times, like the widespread stigmatisation of baldness and dark skin. If there are multiple films which deal with one of these themes, it’s all the more variety for the viewers to choose from which can never be a bad thing. It’s quite unfortunate if someone, especially a fellow filmmaker, sees this as anything but a positive for audiences. Maddock stands firmly by the originality of its film, and will back it’s project all the way, including through legal recourse if need be.”
Well, the audiences are certainly left scratching their heads with two films so similar to each other and releasing around almost the same time. It certainly will be interesting to see how both films fare and how is the business of both these films affected.