I am blogging about this only because a previous entry was sparked off by the movie 3 Idiots (3I). The row between Chetan Bhagat and the makers of 3I is too farcial to be true. In an interview to Rediff, this is what Hirani said:
Chetan gave me this book to read and I wanted to make a film on it. But I knew right from the start that I could not make a film completely on the book, as it was very anecdotal and a film needs a plot. So I had decided to rewrite it in a screenplay format. You’ll see that the film is very different from the book. After I wrote the script, I called Chetan and narrated it to him. I told him that if he did not like the script, I would stop the project. But he was okay with it.
3I is totally based on Bhagat’s Five Point Someone (FPS). Chopra and Hirani apparently are claiming otherwise. The movie is very faithful to the book and there is absolutely no way anyone in the audience (who has read the book) is going to miss that. So who is lying?
That said, there are these possibilities –
- Bhagat and the producers had a deal which Bhagat reneged on when the movie became such a smash-hit. He felt denied and wanted his share of fame. Ah. Minor problem there – Bhagat is already a best-selling fiction writer in India. And in the hands of a team like Chopra-Hirani-Aamir, only an idiot (not the kinds feted in the movie) could have been doubtful of the movie’s commercial success. But are we to believe that Bhagat went along with the production for the last two years without even reading the final script? Eh! something wrong there…
- The producers and Aamir are being petty, first denying credit to Bhagat and now accusing him of pulling a publicity stunt. Which is unfortunate because Aamir is usually trying to appeal to the intelligent (we will for now ignore questions about the veracity of the said group’s intelligence) audience, particularly the urban youth. Unfortunately for Aamir, it is this precise crowd thats likely to have read FPS. Just take a look at his Twitter page…. So it is stupid of Aamir to even go down that lane.
So what is going on? I am not inclined to think that this was a joint effort by both parties just to gain publicity. I wouldn’t care about this bollywood gossip normally, but this is different because the people, the book and the film are so big. It is insane in the way it would be if Dan Brown and Tom Hanks/Ron Howard had got into a row over Da Vinci Code/Angels and Demons.
To Chopra and Hirani – where is your gandhigiri ??