The trailer of Ayushmann Khurrana‘s latest film Bala has left the makers of another film titled Ujda Chaman fuming. The producers of the film – Kumar Mangat Pathak and his son Abhishek Pathak have alleged that the film by Dinesh Vijan violates the copyright act and has striking similarities with their film. The producers of Panorama Films have also raised concerns with the release date of the Amar Kaushik-directorial. In their latest interview with Mumbai Mirror, the two highlighted that their film that features Sunny Singh in the lead was always slated to hit the screens on November 8. However, the makers of Bala always kept fluctuating their release date from November 22, 15 and now it is releasing a day before Ujda Chaman – November 7.
Revealing that their film is an official remake of the 2017 Kannada film, Ondu Motteya Kathe, Abhishek said Ujda Chaman and Bala find many similarities including the design of their posters. He said, “At least let it be a healthy competition. In this case, even their poster design is similar.” Mentioning other surprising similarities in the content of both the films, Pathak said many things in the story of Bala seem lifted from the story of Ondu Motteya Kathe, “including the closing dialogue and the way both characters flip their respective cap.”
The producer went on to mention that his film Ujda Chaman is the remake of the Kannada film but Bala is not. Therefore, Ayushmann’s film having similarities with that of the Kannada film is a problematic issue. “It’s obvious where their inspiration came from, but while we have the official remake rights of Ondu Motteya Kathe, they have tried to maneuver the screenplay by flipping a few things, like in the original, there’s a girl selling a hair-growing product to bald people, in Bala you see Ayushmann selling products to dusky girls,” he explained.
The producer also mentioned the other prominent films that they have made as remakes of South Indian films. “I believe good stories need to be seen by a maximum number of people. My company Panorama Studios always looks out for such gems… Alone and Drishyam are official remakes by us.”
Panorama Films bought the remake rights of Ondu Motteya Kathe in the last quarter of 2018 and the team decided to prepare the film for a November 8 release ever since they started working on it. However, they are still not sure whether to take a legal route in the case or not. Pathak said ‘it’s a clear case of copyright violation’ and they will discuss taking the matter to the court.
After Pathak’s allegations, Dinesh Vijan and his team talked to the daily to issue an official statement on the matter. In its statement, the Maddock Films said they stand by the ‘originality’ of their film and if the future demands them to fight a court battle, they are ready to do it. The statement also mentioned that Bala is very ‘close to the heart’ of the people associated with it and the team is glad to have another film talking about the social stigma of baldness and dark skin.
Here’s the entire statement: “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, as the widespread stigmatisation of baldness and dark skin. If there are multiple films that 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 its project all the way, including through legal recourse if need be.”