Fooling around with credit

Last Updated 12 January 2010, 13:45 IST

There seems to be more than 3 idiots after all. Now who is the asli idiot? Is it writer Chetan Bhagat who claims that he has been taken for a ride as most of the movie is based on his Five Point Someone and yet he has been denied credit for the same? Or is it the audience/ readers who are lining up to either see the movie or buy the book even as the publishers and the film-makers are laughing all the way to their bank?

In the City where 3 Idiots took shape, the book versus film has supporters on both sides of the divide. While some admire Chetan who dared to come out in the open and claim his pound of flesh, asking that he be given due recognition, others think that both parties have gained enough publicity.

Writers in the City say due credit must be given and that authors whose books have been adapted into movies are most often taken for a jolly good ride by the movie-makers when it comes to credit issues.

Metrolife sought the reaction of a few eminent writers and directors in the City.
Jnanapith laureate Girish Karnad, who is also an actor and director, says that every writer wants to be read and sell as many copies as he can.  “What’s wrong in giving a writer due credit when portions of his book have been borrowed and reproduced in a movie?” asks Karnad.

He says he had a similar experience when Deepa Mehta adapted his play Nagamandala into a Hindi movie Videsh and never gave me credit for it.  “I was paid the full amount but I found that the credit went missing. She first said it would be a Punjabi movie and later made it into a Hindi one,” he recalls.

Director K M Chaitanya calls the controversy a brilliant orchestrated event to increase book sales and movie collections.  “I wonder why this issue was raked up only after the release of the film and not before that. Well it’s just proved to be a good publicity stunt,” he says.

Writer U R Ananthamurthy whose books have been made into movies such as Samskara and Ghatashragdha says, “Changes are inevitable  when a book is adapted
into a movie. No author can expect a true representation of the book. It may change
for good or for bad,” he reasons.

Young author Anjum Hasan hasn’t really read the book or even seen the movie but she says, “It’s all about  respect. When a film-maker adapts from a book or even vaguely borrows from it,  it’s only right that due  credit be given,” she
wraps up.

(Published 12 January 2010, 13:45 IST)

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