It is often said that competition is healthy in any form of art. In the modern age of growing cinema, competition among films is inevitable.
Nevertheless, competition can take an ugly turn when they lead into legal tussle as well.
Ayushmann Khurrana's Bala has been the talk of B-town for quite a while now. The film was discussed among cinegoers as it will see Ayushmann in a new light. He plays a balding protagonist in Bala. Things took an unusual turn for Bala a week before the release of it's trailer. This was because the trailer for Ujda Chaman starring Sunny Singh was released.
With both the films gearing up for a release in November, fans are left scratching their heads. From protagonists to posters, Udja Chaman and Bala look like two peas from the same pod.
Abhishek Pathak who is making his directorial debut with Ujda Chaman told Mumbai Mirror that his film is an official remake of the 2017 Kannada film Ondu Motteya Kathe. He said, "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."
Dinesh Vijan who is producing Bala on the other hand claims and justifies that his film has been at work long before Ujda Chaman was announced. Through his production company Maddock films, he issued a statement that read, "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."
Looks like an interesting journey has already begun for both the film long before it's release. What happens next only time will tell. Until any serious action is taken Bala is scheduled to release on November 7 and Ujda Chaman on November 8.
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