Al­most all up­com­ing film re­leases — both big and small — are fac­ing le­gal has­sles these days

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - AN­JURI NA­YAR SINGH

Guess where you’re most likely to find a new re­lease be­fore the big screen? In the court­room. Be it con­tro­ver­sies around songs or pro­duc­tion costs, there are a host of le­gal has­sles that up­com­ing films seem to be tack­ling. The latest is pro­ducer Sa­jid Na­di­ad­wala’s John Abra­ham-star­rer, Welcome Back. His co-pro­ducer Furqan Khan has claimed that Sa­jid is yet to re­im­burse to him the pro­duc­tion costs amount­ing to nearly ` 48crore.

Mean­while, film­maker Kabir Khan’s Ba­jrangi Bhai­jaan is tied up in a tus­sle sur­round­ing the song, Bhar Do Jholi. Qawwal Am­jad Sabri and a Pak­istani record­ing com­pany has sent a le­gal no­tice to Sal­man, Kabir and other stake­hold­ers of the film, claim­ing that they did not ac­quire the right from them to use the qawwali in the film. How­ever, singer Ad­nan Sami, who has sung the song, says, “So many qawwals have sung it that af­ter a point it be­comes a part of world cul­ture. There are over 20 ver­sions of the track!” he had said.

There was also a stay or­der on the re­lease of Sunny Deol’s Mo­halla Assi af­ter ob­jec­tions were raised against a scene that shows an ac­tor dressed as Lord Shiva throw­ing abuses. “It’s not re­ally the first time some­one has at­tempted abu­sive lan­guage,” said Ravi Kis­han, the film’s lead ac­tor. Omung Ku­mar’s biopic on Sarab­jit Singh, who was con­victed of ter­ror­ism and spy­ing by a Pak­istani court, has also been dragged to court by his sis­ter for “neg­a­tive por­trayal”.

“In­dia is a big coun­try with so many re­li­gious groups and po­lit­i­cal par­ties. Some­one or the other will feel that they have not been rep­re­sented prop­erly and most of them are con­vinced that the film will be against them. This is why they take to lit­i­ga­tion or put un­nec­es­sary bans on these films,” says trade an­a­lyst Amul Mo­han. But he says such trou­ble passes sel­dom af­fects a film’s suc­cess: “Once these films re­lease, most of them are re­ally liked and end up do­ing very well at the box of­fice.”

In­dia is a big coun­try ... some­one or the other will al­ways feel they have not been rep­re­sented prop­erly

Clock­wise: Stills from Ba­jrangi Bhai­jaan, Mo­halla Assi and Welcome Back

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