WHY SO MANY LAST MINUTE LAWSUITS?
Bollywood asks why so many people raise their objections just before a film’s release
It’s happening more and more often now with Bollywood films — just before a film’s release, there’s a lawsuit, because someone has a problem with something in the film.
Director Dinesh Vijan’s film Raabta was accused of plagiarism by the makers of the Telugu film Magadheera a few weeks before its June 9 release. Other recent films that got caught in a legal tangle just days before their release are Behen Hogi Teri (police complaint filed over the lead character’s Lord Shiva get-up); Guest Iin London (sued for allegedly being an unauthorised sequel); and Jolly LLB 2 (accused of mocking lawyers).
Vijan says, “These things don’t need to go to court. I had offered a screening of Raabta for the makers of Magadheera, but they didn’t see it. [The plagiarism issue] could’ve been dealt with a month earlier. A lawsuit does create panic and it’d be very silly if I say that it doesn’t bother me.”
Jolly LLB 2, starring Akshay Kumar, was accused of mocking the Indian judicial system and a legal notice was sent to the producers just a few days before the release. In an earlier interview, Akshay said, “I wonder how each time a film is made, some legal controversy crops up just five days before its release. How come no one thinks of filing a case a few months before?”
Rajkummar Rao, the lead actor of Behen Hogi Teri, appeals to everyone to “watch the whole film, see it in the right context and then decide”.
The last-minute lawsuits are a ploy to cash in on the panic of filmmakers, says director Madhur Bhandarkar. “Some people turn up at the last moment to try their luck” and maybe wrangle some money out of the film team, he says, adding that this is most likely to happen with a film that has a buzz around it.
Trade analyst Atul Mohan describes these last-minute lawsuits as “mental trauma”, though, he says, they may also perk up audience curiosity.
These things don’t need to go to court. A lawsuit does create panic and it’d be very silly if I say that it doesn’t bother me DINESH VIJAN, FILMMAKER
Movie stills from Jolly LLB 2 (left) and Raabta