Yet Another Take on 3 Idiots story credit

I read the book Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat long time back and I liked it a lot. I have also watched the movie 3 Idiots and have to accept the movie was way better than my expectations. Even with some very filmy scenes, I think Raju Hirani has come up with a wonderful script and a movie in the same league as MunnaBhai series.

Movie is indeed different from the book although theme remains the same and is really a must watch, controversy or no controversy.

I was expecting to see Chetan Bhagat’s name in the opening credit, but it wasn’t there. I couldn’t spot his name even in the closing/rolling credits. I will be lying if I say I didn’t find it strange. I was surprised why Bhagat doesn’t have anything to say about it. Finally he spoke after a few days and controversy erupted.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Hirani and Aamir slammed Bhagat in various press conferances terming him as publicity hungry etc. etc. Bhagat himself on his part did various TV interviews and wrote blog posts, 4 to be precise. Vinod Chopra decided to make the contract with Bhagat public at his site and also listed 30 reasons why movie is not same as the book. Media went ga-ga with the controversy, everybody wrote about it. Vir Sanghvi’s take on the whole issue is available on his website and I really like what he has written and agree with all of it.

Latest is a video from Raju Hirani himself which many say proves all the allegations by Bhagat wrong. Well I don’t agree and really don’t understand why they don’t see, what I see.

Here are my 2 cents on all the 3 allegations which Hirani seems to have successfully proved wrong:

1. Video shows what Chetan wrote on the blog about story being copied and then Raju interprets it in the video as the allegation of story being stolen. Chetan wrote what he wrote because he was not given credit for the story. People should understand that this is a different issue than the ‘Based on Novel’ credit issue and two should not be confused with each other.

This issue occurred because Hirani and VVC simply gave no credit to Chetan for the story. Instead they went on to prove that movie is different from the book and thus implying that Bhagat deserves no credit for the story.

I fully agree that movie is different from the book and 3i teams has done a fab job with the plot modification and screenplay, however it still has FPS connection and hence Bhagat’s name should be there as Story Writer. Bhagat is not asking for exclusive story writing credit. He clearly mentions on the blog that he is happy to share the credit with other 2 story writers viz Hirani and Abhijat Joshi.

Chetan accepts selling rights to VVC and co so I think Hirani’s comment are totally out of context.

2. Video then shows Chetan writing that he was denied due credit and Hirani shows the contract where it’s clearly written that he will be given credit in the rolling credits. I can’t agree or disagree with that statement but when Hirani goes on to say that they honored the contract to the T, I have strong objection to that statement.

I will first request you to check out the page 4 of 9 page long agreement between Bhagat and VVC films and then compare it with the actual ‘Based on Novel’ credit in the movie.

I have them both side by side here for you:

3. Finally Hirani says that Chetan alleges that he was not shown the script and he says that he narrated the script to himself personally and got an NDA signed. Now Chetan himself has already clarified on the blog that he was not shown the script, he never denied hearing narration. He himself says that hearing a narration is different from having a script in your hand and reading it fully so again I think Hirani is just confusing it.

So here is my final take on this whole issue:

I think VVC and Hirani just thought that Bhagat is a small writer and they can just ignore him and also probably they believed that since they have modified the story, no credit should be given to original author. I am not saying that such things don’t happen ever and VVC and Hirani committed a big crime or something, but ya they probably in the excitement and enthusiasm of creating a great movie, which 3I really is, forgot to be ethical and as Vir Sanghvi says graceful.

Having said that this does not change my admiration and liking of anybody involved in the controversy. I love movies from Hirani and Aamir, they sure have a strong message and I will look forward to more such movies from them in future and I love Chetan Bhagat’s writing so will keep looking forward to more books from him as well 🙂

Leave a Reply