They got what they wanted, perhaps even more. While the public is left wondering if they’ve been taken on a royal ride by both the parties in the Chetan Bhagat-3 Idiots controversy, the author’s four-year-old book is flying off the shelves and the movie is doing unprecedented business. In a rather dramatic shift of stance, Chetan Bhagat on Monday apologised to the makers of
and claimed love and respect for Aamir Khan. At the same time, Vidhu Vinod Chopra productions announced plans to launch a whole new book — now on the screenplay of the movie.
The controversy has already done enough good to the two warring parties. “There’s almost a 60 per cent rise in the demand since last one week,” says Rajni Bahri Malhotra of Bahrisons in Khan Market. “This is a common phenomenon. The argument has sparked off a curiosity amongst the readers. Those who liked the film, now want to read the book to see who is right and who’s not,” she adds.
Even Ramesh Singh, a supplier of books to roadside vendors says, “Pichhle ek hafte se, Five Point Someone ka sale badh gaya hai. Maine 200 copies ka order aur kiya hai. (The past week has seen an increase in sales of Five Point Someone. I’ve ordered 200 more copies.)”
Bhagat, interestingly, has stated in interviews that he plans to “donate the earnings from increased sales to charity”. The film, too, is set to create box-office history with more than Rs 240 crore in the first two weeks, and record collections from the US market.
Om Books Publishers and Vidhu Vinod Chopra Productions are now releasing the script of the film in the form of a 360 page book, 3,000 copies of which will hit the stands by January end. “It will be a ready reference for general readers, movie buffs and film students,” says Ajay Mago, Publisher Om Books International.
The audience are feeling shortchanged, looking at how both the parties are pocketing profits while making sensational allegations. “This controversy was uncalled for and ultimately we emerged as fools,” says blogger Gokanoro. Blogger Eles’s writes, “No one is innocent here.”