Chetan Bhagat feeling cheated?

  • Neha Sharma., Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Dec 28, 2009 13:49 IST

Chetan BhagatOnly days earlier author Chetan Bhagat was a happy man. His book Five Point Someone had inspired the biggest blockbuster of the year— 3 Idiots. And though Bhagat initially told HT City that he was thrilled about how the movie had shaped up, in a follow-up interview with us he says that in all the hullabaloo about the film, he feels he has been shortchanged.

Not only did the makers of the film shout from rooftops that the movie is “only loosely inspired” by his book, they also buried the author’s credit at the end of the film. So much so that most of the viewers missed it.

Bhagat, who has been inundated with calls and messages from fans on his Twitter account ever since the movie released this weekend, says he feels “strange”. “I was expecting an opening credit and I was quite surprised on not seeing it. They had bought the rights, made the payment and committed to a credit in the contract. It’s there, but it’s not about it being there, it’s about the placement and the prominence.”

Feeling left out
Is he disappointed? “Umm, it felt strange. But then Rajkumar Hirani (director) and Aamir Khan are bigger names and they would rather use their names. If they don’t want to give me credit what can I do or say?”

Bhagat says that in director Atul Agnihotri’s Hello, he was given an “opening credit in a big font” as the movie was based on his book One Night @ the Call Center.

Feeling left out of the limelight this time, he says, “What can I do? They control the print, I don’t. It depends on them how much they want to honour the author. I left it to their goodwill. At that time I didn’t have the knowledge or the power to ask for an opening credit.”

Inspiration only
The director of 3 Idiots Rajkumar Hirani said in an earlier interview, “The idea was originally taken from Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone but, when we started working, we realised that we couldn’t really adapt the book, we would have to modify it to shoot a film because the way you write a script for the film is very different from writing a book.”

Bhagat, however, rubbishes the filmmaker’s claim. “Most of the film is based on my book, even the dialogues, and anyone who has read the book will be able to see the contribution in the film,” he says.

Bhagat adds that when he went to a multiplex, there were some youngsters there and they all knew that the film was based on his book. “But, my fans recognise the book, so, I am happy.”


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