The Bhatt family is known to speak its mind. When the film title Thank You which Pooja Bhatt claims is hers, was “hijacked from underneath her nose”, the industry knew that she wouldn’t take things lying down. “The industry needs to take a hard look at itself. We’re talking about making cinema for the world, how do we expect to be taken seriously with this kind of daylight robbery and lack of accountability of film associations,” says a fuming Pooja, who for over a year now has been exchanging mails and phone calls with the Indian Motion Pictures’ Producers Association (IMPPA) and Association of Motion Picture and TV Programme Producers (AMPTPP) in a bid to retain her title.
Now, with less than a week left for the release of the UTV produced Anees Bazmee film, Pooja is left with no option, but to take the matter to court. “I have to now,” says the actor, who had registered the title in 2005 with the AMPTPP. Apart from a ready screenplay, she even conducted auditions and finalised locations for the film she wanted to call Thank You. “I will do everything in my capacity to expose that the associations are just bodies with great intentions, but have no standing in the court of law.”
It was only after AMPTPP failed to act upon Pooja’s numerous complaints that they asked her to take the matter to court. “I didn’t want this. The industry claims to be a family and no one wants to take them to court. But at the same time, they don’t function like one,” says Pooja, who recently made a public appearance at the mahurat of the film, Imaandaari Ki Maa Ki Aankh.
However, at the same time she understands that she might not win this case. And nor is she expecting her title back. “The chances of a judge granting me an injunction at this stage are slim, but it is important that this case be filed. The industry is too used to settling matters behind closed doors; that has to stop,” she says, adding, “Even if I get the title back, how do I undo their massive media campaign? If we cannot deal with such issues, we should shut shop.”
Pooja has even threatened to stop registering titles with the film associations altogether.
Thank You stars Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Irrfan Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Celina Jaitley and Rimi Sen. It releases on April 8.