The man who made the hugely popular Malayalam film, Drishyam, is running into a rough road. An Ernakulam court has asked director Jethu Joseph not to remake Drishyam in Tamil.
The Tamil version is all set to go on the floors in August with superstar Kamal Hassan playing the part that Mohanlal did in the Malayalam edition. The story -- about a small family of four which gets into a sticky situation when the wife and one of the two daughters murder a young boy who attempts to blackmail them through a video clip - underlined police brutality as it did the menace of the internet.
The court order followed a petition by Satheesh Paul, who said that Drishyam was based on his work, Oru Mazhakkalath. He said he held the entitlements under the Copyright Act, including those relating to translations and remakes.
Joseph has another conflict in the offing. Bollywood producer Ekta Kapoor is said to have acquired the movie rights of the Japanese novel, The Devotion of Suspect X (by Keigo Higashino). Kapoor has said that Drishyam was based on the Japanese story.
This is being denied by Joseph, who said that there could be similarities between the two, but Drishyam is neither a copy nor an adaptation of Suspect X. He added that such resemblances were not rare in the works of arts and literature.
All this is fine, but without pointing a finger at anybody, it can be said that one has seen Indian producers, scriptwriters and helmers lifting parts of a story or even entire scenes from a foreign work. And they do not even acknowledge this.