Bhansali’s Guzaarish in plagiarism row
A veteran writer points out uncanny similarities between his novel and Guzaarish
Prithwish Ganguly (BOMBAY TIMES; November 6, 2010)
Sanjay Leela Bhansali (SLB) is in the middle of a plagiarism row. According to veteran writer/director Dayanand Raajan, his unpublished novel Summer Snow has been ripped off, almost in totality, by the makers of Guzaarish. Raajan has dashed off a legal notice to the producers, UTV and SLB asking them for an explanation on how their film has so many similarities with his novel. A seven-days notice period has been given to the allegedly accused failing which Dayanand will move court to get a stay order on the release on the movie.
“Guzaarish has many similarities with my novel. It’s shocking that the main plot, the love story, the hero being wheel chair bound due to accident and even the mercy killing are the same as in Sanjay’s movie. I had shown my novel to some people in the industry but I have no idea who leaked it to the writer of the film,” Dayanand told BT.
There are many uncanny similarities that the writer unearthed between his novel and Guzaarish that made him suspect plagiarism. According to him, both the scripts are positioned as love stories with mercy killing as a key point. Goa is a backdrop in both as is the religion, Christianity. Like in the book, in the movie, too, the hero is a famous public figure except that while Hrithik is a magician in SLB’s movie, in Summer Snow, the man is a dancer.
The other similarities include a serious accident, in both the scripts, which get the protagonist confined to the wheelchair to the woman taking care of him — it is the nurse who falls in love with Hrithik while in the novel it is his wife who looks after him. Both scripts having key flashback scenes and the woman supporting mercy killing for the hero.
Dayanand says by taking legal action he is merely trying to save his novel. “I have the deepest regards for Sanjay but it (the novel) is an effort of a life time that has gone waste. Neither will this novel never be printed nor can it be made into a film ever,” he says.
We have in the recent past seen mushrooming allegations against filmmakers just before the release of a movie. While some cases have been genuine, like the Ram Sampat incident where he won the case against the Rakesh Roshan for Krazzy 4 track, most have been fake cases to get publicity. Dayanand defends himself saying, “The very fact that we have sent the notice well before time and not just before the release of the film is because we want to be fair to the parties. We expect them to analyse the case and settle the issue.”
It is also being alleged by the writer that SLB’s office refused to accept the legal notice. Meanwhile, when contacted, an official from SLB’s camp, on conditions on anonymity, told BT, “How does he know so much about our movie? We haven’t shown it to anyone yet. We will take a course of action whatever is necessary.”
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