And as we step across the threshold to begin the countdown for the new year - BollyCurry brings you a recap of the biggest controversies of year 2010. It seems like the concept of running headlong into a trouble works wonders at BO for more movies than one would expect - bigger the issues surrounding a release, greater its anticipation, and better the response it garners especially in the opening week or so.
Plucked right out of the gossip grapevine, here's presenting Bollywood's Top Ten Controversies, 2010!
Feb, 2010 - My Name is Khan controversy
Febuary 12th released box office megahit of the year, My Name is Khan starring the one and only King Khan, who played an autistic Muslim suffering discrimination in the United States after the 9/11 terror attacks. The controversy around this movie stemmed from Shahrukh's remark with regard to no Pakistani cricketers being chosen for the Indian Premier League in deliberate intention. It upset more than many Hindu bigots, the most prominent having been the Hindu Shiv Sena party. Shiv Sena was so upset about SRK's bold statement that they not only started protests but they also posed threats get Khan's movie My Name is Khan banned, or at the very least, sabotage its chances at BO by making halls showcasing it unsafe places to be. The release however was neither rescheduled neither truly hampered and the movie did exceedingly well in movie halls world wide. Whether it was the controversy or the story line of the film that made it a box office hit, congratulations to KJo, SRK and Kajol for delivering yet another phenomenal entertainer.
The Hrithik and Aishwariya starrer Guzaarish, released on November 19th 2010 was dragged into a copyright dispute with novelist, Dayanand Raajan filing a plagiarism complaint. The novelist accused the writers of the film of stealing the concept of his unpublished book, stating that the film's plot and characters bore a stark resemblance to those from his writing. Dayanand revealed that he had shared his story with many Bollywood personalities and he believes that the story must have been picked up by the writers of Guzaarish through common links.
Along with the 'hero being in a wheel chair' instance, there was the fact that the movie dealt with euthanasia which Raajan claims are ditto in his book. The author apparently served the movie makers a warning of seven days before he would go to the courts and seek legal justice. The movie however, has done fairly at the BO since its recent release, whatever may have come of resolving the matter between Dayanand and the movie makers.
----------------------------- Prakash Jha's Rajneeti went through not one or two but three controversies. First having revolved around Nana Patekar who apparently walked out on Jha and his project at one point leading to a pause in the shooting schedules. Then script writer Yogender Konkar accused Prakash of copying his script. And last but far from the least was the greatest controversy of all that surrounded the release of this political drama, which was Congress Party and many other political alliance leaders' unanimous resentment towards Katrina Kaif's character. Prior to the release, many believed that her character was based off Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi and was in a way derogatory of the senior leader's life. Jha and his team however held on to the fact firmly, that the resemblance was only a misconception in the minds of people, and that the character was not written off Mrs. Gandhi's real life. Soon after cases had been filed against the film on the same basis, Bombay High Court decided to give the film a clean slate. The film also received the U/A certificate after the love making scene between Katrina and Arjun Rampal and the beeped words were deleted. And ultimately, as we now know, Raajneeti did turn out to be a massive hit at the BO, garnering acclaim from public and critics alike.
Alls well that ends well!
July, 2010 - Big B's Raavan controversy
Mani Ratnam's Raavan that starred real life couple Abishek and Aishwariya Rai Bachchan was a disappointment as opposed to all the hype that preceded its days in the halls, but who's to blame? Here's who!
If sources were to be believed, Amitabh Bachchan took it upon himself to sit down and sat down and critically analyze the movie, specifically to point out errors that may have been on account of the director or the camera team. We know this is true from all his tweets on microblogging site Twitter in those days. What he overlooked apparently, were the sentiments of all those movie makers involved with the project, who upon learning of his intervention in this way, were quite hurt.
Big B claims that Abishek's character turned out to be average not because of his inferior acting but because of poor editing from the team behind the scenes. He especially pointed out the faulty looks of the '10 headed' part of Abishek's character.
Box office hit or not, Raavan was a big hit in the news for sure!
Nov, 2010 - Deepika-Ranbir condom controversy
Ex lovers Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor have had more than a single instance when their common past may have posed trouble to their present. When young talent blaze DP was first contemplating signing up for her role in the recently released and successful so far Imran Khan co-starring Break Ke Baad, the actress had found obvious hesitance in saying yes to portraying a character that had reminded her so vividly of ex-beau Ranbir. In the movie, Deepika plays an aspiring actress who has dreams of flying high and major commitment issues in her personal love life - a character, that obviously bears much resemblance to the scenario she faced in real life with Ranbir during their affair. KJo, it is heard, had finally convinced the actress of putting personal matters behind for the spirit of professionalism, and despite all her skepticism for the role, she did end up doing justice for the character named Aliya, aka Al. More recently, this same ex-affair brought more trouble. Deepika Padukone, had a kitty full of quirky comments to pass with regard to her ex-lover boy on KJo's talk show, Koffee with Karan. Not unexpectedly, they caught the media glare; especially the one comment - when DP was asked what would be one gift that she would like to give to Ranbir, her reply was, 'a condom'.
The self claimed Casanova with the enviable hunky-dory looks and a well matched on screen skill may have answers to give his lady love of once upon a time, but he has chosen to remain quiet about the matter. What has come fore already, is daddy Rishi Kapoor's displeasure. It is known from his recent public remarks that he for one sure didn't take the jest in the stride of things said and forgotten.
On July 13th, the Censor Board of Film Certification [CBFC] had viewed and cleared Akshay Kumar's KhattaMeetha. Soon after however, the film was targeted by animal rights protection NGOs who wished for the movie makers to take back the scene wherein an elephant was involved with the pulling of a road roller. Criticizing it on the grounds of animal cruelty, the justice seeking social workers demanded that CBFC order the film makers to delete the scene.
Upon CBFC's warning notice, the movie makers did make required alteration to the said offending scene, before the prints were finalized and sent to halls in country and overseas. The movie however, faired disappointingly at BO.
Dabangg Zandu Balm Controversy
The Khan brothers' home production movie Dabangg's popular item number Munni Badnaam Hui had brought Emami, the Zandu Balm brand company knocking the doors of the filmmakers with a legal notice charged against the use of the balm's name without seeking due permission from their company.
The dispute ended on mutual compensation grounds between the two parties, with Salman's sister-in-law Malaika Arora Khan becoming brand ambassador for Zandu Balm.
Na Munni Badnaam, Na Balm Pareshaan!
Nov, 2010 - Golmaal 3's Stammer
Multistarrer film 'Golmaal 3' was frowned upon by Dehradun-based The Indian Stammering Association (TISA). Apparently, TISA had sent a legal notice to Rohit Shetty and co. and demanded a cut on scenes that allude humor on account of stammering disability. In the movie, Shreyas Taplade plays Laxman who stammers and the characters of Tusshar Kapoor, Kunal Khemu and Arshad Warsi make fun of him throughout the whole movie.
And adding to the list of its predecessors, the controversy hounded Golmaal 3 was all the way a super hit at BO.
October '10 -Anjaana Anjaani
Anjaana Anjaani ran into trouble when the first promotional posters of the movie that were released bore uncanny resemblance to last year's UK film, An Education, starring Peter Sarsgaard and Carey Mulligan. Because the poster with leads of Anjaana Anjaani Ranbir and Priyanka had the same pose in their first poster release for the movie, their were lodged complaints, and the matter became so big that the makers of the Bollywood film had to re shoot for the poster and release a new one - with due apologies.
Ultimately, the movie received mixed reviews at BO. It did not run into a loss, but did not live up to half the expectations made of it, considering the big production banner and popular star cast.
Sajid Khan's Housefull starring Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone ran into legal trouble on several fronts, all apparently dealing with copyright issues. First they were accused of failing to have acquired due permission from the makers and owners of yesteryear superhit Laawaris, to use its evergreen chartbuster, Apni To Jese Tese. On this front, the Calcutta High Court forbade the movie team from using the song for cinematic purposes.
Additionally, Nadiwala and Khan were alleged of copying from Tamil movie Kadhala Khadhala which led its producer PL Thenappan to file complaint about the same with the Tamil Film Producers Council. The Tamil producer even revealed that Sajid Nadiawala had been in talks to acquire the remake rights to this same movie of his last year, but the deal had not been seen through on account of certain issues. However, when Houseful released, Thenappan found about 60% of the movie to be directly or indirectly inspired by his own. Meanwhile, the Bolly film makers claim that the story resembled the real life instance of Sania Mirza's marriage. The plot line was pretty basic. Akshay Kumar played the 'prince in distress' who wanted to marry Deepika wherein Jiah Khan's character comes to play claiming being already married to Akshay.
Amidst all the copyright issues surrounding this movie which released in the earlier half of 2010, Houseful actually did not fair well at box office - disappointing the fans of its ensemble cast, which included names like Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone.
While tinsel town, it has always appeared, is ripe with gossip that can make fresh headlines each new morning, some scoops certainly out do the others in terms of magnitude. And the recent trend of surrounding every upcoming release with much ado over one matter or another certainly raises the curiosity element attached to the release among prospective audiences, leading to grand opening weekends which many times are beyond expectation, and far more than deserved.
Defining controversies then becomes a debate by itself. Can they really be just a media imposed bane, or a prompted boon in disguise - for our celebrities and film makers alike..!!