Vidhu Vinod Chopra loses cool over ‘3 Idiots’ credit row (Lead)

January 1st, 2010 - 11:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Chetan Bhagat Noida, Jan 1 (IANS) Bollywood producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra lost his cool at a press conference here Friday and asked a reporter to shut up after being questioned whether his hit “3 Idiots” was lifted from author Chetan Bhagat’s book “Five Point Someone”. He also alleged that the whole row over the film credits was a publicity stunt.
Asked whether the film, which has grossed over Rs.100 crore in the first four days, was 70 percent taken from the book as claimed by Bhagat, Chopra countered, demanding to know whether the journalist had seen the movie and read the book.

The scribe said while he had seen “3 Idiots”, he had not read “Five Point Someone”.

Chopra then got up and shouted: “Then you shut up. When you have not read the book, then how can you say that the movie is 70 percent of the book?”.

Chopra’s reaction evoked anger among the mediapersons present with many demanding that the filmmaker apologise.

Actor Aamir Khan and director Rajkumar Hirani later apologised on Chopra’s behalf but the producer didn’t budge, saying that the hard work Hirani and film writer Abhijat Joshi had put into the script was being taken away by someone who is publicity hungry.

“I would have apologised if you would have read the book. Then you wouldn’t have asked me this question because you would have been aware of the truth. The fact is that the person, I don’t wish to name…is getting unnecessary publicity. Credit of these two persons has been taken away…who have worked so hard on it,” Chopra told reporters at the Big Cinemas.

Directed by Hirani, “3 Idiots” stars Aamir, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi and Kareena Kapoor.

Hirani also backed Chopra and maintained that “3 Idiots” was just five percent similar to Bhagat’s bestseller.

“It is easy to say that the movie is 70 percent of the book. I would request you all to read the book and watch the movie and only after that you should judge us or those allegations,” said Hirani.

“Abhijat and I have read these 150 pages of the book and we know what we have taken from it. And trust us it’s not more than five percent,” he added.

Before Chopra lost his cool, he had clarified that in the agreement between the producer and Bhagat, it was clearly mentioned that the author’s name would be put in the closing credits.

“Have you ever seen a movie that starts with rolling credits?” Chopra asked.

“Some people want their pictures to be published in newspapers. Let it be. He should have asked his mother before signing the agreement with us,” an angry Chopra added.

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