By now all of us know what a raucous these 4 guys have created in the press conferences and news channels. The entire weekend was filled with their images on tv screen, no respite for the viewers at all. Each party has spoken at great length, thrown accusations, made casual remarks and shown us how stupidly these celebrated people can behave. More or less, they have de-sensitized me and I am not able to feel anything for anybody at all. Seems like an attention-seeking attempt and for publicity.
Anyways, without taking sides let me just state that both parties are right in their own way. CB is right on moral and ethical grounds while hirani-chopra-aamir are right on legal grounds. CB has no reason to complain because he sold the rights of the book to chopra for 9lacs. Now, hirani-chopra can do anything with the book, i.e., use 5% of the material or 95% of the material; but CB cannot raise any exception. Secondly, CB signed all the contracts which clearly stated that his name would appear in ‘rolling credit’s, which did. After how many names, at what time etc cannot be dictated. So, legally Hirani-Chopra have done everything right.
Aamir should never have gotten into this. It was an argument between the owners who purchased the rights and the one who sold it. Aamir, being the medium, should have remained so. But, so enthused he was by the response of the movie that he just could not stop himself from commenting on it. He got caught in the cross-fire.
Back to CB, let me romanticize it a bit. I think CB was expecting a very hollywoodish approach to this from makers of the movie. In his dreams, the beginning titles would flash “Based On A Novel By Chetan Bhagat’ etc; and that did not happen. Moreover, after having sold the rights for 9lacs, he probably didn’t see the movie earning 100+ crores. He is probably feeling stupid that he did not bargain for a bigger amount. Another factor that CB must be thinking about is the various awards that the movie may receive. So, if the movie gets nominated for Best-Story or gets the award, will his name feature in the nominations/awardees or not! Legally I don’t think so because screen-writing, working on screenplay and dialogs is one thing; and just writing the novel and selling the rights is another. Now that the milk is spilt, what can CB do? Of course, try to gain some sympathy and publicity out of it.
But I believe that CB has come out looking stupid. An IIM-A grad who worked for CitiBank in Singapore office did not read the offer-document carefully and signed it in a hurry. All legal processes have been followed and he has nothing to squabble about. I think he should forgive and forget. He should actually be happy since latest stats say that sale of his book ‘Five Point Someone’ has gone up by 30%. Moreover, the movie has turned out good unlike the way his previous novel ‘One Night @ The Call Center’ turned out to be a disaster in the movie format. Smile CB, and write many more. But sell the rights smartly, next time!