Abhishek Pathak is saddened to spot similarities between his feature directorial debut "Ujda Chaman" and Ayushmann Khurrana's "Bala", and he says the latter should have made some changes to stand out and be original.
"Ujda Chaman", a remake of the 2017 Kannada movie "Ondu Motteya Kathe", features "Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety" star Sunny Singh as a young bald man.
"Bala" stars Ayushmann as a young bald man and the film's poster and subsequently even the trailer was similar to "Ujda Chaman", the director said.
"There are some similarities that can be seen between 'Bala' and 'Ujda Chaman'. I don't know what's happening. I came with my trailer on October 1 and they came out with it around 10-11 October," Abhishek told PTI,
"So this question should be asked to them that how is it similar? If they had seen my trailer, they should have done something... At least, change something," he added.
The director said not only the idea, even the dialogues and screenplay of "Bala" looks similar to his.
"I know the original film so well and mine is an official remake. People don't know yet, because they are just seeing the trailer, but I know. I can see the glimpses of the original film in that trailer ('Bala'). So, I was like fine, let the legal team handle it."
Pathak said he had sent a notice to Maddock Films when the films were announced.
"We are in discussions with my team right now. We had sent them a notice when we bought the rights, early 2019 because even their announcement had come around the same time. I gave them all the documents because their film sounded similar.
"They said except for the character being bald, nothing is similar and I bought their words. But now that doesn't seem to be the case. Dialogues, situation, everything seems similar and even people have caught it."
Abhishek said when he saw the trailer and creatives for "Bala", it "obviously saddened" him.
"I respected the Kannada filmmaker by signing agreement and putting it everywhere that it's a remake and someone just making it... There are so many films, which are official remakes, so there's nothing like you want to be the first one, who thought about this idea. No. If someone has thought about it, give him that respect. Why you want to take a flag and say, 'We thought about it?"
While "Bala" was originally scheduled to release a week after "Ujda Chaman", it'll now open a day before: November 7.
Abhishek says unlike "Bala" team, he doesn't want to get into "that mess to prove a point."
"This is about proving a point. Come on Nov 8. One day before, how does that really make a difference? I don't understand. You are just trying to prove a point, 'Oh we were the first ones to do this.'
"First you said Nov 22, then Nov 15 and now Nov 7. How is it going to change the dynamics of my film? And you have a big star. If you were coming on Nov 15, I wasn't going to eat into your business."
When asked if it is unsettling for him that "Bala" is headlined by a star like Ayushmann, he said,
"I love his work. But I am not thinking about it. I am sure my people are right. I have officially bought something. Things will fall into place. I can't worry about that. A lot of people are taking care of it," he added.
"Ujda Chaman" is scheduled to release on November 8.