Bombay Talkies in controversy
Writer, director Sudipto Chattopadhyay has accused Zoya Akhtar of lifting the central idea of his 2010 film Pankh, for her upcoming Bombay Talkies. Sudipto is planning to send a legal notice to Zoya regarding this.
Pankh, which starred Bipasha Basu, Lilette Dubey, Mahesh Manjrekar, Ronit Roy, Sanjeeda Sheikh and newcomers Maradona Rebello and Amit Purohit, was a story of the sexual identity crises of a boy who grew up acting as girls in films. The film had tanked at the box office.
“My film revolved around the confused sexual identity of the boy and how he liked to dress up as a girl and got constantly rebuked for doing so. Bipasha essayed the role of a fairy the boy confided to—in fact it was an extension of the boy’s own self.
“If you look at the trailer of Zoya Akhtar’s film, this is exactly what is shown there. Every bit of that storyline is same. Katrina Kaif is playing the role of the fairy. My film is out there for everybody to see. How can somebody pinch my idea like that?” asked Sudipto who had taken the film to numerous film festivals worldwide including those that dealt with issues concerning the LGBT community.
After watching the trailers, Sudipto made enquiries and stumbled upon what he claims uncanny similarities. “I found out from my sources that Zoya’s story is same as mine. There are scenes, which are frame-to-frame copies of my film. The character sketches are same too. I know my film didn’t do well at the box office and not too many people saw it. But I should have been given a credit for my work. I am talking to my lawyers and planning to send a legal notice to her,” Sudipto added.
When we got in touch with Zoya, she denied the allegation and said: “I have not pinched my film from anybody else’s film. The story idea is entirely mine. I have not seen Pankh but my film is not inspired by any film let alone be a copy of one.”
According to reports, Zoya’s story revolves around a little boy who is obsessed with Katrina Kaif. He dances to her songs all day and even tries to dress up like her. Although both the stories follow different paths, they may share a core conflict—a boy’s confusion about his identity.