Mumbai (PTI) Amar Kaushik says when people started alleging that his latest directorial “Bala” looks like a copy of the recently released “Ujda Chaman”, it disturbed him but the filmmaker said he ensured the controversy didn’t affect the film.
“Bala”, produced by Dinesh Vijan, stars Ayushmann Khurrana as a young man with receding hairline.
While “Ujda Chaman”, featuring “Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety” star Sunny Singh in a similar role and backed by Kumar Mangat Pathak, is a remake of the 2017 Kannada film “Ondu Motteya Kathe”.
Asked if he was perturbed by the comparisons, Kaushik told PTI, “If I say I wasn’t, it would be wrong. I was (disturbed) for two days. Before going to shoot, Kumar ji had met Dinesh and said he has rights of some south film. Our script was ready and we were just about to go on floors.
“I then saw the movie and told him that my film is totally different from that even on paper. Only similarity was that the character was bald. We then went and shot our film. Then 20 days later I heard they’re shooting their film. I was ok with it because both the films are different. We were editing our film and then our teaser came, there was no news about their film,” he added.
Kaushik said things took a turn when all of a sudden, the trailer, poster and announcement of “Ujda Chaman” were out.
“We were a bit taken aback. Then people said we copied them and I was obviously disturbed. We had worked hard on the film for months. The story was different, just because there’s a shot of a bald man looking in the mirror and both the characters go to doctors, on that basis when it is said the entire film is similar, I obviously felt bad.
“But then I thought if I let this affect me, I won’t be able to work on my film. It was important for me to concentrate. After two days, I got over this,” he added.
Kaushik said he was clear he didn’t want to make “Bala” a film just about a bald man.
“If I had to say only that much, I wouldn’t have made the film. ‘Stree’ was a horror comedy but had something important to say. I didn’t want to make a film on a man who is losing his hair. I wanted to say a lot of things without being preachy and I wanted to say it with love.”
Initially Kaushik wasn’t attached to direct the film and was merely overlooking the writing process to produce “Bala” for Vijan. But he got so attached with the material that he felt natural to come on board as director.
The film credits three names for writing – Pavel Bhattacharjee for the original idea, Niren Bhatt for story, screenplay and dialogues and, Ravi Muppa for additional screenplay.
“Pavel had the original idea which was good but I wanted to add more things, bring in local favour of Kanpur. If it was all being done by one man it would become quite streamlined. So Niren and I were involved. Then we gave it to Ravi for additional bits.
“When you write, you get so involved that you don’t see its flaws. It’s always important to have an objective third-person view. If anyone gives me any feedback, I’ll always give them the credit. We took more than six-and-half-months to finish this. We wrote every day, stayed in Kanpur, and held discussions at every stage,” Kaushik added.
Also featuring Bhumi Pednekar and Yami Gautam, “Bala” is scheduled to be released on November 7.