Gulabo Sitabo is now one of the highly-anticipated films of 2020. The film will release this Friday and the trailer has received a good response so far. The film also began a huge debate in the industry of OTT versus digital, as a mainstream Bollywood film taking this approach amid the pandemic.
The film has now come under fire for plagiarism. Allegations were made against Juhi Chaturvedi, the writer of the film for plagiarising the content. Despite the denial of the allegations, many have been debating the truth. Now the writer has said that on her part, her conscience is clear.
Juhi Chaturvedi on Gulabo Sitabo plagiarism row
Gulabo Sitabo will be releasing on June 12th. The movie directed by Shoojit Sircar who is the man behind poignant films like Pink and Piku is meant to be a slice-of-life take on a landlord-tenant relationship. The film will see talented actors Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann in a humorous battle of wits which the trailer has already hinted at.
The film made everyone ask a huge question, will digital releases become the norm? Gulabo Sitabo broke away from the theatre and multiplex format of releases first amidst the pandemic and will release on Amazon Prime. Exhibitors were threatened and a divide was created between Bollywood directors who would wait for the lockdown to lift and those who'd take the new and tempting digital route.
Amidst all the confusion and as the film awaits release, it faced trouble from a new quarter. A writer, Akira son of scriptwriter Rajeev Agarwal had alleged that the Gulabo Sitabo writer Juhi Chaturvedi had plagiarised a script he had submitted to the Cinestaan India's Storyteller Script Contest' Juhi happened to be a judge on the panel.
According to Akira's lawyer, the story was shortlisted in March 2018 and in June 2018 the final script was submitted as well, and the jury members had full access to it. Akira claimed that Gulabo Sitabo was similar in storyline to Agarwal's script submitted.
Rising Sun Films then issued a statement saying that Juhi had submitted the concept and had it registered much before the contest, "Furthermore, Juhi never received a copy of the supposedly copied script. This has been independently confirmed by the scriptwriting contest organisers as well. Our film's story is different from that sent out in the notice. It is surprising how grave allegations are being made solely on the basis of a 2-minute 41-second trailer."
The Screenwriters Association (SWA) was called in to mediate, and Juhi denied having any access to the said script. The SWA's decision was in favour of Juhi. Now, the writer says, "My conscience is clear, and so are the facts in this matter. 'Gulabo Sitabo' is my original work and I am proud of it. I shared the idea with the director (Shoojit Sircar) and lead actor (Amitabh Bachchan) of the film in early 2017. I subsequently registered the concept note for the film in May 2018."
She added that the press shouldn't be misguided by false accusations done for publicity before the film's release.