Beginning with a DISCLAIMER, clearing the doubts one might have reading the heading of this write-up posted on 13th April 2016, this is not about any claim or ownership or controversy related with any other person’s creative work, script or film as such. But this is just about my personal bitter experience in the field that I wish to share with all the friends of BTC without any kind of motive or venom against any person in particular.
In the first quarter of 2013, I got associated with an upcoming friendly production company willing to venture into Punjabi cinema inspired by two huge successes of those times shocking even the experienced trade pundits. Looking at the infectious enthusiasm of the team, I shared with them a detailed working storyline (without dialogues), revolving around two similar looking characters of Punjab (a double role) to be played by a reputed name of the Punjabi film industry. One of these characters in the script was supposed to be a known Pollywood Superstar and the other a simple, hard-working farmer living in the interiors of Punjab (with a similar face).
The story had a comic-cum-thriller feel with the farmer reaching the city and then kidnapping the tantrum throwing STAR, replacing him in all his ongoing shoots surprising every single person on the sets right from the spot boy to the director. Full of many funny as well as thought provoking sequences related with the film industry, the finale had the farmer accepting his crime on the stage of a big Pollywood Award Night revealing the hidden reality behind the people whom we consider to be our inspirational idols for life. The story did have an important message too along with all other essential elements of comedy, action and drama required in a Punjabi film. But it somehow couldn’t reach either the producers or the ‘big star’ hearing it attentively and they were unable to see the novelty behind the idea of a look-alike common man replacing a huge film icon.
A few among the chosen listeners of the narration also made fun of the idea labeling it as something weird or highly unconvincing for the viewers of Punjabi Cinema. And according to one, they would never accept a common man challenging a big star like this causing him a major trouble. So the story got rejected out rightly and nobody talked about it post the meeting considering it as a dropped case. But personally I did have a lot of faith in the idea and therefore went ahead and got it registered in my name with the FILM WRITER’S ASSOCIATION MUMBAI dated 3rd May 2013 with the tentative title DOUBLE TROUBLE.
Interestingly the same title was chosen by Subhash Ghai’s production house for their Punjabi film based on Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” featuring both Gippy Grewal and Dharmendra in double roles. But they later kept it as “DOUBLE DI TROUBLE” instead of just “DOUBLE TROUBLE” as its usually done in the trade.
Coming back to the basic theme of this write-up, I had almost forgotten the rejection post 2013 and had begun working on some other projects including the second volume of my book as promised. But then came the teaser trailer of Shah Rukh Khan’s FAN just a few months back. And the moment I saw it, I felt hugely satisfied and doubly confident, as I was not wrong working on that particular idea of a big star and his look alike creating some major troubles for his icon.
The news of FAN revolving around the same basic idea I once narrated to few people, was a big confidence-booster for me to be honest. But then I gradually got hold of my nerves and calmly conveyed the inner feelings to the same producer friends, who sportingly admitted and realized the similarities too exhibiting a newly acquired mature outlook beyond my expectations.
Now, you must be thinking that if it’s really the same theme used in FAN, then why I am not interested in raising an issue and getting some instant eyeballs on the social networks. The question is indeed a valid one, but with all humility, no voice or issue can be raised of any sort, because here we are just talking about the basic similar idea revolving around a look-alike film star and his obsessive fan, but nothing else.
Plus more importantly this is not anything highly unique or original that has never been used by anyone else before in either Hindi or English films in the last many decades (discussed in my next article in details mentioning all inspirational sources). So unless one has everything scene to scene lifted from his already registered script (much before the film’s making) as it is, there can be no claim made by any writer whatsoever.
But having said that, it indeed gives me a great amount of creative satisfaction thinking about the scenario that when everyone was literally laughing on my story-idea presented in a sitting held in 2013. The same basic thought was being worked upon in Mumbai for the next SRK Film by the big thinking minds of the Industry realizing the potential in it.
So instead of anything negative, I would love to see a positive light in the experience infusing a new strength into my writings with.......
(The detailed inspirational sources list of similar concepts like FAN coming tomorrow including the ones I got my inspirations from)
So Stay tuned.