Mumbai: Filmmaker Hemal Trivedi has accused Varun Dhawan and Banita Sandhu-starrer ‘October’, directed by Shoojit Sircar, of being plagiarised from the 2017 Marathi film ‘Aarti – The Unknown Love Story’ which is helmed by Sarika Mene.
Hemal Trivedi first made the allegations against Shoojit Sircar’s film in a Facebook post dated April 18. In the post, she claimed that Shoojit Sircar ‘stole’ Sarika Mene’s Marathi film, ‘Aarti – The Unknown Love Story’, to make ‘October’.
She added that ‘Aarti’ is based on a true story of the film’s director’s own brother — Sunny. She further accused Sircar of not just lifting the plot and storyline, but also copying the look and moments from the original film.
Hemal Trivedi claimed that the filmmakers of ‘October’ never acquired any rights to the Marathi film and they never contacted Sarika.
“Sarika is now so depressed that she is almost suicidal,” Hemal Trivedi wrote in her Facebook post.
Hemal Trivedi added that for the past couple of days Sarika has been knocking on doors of various associations in India — but none have offered any concrete help. She has already spent about Rs 2 lakh in trying to get justice, said Hemal in her Facebook post.
“I had acquired 40% rights to adapt this film in Hindi — and had made modest investments in writing the screenplay and composing the songs. But while we were in the midst of making the Hindi version — October was released,” Hemal Trivedi wrote in her FB post.
Sarika Mene has approached the Screenwriters Association for help, who have reportedly lined up screenings of both the films.
A report in mid-day quotes a source from ‘October’ production unit as saying, “The movie comes from a personal space for Shoojit whose mother was in a comatose state in 2004 and he had taken care of her.”
The report further states that Sircar has confirmed that he had received a letter from the Screenwriters Association, notifying him of the complaint. He has been quoted as saying that the team will respond to it officially after which they will issue an official statement.
After garnering praises from critics and Bollywood celebs, ‘October’, starring Varun Dhawan and Banita Sandhu, received a positive response from the audience, earning a total of Rs. 20.25 crores in three days (first opening weekend).