Rani Mukerji’s fans were thrilled when reports of the actress making comeback post motherhood started surfacing. The actress’ next film Hichki is produced by her beloved hubby Aditya Chopra and with the trailer recently hitting the tube, the film has been facing a tad bit of backlash. Reason? It is being said to a rip off of a Hollywood film with now even a novelist claiming writing credit for it.
Earlier there were reports about Hichki being a rip off of the Hollywood film Front Of The Class wherein James Wolk, the protagonist is suffering from the Tourette Syndrome and aspires to be a school teacher, just like the way Rani Mukerji is portrayed in Hichki. However, soon after these reports, Yash Raj Films released a statement stating that their film is indeed a remake of Front Of The Class. But the film has found itself in the midst of a new controversy as Melbourne based novelist Nishant Kaushik has claimed credit for its storyline.
According to Nishant, he came in touch with Siddharth P Malhotra [the director of Hichki] in 2015, when he was given a one liner brief about the film that they are planning to make. He asserted that despite staying in a different country like Australia, he remained constantly in touch with Malhotra for the next one month as he continued to develop characters, plot and storyline for the film. While he submitted the same over an email once he completed, he continued to make calls, dropped texts, mails etc. to receive update on the developments but failed to receive a response. Considering that his project was either not taking off or it doesn’t fit the purpose, Nishant soon resumed to other commitments. But when he saw the Hichki trailer, he claimed to have found similarities with his story because of which he is currently demanding his name to be credited.
While he asserted that his story may have been enhanced during the filmmaking process, he did further question the nonchalance of the director and others who had allegedly consumed his story without acknowledging his contribution towards it. He has further mentioned that he will be taking up legal action and will be contacting the Australian Writers Guild once he returns to Melbourne in January.
On the other hand, putting across his version of the story was Siddharth P. Malhotra who although confessed that they had indeed approached writers with a one liner brief and amongst them was also Nishant, denied the latter’s allegations on the matter. “I had acquired the rights to make Front of the Class as a Hindi motion picture in 2013. Nishant Kaushik’s claims are baseless. He was contacted through Exceed Entertainment and I haven’t even met him once. We were looking for writers who could come up with a take on the Front of the Class. We had approached several writers including Nishant. He was given a brief for the film and the story and slant he came up with, was not what we were looking for. So, we did not proceed with him and Exceed was informed about my decision immediately. This was, 2015.”
Moreover, Malhotra also clearly mentioned that Amole Gupte, Abbas Tyrewala and Anuvab Pal, all these writers who have contributed to Hichki in whichever way have been given due credit. “Several prominent writers like Amole Gupte, Abbas Tyrewala have worked on the story of Hichki and we have obtained NOC’s from them and I thank each one of them for being the creative contributors of Hichki. We have credited all the writers who have worked in our film. So, it is ridiculous that we will not give credit to anyone in particular who has worked hard and contributed for Hichki.”
However, Nishant continues to retain his stand in the matter wherein he has went on to add that the millions the makers earn after the release of the film will probably numb them but if they were them their conscience would prick them.
As for the film Hichki, it is slated to release on February 23.