The film industry is a tough nut to crack and often one comes across stories of people struggling to make their mark in the industry. And, as in any competitive and high profile profession, people in the film industry tend to guard their work with their lives.
In the same vein, Apurva Asrani, acclaimed writer of films like Aligarh and Shahid has raised serious allegations against Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut. He alleged that the actor has made undue claims about her upcoming film Simran, for which Apurva worked as a script writer.
In a Facebook post he wrote on Wednesday, Apurva wrote that Kangana’s claims credit for turning the film into a light and fun one from the one-line screenplay director Hansal Mehta approached her with, discrediting the work Apurva has put into the film.
He also says his credit as the 'Story, Screenplay & Dialogue' writer appears after Kangana’s credit for ‘additional dialogue and story' in the poster, which he called “demeaning” for any writer.
Simran poster via Apurva Asrani/Facebook
Apurva then recounted his version of events. “I signed a contract with Hansal's company Karma Features, developed the idea into an original story and wrote a one-line screenplay. Hansal loved it, and took me to meet Kangana. She heard the narration and jumped at it. She told us she would do it!” Apurva wrote.
He said that after research and development, he wrote nine drafts of the script in one and a half years. For each draft, he says, “Both Kangana and Hansal gave me valuable inputs. I incorporated some, rejected some. They were always happy with the outcome. I have proof of this.” He adds that there was no indication at the time that Kangana didn’t like the “tone or direction of the script”.
“When they went to shoot the film, I heard stories about things transpiring on set. I would not like to go into that now. But I waited excitedly for them to return with the material,” Apurva wrote, adding that Kangana had improvised many dialogues and they were in line with what he had written.
The trouble began, Apurva alleges, when Hansal met him after the first cut of the film was ready. “He (Hansal) informed me nervously that Kangana is turning director and therefore has demanded a co-writer credit,” he said.
Refusing to give in, Apurva further alleged, “For 2 months, he and his co-producer Shailesh tried to arm twist me into giving her a co-writer credit.” Apurva said he gave in to the additional writer credit for Kangana because the makers said their film would be stuck without it.
“Today not only do I see her credit before mine on the poster (which I had decided not to fight), but I also saw Kangana on her 'Facebook Live' event yesterday claiming that she had written the film (with Hansal) from a one-line he gave her. She had already discredited my one line in her Mid Day Interview in April, saying it was a dark & gritty thriller till she wrote a new film,” Apurva said.
He ends the message wishing “his friend Hansal” would “show some spine” and either refute or endorse his story.
Apurva also spoke about the issue to Roshmila Bhattacharya for Mumbai Mirror, in an interview published on May 9. He said there that it was time to perhaps break his association with Hansal Mehta, with whom he has collaborated six times, before “love turns sour”. He also said however, that Kangana deserved the ‘additional writer’ credit.
Kangana and Hansal have not responded to the allegations so far. Read Apurva's full post here: