The plagiarism accusation surrounding Kaththi has opened a can of worms. In the past few days, two films – Yaan and Mundasupatti – have been accused of being blatant copies. While Yaan is said to be a direct copy of the British film Midnight Express, Mundasupatti director Ramkumar, on the other hand, has been accused of basing some scenes in his film on Prapanchan’s novel, Negative Impression. Close friends of the writer told us that although Prapanchan was credited in the short film version, his name was left out of the credits in the bigger one.
Speaking to Silverscreen, Ramkumar vehemently denied the claims. “I read Prapanchan sir’s story only after I finished making the short film. I credited him there out of respect. I did not copy anything from the story,” he said.
Prapanchan’s novel revolves around two photographers who lose the photos of an important client. It documents their antics as they try to shoot new pictures without the client’s knowledge. Mundasupatti too, has a similar sequence. Ramkumar, though, insisted that “it was entirely original” and that those scenes were conceived by him and not inspired by the novel. “I have deep respect for the work of Prapanchan sir, and I’m not the kind of person who copies deliberately without attribution,” he declared.
The film’s producer, CV Kumar, was not available for comment.
In the case of Yaan, just days after its release, eagle-eyed film critics noted its astonishing resemblance to the 1978 English film, Midnight Express. A video comparing scenes of both films went viral last week. We hear that the producers of the film were made aware of this issue after watching the video, and are now contemplation legal action. The Times of India has reported that Elred Kumar was shocked to see that “scenes, dialogues and even camera angles” of Midnight Express seem to have made their way to Yaan. “Ravi K Chandran had told us that he had written the script after getting inspired by a real life incident, and that he had registered the script years ago.”
Elred Kumar is now discussing his next move with his lawyers as he is worried that the Hollywood studio which produced the film might file a lawsuit against his firm. Representatives of RS Infotainment Pvt. Ltd. have also approached the Producers’ Council with this issue. When contacted, Ravi K Chandran refused to comment on these allegations as it was an ongoing legal issue.
Producers’ Council secretary T Siva lamented the state of Tamil cinema and urged filmmakers to make ‘original movies’. “If the intention is to make a Tamil adaptation of an English film, producers should follow procedures and get official remake rights of the film. In this age of technology, copying another film is not a wise decision. The council is also looking at ways to solve this crisis. We hope to arrive at a decision soon,” he said.