Kolkata: About a fortnight since a Kolkata journalist was grilled by police based on his FIR, Bengali film star and Trinamool MP, Dev, today said that he approached the police because the journalist was constantly tagging a Pakistani film company in tweets suggesting that Dev’s upcoming movie Hoichoi Unlimited is a remake of a Pak film.
Hoichoi Unlimited, a Bengali movie starring and produced by Dev, is set to release on 12 October. Indranil Roy, a senior entertainment journalist with Bengali daily Sangbad Pratidin, had on 13 September tweeted that the film appears to be a remake of 2015 Pakistani blockbuster Jawani Phir Nahi Ani.
Asked about the controversy during a Press conference today to announce that Hoichoi Unlimited is the first movie in eastern India that has Thomas Cook as the travel partner, Dev said that he filed the FIR only because of the Pakistani angle.
“Whatever I did was because he was targeting me before the release of my films every time. Be it Cockpit, Chaamp in the past, he was doing this again and again. The most important thing is that I didn’t file the FIR because he was saying that my film is a remake.”
“I did it because he was tagging a Pakistani company again and again till 10 pm in the night. If they were to file a suit against me, I couldn’t have released the film,” he said. Dev alleged that Roy did not ask him for his version on the allegation before making the tweets.
“Being a journalist, you should do your homework, do a good research. You should have called me up and ask whether it is original or a copy. Instead, he was completely targeting me and tagging a Pakistani company then and there. I believe this was completely unethical.”
The star said that having invested over Rs 3.5-crore in the film, as a normal human being he has every right to seek legal recourse when somebody is deliberately targeting the film ahead of the release. He reaffirmed that the film is based on an “original script.”
Asked whether he has any clue as what could be the motivation for a scribe to target his films, Dev said that he has no idea. He, however, maintained that he was finding it difficult to get slots in several cinema halls in north Kolkata for Hoichoi Unlimited.
“They are saying you please talk to me him: we can give you shows only if he says,” the Trinamool MP said, declining to reveal who he was referring to.
Aniket Chatterjee, the director and story writer of the film, said that he is not sure why the journalist did what he did.
“Is he doing this to harm business, image, or because he gets envelopes from elsewhere? Now that police have got the better of him, he has stopped doing all this. Had he had proof he should have come up with that. The fact that he has gone silent is the proof that he was making false claims,” Chatterjee said.
The director maintained that lifting from foreign or domestic movies in other languages is nothing new in the Bengali film industry. “Where’s the harm in copying from other movies?” he asked.
Dev urged people to watch the movie, which is a travel story of four friends. “The film was shot in Uzbekistan and we went there as the story needed this and not to just push a brand (in this case Thomas Cook.)”
Rajeev Kale, country head of a division in Thomas Cook said that through the film they want to bring a mesmerising tourist destination like Uzbekistan closer to the travel-hungry Bengalis.