Chetan Bhagat, writer, and Anupama Chopra, film critic got into an ugly spat on Tuesday on Twitter where Bhagat alleged that Chopra’s husband, filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra bullied him so much that he contemplated suicide.
Ma’am, when your husband publicly bullied me, shamelessly collected all the best story awards, tried denying me credit for my story and drove me close to suicide, and you just watched, where was your discourse? https://t.co/CeVDT2oq47— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) July 21, 2020
It started with Bhagat’s tweet where he said that Sushant Singh Rajput’s last movie “Dil Bechara” is going to release next week. He urged critics not to “try” their “dirty” tricks and write sensibly. He said, “I want to tell the snob and elitist critics right now, write sensibly. Don’t act oversmart. Don’t write rubbish. Be fair and sensible. Don’t try your dirty tricks. You have ruined enough lives. Now stop. We’ll be watching.”
Sushant’s last film releases this week. I want to tell the snob and elitist critics right now, write sensibly. Don’t act oversmart. Don’t write rubbish. Be fair and sensible. Don’t try your dirty tricks. You have ruined enough lives. Now stop. We’ll be watching.— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) July 21, 2020
Quoting Bhagat, Anupama Chopra, who herself is a movie critic and wife of Vidhu Vinod Chopra said, “Each time you think the discourse can’t get lower, it does!” Her reply irked Bhagat, and he pointed out how her husband publicly bullied him. He said that Chopra shamelessly collected all the awards for the film based on his story. He further alleged that Chopra denied to give him any credit for “3 Idiots” which is based on his book “Five Points Something.” He added, “[He] drove me close to suicide, and you just watched, where was your discourse?”
Each time you think the discourse can’t get lower, it does! https://t.co/yhkBUd8VSQ— Anupama Chopra (@anupamachopra) July 21, 2020
The “3 Idiots” controversy
Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s “3 Idiots” was based on “Five points Something” written by Chetan Bhagat. Thought the script was not exactly based on the book, it was confirmed at some point that the main idea was taken from Bhagat’s book. When the movie was about to release, a reported asked Chopra about Bhagat’s claims that he is not getting the credits he deserves. Chopra threatened a reporter and asked him to shut up. He said that “How can you say all this when you haven’t seen the movie?”
In an interview, Chopra said, “Chetan gave me this book to read, and I wanted to make a film on it. But I knew right from the start that I could not make a film completely on the book, as it was very anecdotal and a film needs a plot. So I had decided to rewrite it in a screenplay format. You’ll see that the film is very different from the book. After I wrote the script, I called Chetan and narrated it to him. I told him that if he did not like the script, I would stop the project. But he was okay with it.”
On the contrary, in a blog post, which is now deleted, Chetan Bhagat said, “The case is as simple as the makers claiming the story as their own, and clearly it is not. Pre-release, the makers made press statements like the movie is only ‘very loosely’, ‘2%-5% inspired by the book’. After release, those who have read the book and seen the movie (and frankly, I think those are the only people who have the right to comment) find the film to be an adaptation of Five Point Someone.” The then-controversy once raised the never-ending question of artists, writers and musicians not getting the credit they deserve in the film industry. The deleted blog post can be read here.
Ahead of release of the film, Bhagat had taken to Twitter to say how Chopra negated his contribution to the film by not even naming him as the author of the book.
They added a story credit right upfront, without my name, negating my contribution. THATS THE ISSUE— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) January 2, 2010
The ‘3 Idiots’ team called him a liar for these allegations.
Bhagat’s tweet on Tuesday not only rattled Anupama Chopra but other members of the fraternity as well. Bhagat while replying to them one by one wrote, “One tweet and the whole eco-system gets rattled.”