Controversy dogs Rajni's Chandramukhi

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 29, 2004 04:12 hrs

Rajanikanth's Chandramukhi is now caught up in a controversy over its copyright and the issue is now pending before the Kerala Film Federation (KFF), the apex body of distributors and exhibitors in the state.

The KFF has issued a red card warning against those distributing or exhibiting Chandramukhi in Kerala. The Kerala distribution rights is said to have been purchased by a Coimbatore based group.

KFF has issued a ban on Chandramukhi after director Fazil and leading producer-distributor ‘Swargachitra’ Appachan had complained that Chandramukhi is based on their 1993 film Manichitrathazhu which was directed by Fazil and produced by Appachan.

Meanwhile Madhu Muttom, the original author of Manichitrathazhu has filed a separate case in a Kochi court against Fazil, Appachan and P.Vasu the director of Chandramukhi saying that he has not been paid any money for the remake rights! It is learnt that few years ago, P.Vasu bought the remake rights of Manichitrathazhu for Rs 10 Lakhs from Appachan and later made the Kannada film Aapthamitra which turned out to be a blockbuster.

Now P.Vasu’s argument is that Chandramukhi is a remake of Aapthamitra which was not a scene-to-scene remake of Manichitrathazhu. He claims that only the plot was used and he had made a lot of changes to make it commercially more viable.

Aapthamitra had the hero from the first scene onwards, while in Manichitrathazhu the hero comes only in the latter half of the film. Now Appachan’s contention is that Vasu had bought only the remake rights for Kannada and not Tamil. He says that the original rights are still with him and he should be compensated.

When contacted director Fazil he confessed: “Their argument is that Chandramukhi is a remake of Aapthamitra for which a lot of changes had been made to the storyline. But I still believe that the intellectual copyright are with the author and the director”.

Fazil feels that he has a watertight case against Vasu. The director also made it clear that he does not want to go to the court due to his excellent relationship with producers Ramkumar, Prabhu and superstar Rajnikanth.