It all started with mid-day's April 26 report on Kangana Ranaut being credited as a co-writer in her next, 'Simran'. The actress had told us, "When Hansal (Mehta, director) came to me with the script of 'Simran', I was intrigued. It was essentially a dark, gritty crime thriller. Together we sat down and tweaked the script to make it a slice-of-life comedy. It is gracious of them (Hansal and co.) to credit me as a writer for the film."
That remark didn't go down well with Apurva Asrani, who has scripted 'Simran' along with Hansal's earlier works. Over the past few weeks, he has been expressing displeasure on social media over the "lie". Ruing "why Kangana would snatch the hard earned work of a writer", Apurva was furious that Kangana was "claiming credit" as co-writer. Worse, Kangy's name precedes his in the film poster.
After he poured his heart out in a Facebook post yesterday, we reached out to 'Simran' producer Shailesh Singh to set the record straight. He says, "I have worked with Apurva on two of his biggest films -- 'Shahid' (2013) and 'Aligarh' (2016). Apurva has a legal document in his possession signed by all parties -- Kangana, Hansal, the producers and himself -- wherein he agrees to the credits given by us."
As far as the order of credit goes, Singh calls it a printing error that will be rectified in the next poster. "I have conveyed this to Apurva. We could have chatted in person before he took the issue to social media."
Word is that Kangana was supposed to get sole story credit, with Apurva being given screenplay credit. It was later decided that the credits would be shared.
Singh says, "He seems to be doing this for publicity. If this is about him versus Kangana, I want to clarify that to please an actress, I'd have paid her more. Why be unfair to him? Once the film hits screens, we will release the script online for the world to judge."
The last we spoke to Apurva, he said he had no intentions of taking up the matter legally. We also reached out to Kangana, who refused to comment on the story.
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! Jubilant to work with my favourite actress, I began research and development.
I went to the US and studied the subject, I met lots of people who added value to the idea. I then returned and began writing. I wrote 9 drafts of the script. With each draft I went deeper into the character, I gave her an identity, motives and colour.
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.
Besides, writers write for the director and his/her approval is the final word for us. At no point (during 9 drafts and 1 & a half year) was there any talk or communication that Kangana didn't like the tone or direction of the script. Infact she used to jump with glee when I finished my narrations.
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