More than her films’ stories, it’s the stories of Kangana Ranaut’s real-life dramas that are more interesting. It’s like every new drama of hers is a new season with different episodes. We are now on the second episode/chapter of the pissed-off Credited Writers drama.
2 days back, we had to report on how the credited writer of Kangana Ranaut’s upcoming film, ‘Simran’, is mad that Kangu has said she wrote the whole story from a one-line screenplay that the director of the film gave her. This is why Apurva Asrani got mad. He didn’t get mad over the credits, he got mad because Kangu has claimed in a Facebook chat that she wrote the whole story and he did nothing.
This is what Apurva Asrani said
While it is demeaning for any writers name to be pushed after an additional writing credit, I want to bring to your attention that it’s not the ‘credits’ that irk me so much. There is something bigger that I notice, something that I cannot make sense of.
Ms Ranaut has been claiming in several interviews that Hansal Mehta, the director of Simran, approached her with just a one line screenplay of the film. She says that the story was dark & gritty thriller at that stage and that she herself developed it into a light, fun film.
Today not only do I see her credit before mine on the poster ( which I had decided not to fight), but I also saw Kangana on her ‘Facebook Live’ event yesterday claiming that she had written the film (with Hansal) from a one-line he gave her. She had already discredited my one line in her Mid Day Interview in April, saying it was a dark & gritty thriller till she wrote a new film.
Shailesh Singh, the producer of ‘Simran’, publicly replied by saying the credits placement on the poster was a printing error.
I have worked with Apurva on two of his biggest films — Shahid and Aligarh. 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. It’s 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. 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.
Like we said in that post, Kangana Ranaut will gather her thoughts around and come up with an explanation that will blow your mind. In her reply to Apurva, she was pissed off and extremely angry at how Apurva accused her when he was the dumb one. Yes, even though she didn’t say it, she meant that Apurva was so dumb that he couldn’t come up with a script that she and the director approved. Kangu says that Apurva did not even write the films that he took credit for, including ‘Shahid’ and ‘Aligarh’. It’s a really long statement. So long that they could have another movie based on it titled, ‘Before Simran could happen’ or ‘Jab Tak Hai Simran Ki Kahaani’.
Kangana Ranaut on the who-wrote-what Apurva Asrani drama
When I started collaborating with Apurva, I realised this isn’t a writer who matches my expectations. And when I enquired about his previous writing work, I realised he hadn’t done them. I told Hansal that we need a team of writers and this guy cannot deliver. Yes, he did write 9 drafts but they became so many drafts because both Hansal and I shot them down.
I apparently jumped at those ideas because of how genius it was. Seriously? If it was so good, why oh why, would I have to do rewrites? This never ever happened. Yes, there were sessions but those were mostly me expressing my disappointment with the writing. Nobody can take away from the fact that if Simran today is a story of a divorced woman, it’s entirely introduced by me. If the film has feminist undercurrents, I included that. The father-daughter track, the lover’s track in the film — these are subplots that I added. Even Apurva cannot take away from that, why should I be giving my precious time when I already have other commitments. It was a trying time also because I was shooting Rangoon at that time, a very difficult film. I had to do these things because I wasn’t given a team of competent writers. Later on Hansal did a draft of his own and I could sense that he was under enormous pressure. He wanted to break away from Apurva but he couldn’t. We did three drafts together and I still wasn’t satisfied. I couldn’t sense a spark. Finally, Hansal and I agreed that we’ll fine tune this in the US (they reached there about a fortnight in advance) and I’ll write the dialogues on sets.
He saw all the changes that I made and now wants to encash on that by putting his name there. And he’s been doing that in the past! Why don’t you check with the original writer of Shahid. This is not an isolated incident. I asked Hansal to inform him. I was warned not to get into it as he’s a nightmare to deal with when it comes to credits. While in the US, I got into a car accident. My MRIs revealed that I had suffered some level of damage. I couldn’t physically write after that. I told Hansal, ‘please call Apurva as we need someone to do the writing’. Hansal didn’t want to. He said if he calls him now, Apurva will lose it and not let us proceed with the shooting as the changes are significant. I didn’t get into it as I thought Hansal will deal with it on his own as he shares a very long association with him. The guy who was tutoring me in Gujarati eventually wrote the lines of dialogues that I dictated. Hansal’s son Jay Mehta also helped. I’ll ensure both of them get credited under ‘Special Thanks.’
And look, I also am a reasonable person. I don’t want to steal someone’s work. But at the same time, I also don’t want to feel shortchanged for the additional work I have put in. Since co-writer was not an option, I settled for additional story and additional dialogue. The basic blueprint of the film was still Apurva’s and he has been duly credited for that. What else does he want, I fail to understand.
When we had the conversation about sharing credits, he lost it completely and drove everyone insane. This was when the nepotism controversy had broken and this man tells me, “Do you really need another controversy?” It was a threat. Basically he was saying if I don’t shut up, he’ll go ahead and tarnish my image as a ‘trouble-maker’ which is exactly what he has done despite getting the credit!
We sat with him (Hansal and producer, Shailesh Singh) and signed off the legal paperwork where his credits were in place. He harassed us a lot during this. I was done. All I told my team was I want him out of the film. He was supposed to edit the film. Now he no longer is. He kept telling Hansal and everyone that I don’t admire or respect him. Which is true. I cannot fake my admiration or respect for someone I have neither for. I have never done that. All Apurva is after is his two-minutes of fame. And try to plaster his name on my work. He can try to do that, but he won’t be able to.
Like we mentioned in that post, how is it that Kangu has so much power to make a talented director give her credit for something she didn’t do. Whether he has no spine to stand on his own and defend his writer. Here’s what she has to say about this:
I think it’s very unfair to say that about him. More than mine or Apurva’s, it’s Hansal’s film. To say that he couldn’t tell the distinction of what he wanted to make is discrediting one of the best filmmakers of our times. To say that he was so enamoured by my charms and my stardom and get swayed by that is discrediting and underestimating a great filmmaker. I don’t think that ever happened. He has earned the position of where he is and whatever I contributed, the final decision was obviously his and his own.
Kangana was also told how her inputs didn’t go down well with her previous directors, Aanand Rai and Vishal Bhardwaj, and if she agrees that her inputs make her a difficult actress for directors to work with. If you recall, she said her best scenes were cut off from ‘Rangoon’. This is what she has to say:
I back off when I am told that my inputs aren’t required. What can you do? (Kangana was offered Sultan but Aditya Chopra wasn’t up for Kangana’s involvement and hence they let go off the film). You know me long enough to know that I have never played to the gallery and said no to several so-called blockbuster films. Even this controversy is baffling as I have nothing really to gain to share credits with a writer who isn’t exactly the best in the business.
She was asked as well if doing all this drama will make people wary of her and stay away from her. She said it’s already happened.
I feel that isolation already. I feel I have become a victim of my own image. With the Simran controversy, people didn’t even wait to hear my side of the story and jumped to make conclusion. They had already decided I’m a vamp here, using my stardom to corner a helpless writer. But I’m glad that for now, my director and producer stood by me.
Kangana says that Apurva doesn’t want her to have a writing credit for the film. That’s his only problem.
Understand again: Apurva is not fighting for his credits. He already has them. He’s hellbent on not giving me mine.
There you have it, Kangana’s version of how things went down. We have been waiting for this drama to get bigger since Apurva vented out his anger on Facebook. It was like waiting to see whether a tsunami is going to happen after an earthquake. In the land of Kangana, she built a wall so high to prevent this tsunami from hitting her. Like she knows how to fight for herself and is not afraid of it. Let’s just wait and see how Apurva hits back. He should probably start by showing her his writing degree, one that is credited obviously!
By the way, we can’t help but noticed the brain scan Kangu mentioned. We have to wonder whether it was before or after the HR fiasco?