Akshay Kumar’s upcoming film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, has run into a plagiarism controversy. Praveen Vyas, who made Manini, a short film has sent the makers of Toilet a legal notice and asked for compensation.
Manini was screened at the International Film Festival Of India at Goa last year, where it won the third prize in the Swachh Bharat Short Film competition. “Manini follows the female protagonist as she protests against lack of a toilet in her marital home on the first night of her marriage after female relatives wake her up before sunrise to tend to nature’s call in an open field. The scenes in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’s trailer shows the same interaction between characters,” Vyas was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror.
The makers of the film though have flatly denied all allegations and defended their writers. “These allegations are baseless and border on harassment. The script of our film has been registered under our writers’ names, Siddharth and Garima, with the authorised industry association since 2013. Furthermore, the film has been in the public domain through various news stories since July 2015. We firmly deny all the claims made by this gentleman who is obviously misled. It is sad that genuine producers have become soft targets for this kind of nuisance,” co-producer Shital Bhatia told Mumbai Mirror.
We’ve seen both the trailer and the short film, and think that Akshay Kumar’s film is not plagiarized. Yes, both films revolve around a woman’s mission to not defecate in the open, and get a toilet made. Other than that, the production standards, the dialogues, and most importantly, the length of the movie is completely different.
To be honest, Vyas’ film isn’t extremely good. The actors have not done their job really well, and the dialogue delivery seems forced (what’s with the nasal twang?). In terms of camera work and story flow too, the film hits all the wrong notes. We urge you to watch both Manini and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’s trailer, to form a judgement about whether the film is plagiarized or not.