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‘Badhaai Ho’ Controversy: After Argument Over Credits, Writers Pull Out Of Filmfare Awards Race

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Controversy has been brewing on the Badhaai Ho front, despite the film’s juggernaut continuing to roll. It has raked in over Rs 130 crore at the box office, and is a firm favourite at award functions. But, two days ago, screenwriter Jyoti Kapoor raised an issue over her name being removed from the nomination for Best Story at the Filmfare Awards. She had shared it with writers Akshat Ghildial and Shantanu Srivastav.

Narrating the sequence of events, she said: “I woke up to congratulatory messages from friends and well-wishers on the morning of 13 March, 2019 because I, along with the other story writers, was nominated for ‘Best Original Story’ for Badhaai Ho for Filmfare Awards… until it was unceremoniously removed, without any explanation whatsoever. Ever since I wrote a Facebook post about the same, I have been receiving emails from various award forums, telling me that they were categorically asked to remove my name from the nominations by the Junglee Team despite a legit credit in the released film.”

The film’s director Amit Sharma backed Akshat and Shantanu in a long post. Despite that, the duo decided to withdraw from the award, saying, “It is better to lose a possible than to share it with someone who has not written the story”. Jyoti, on the other hand, has claimed that she is the first hired writer on the project.

Badhaai Ho revolves around a middle-aged couple who suddenly discover they are to have a third child. The film explores how they and the family react to the news, even as it speaks about the agency of a woman over her body and how senior love is not something to be looked down upon. Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta, who play the parents, have been winning awards for their performance, as has Ayushmann Khurrana (he plays the elder son), who had a rollicking time at the box office in 2018 with this film and Andhadhun. The film also starred the delightful Surekha Sikri and Sanya Malhotra.

In her interview to Firstpost, Jyoti says that she registered the story of Hum Do Hamaare Chaar, which shares similarities with Badhaai Ho, with The Screenwriters Association on March 24, 2015. But, Amit says that Akshat narrated the idea to him even in 2012 for an ad campaign. He said that if Jyoti had truly contributed to the story, she should come out into the open with her script and end the confusion once and for all.

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