Kangana Ranaut has snatched my hard earned work: Simran writer Apurva Asrani calls out Kangana’s ‘lie’

Simran poster credited Kangana Ranaut as the ‘additional story and dialogue writer,’ the film's writer Apurva Asrani has hit back at Kangana and the film's director Hansal Mehta in a Facebook post.

By: Express Web Desk | Mumbai | Published:May 17, 2017 1:03 pm
Apurva Asrani, Kangana Ranaut, Kangana Ranaut simran, simran, Apurva Asrani kangana, Apurva Asrani kangana news Apurva Asrani had earlier spoken about how he had been side-lined in the Kangana Ranaut’s film Simran.

After Simran poster credited Kangana Ranaut as the ‘additional story and dialogue writer,’ the film’s writer has hit back at Kangana and the film’s director Hansal Mehta in a Facebook post. While Apurva Asrani had earlier spoken about how he had been side-lined in the film, this is by far the most comprehensive account of what transpired on the film’s sets.

In the new poster, Asrani features as the “story, screenplay and dialogue writer” but his credit appears after Kangana. he also has to share the credits as a co-writer. Apurva and Hansal have earlier worked together in films like Shahid, City Lights and Aligarh. Simran will hit the theatres on September 15

Taking to facebook, Apurva wrote, “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 they story was dark & gritty thriller at that stage and that she herself developed it into a light, fun film. This completely discredits me and my efforts, and I have to call out this lie at the cost of so many of her fans turning against me.”
Talking about how the shift transpired, he added, “It was only the day after I finished the first cut of the film that Hansal called me to meet. He informed me nervously that Kangana is turning director and therefore has demanded a co writer credit. I naturally had a shit fit and feeling shocked and betrayed, I refused to give in. For 2 months, he and his co producer Shailesh tried to arm twist me into giving her a co writer credit.”

Here is the complete Facebook post of Apurva Asrani…

I have always supported Kangana in her fight against the system. Being a self-made person myself, and having experienced being an outsider at some point, I applaud her courage and her determination to fight a good fight.
I know there seems to be a discrepancy regarding credits. Many of you have outraged against her ‘additional dialogue & story’ credit appearing before mine on the poster, and I am thankful to you for your support.
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 they story was dark & gritty thriller at that stage and that she herself developed it into a light, fun film.
This completely discredits me and my efforts, and I have to call out this lie at the cost of so many of her fans turning against me. Those that know me will know that I have always strived for the truth, and that is more important to me than a hit film.
Hansal sent me a news article of a woman in the US who crossed the line of the law. I loved it and thought it would make a great film. But I didn’t want to do a serious film after Aligarh. As gratifying as the experience of making Aligarh was, it churned my insides out and left me emotionally drained. I saw ‘Simran’ as an opportunity to have some fun. This was 2 years ago!
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.
When they went to shoot the film, I heard stories about things transpiring on set. I would not like to go into that now. But I waited excitedly for them to return with the material and when it came earlier this year, I dived into editing it.
I was thrilled to see that it was exactly the story and screenplay that I had registered at the Film Writer’s Association. I noticed that Kangana had improvised many dialogues, and I thought those improvs were excellent; in keeping with the lines/thoughts I had written.
At no stage did I see this new narrative of theirs coming. It was only the day after I finished the first cut of the film that Hansal called me to meet. He informed me nervously that Kangana is turning director and therefore has demanded a co writer credit.
I naturally had a shit fit and feeling shocked and betrayed, I refused to give in. For 2 months, he and his co producer Shailesh tried to arm twist me into giving her a co writer credit. The details of which I will reserve for the future.
I finally gave into an additional writing credit, but only because they claimed their film would be stuck if I didn’t do so. But I refused to give her a co writer credit, and we signed a letter where they promised me the same.
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.
I have tried to be dignified about this for so long, but I am at a loss to understand why Kangana would snatch the hard earned work of a writer. I wish she had been graceful about this and acknowledged what I brought to this film.
I also wish that my dear friend Hansal shows some spine and either refutes or endorses my story.

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    AJ
    May 18, 2017 at 8:58 pm
    Apurva is a psychotic manipulator and cheat; as such, it is not so tough to find such people in Bollywood, but this guy seems to have crossed limits. It is sad that Kangana, the only person who has guts to fight the system, ends up getting negative publicity from voluntarily or involuntarily getting involved with such cheats and liars. But I stand by her fully (as should the Indian public) - she should get full credit for her contributions and what she deserves. Give the credit where it's due. Defeat the evil.
    Reply
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      Priya
      May 18, 2017 at 1:13 am
      Saw her fbook live interview and think even more that the writer is hysertical and attention seeking. Kangana just talks broadly about collaboration and he goes wild planting PR stories and writing nasty fbook posts. His behavior reeks of insecurity and imbalance. He wants to be the judge of how much credit Kangana gets. He is a spineless man who should have taken this up with producer-director instead of using Kangana to harp his flute.
      Reply
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        Aditya
        May 17, 2017 at 10:48 pm
        Kangana got credit because the producer-directors deem fit. Ms. Asrani is sounding ridiculous by first planting PR stories and now crying foul on facebook. It is laughable that he gives verbal credit to Kangana but has issues with her getting actual credit. He is trying to play the "vicitim card". He should have the balls to confront the men who have taken the decision and not use Kangana as a smoke screen!
        Reply
        1. S
          Suraj
          May 17, 2017 at 7:12 pm
          A lot of dirt is coming out about Kangana but she keeps getting away with it by playing victim, small town girl and industry outsider each time.
          Reply
          1. S
            Shuchi
            May 17, 2017 at 4:47 pm
            He should have the guts to confront the director and producer, if he has problem. Writing sissy posts on foul play by Kangana is not the issue. There is a great deal of misogyny here. His main problem is that Kangana deserves verbal credit but not real credit :D Men always get insecure when a woman gets her due, in this case, she got her due from the director-producer, who are men too :)
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              thistooshallpass
              May 17, 2017 at 4:59 pm
              Misogyny? Is that the flavour of the season?
              Reply
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                Aditya
                May 17, 2017 at 10:49 pm
                Misogyny is a flavour for all seasons for insecure and disgruntled men. They need to grow up!
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              DimaagKaDahi
              May 17, 2017 at 4:23 pm
              There is something seriously shady about Kangana. So many people are speaking out against her, some in hushed tones and others more vociferously. And I am finding it hard to question everyone's integrity or intentions. There is no smoke without fire. Male actors might get away with occasional obnoxious behaviour, but we all know women are held to a different standard. I have a fee if her next few films flop, the kangana show will be over.
              Reply
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                resham
                May 17, 2017 at 2:51 pm
                Kangana has been made target bcz she is a great actress and praised for her work. All these men who are good for nothing illmouth her for limelight. Like adhyan suman. Hide behind women. M c p
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                  Pee Vee
                  May 17, 2017 at 6:16 pm
                  What the heck???? Here is this guy who is so gracious in his complaint and you call him MCP. BY the way, what are you - a feminist !!!!! If a guy can be called a pig, it is only fair to call a female a !!!!! Kangana a script writer!!!! holy cow, then I must be Steven Spielberg. Kangana thinks she is extraordinary but actually she is just extra and ordinary.
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                    Priya
                    May 18, 2017 at 1:14 am
                    You sound like the guys mom :D Kangana is extra-ordinary and the guy is a nobody.
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                  Kirti
                  May 17, 2017 at 1:27 pm
                  He should be ashamed of himself. Instead of discussing this director and producer he has gone to press and targeted Kangana. They feel she deserves credit. You have GOT your credit. Your problem is that of male chauvinism. Wish you speedy recovery!
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                    deepak sankhla
                    May 17, 2017 at 6:22 pm
                    Did even read this story fully?? Typical femi at ude!
                    Reply
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                      Virat
                      May 18, 2017 at 1:19 am
                      Read his lame fbook post and also saw Kangana's fbook live interview. She used the word collaboration and spoke very broadly. This guy is insane to write such a post. We don't need him to certify Kangana's success, struggles and talent. The problem is him fee left-out by the producer-director (despite getting credit) and using Kangana to get attention and vent his frustration. He should have the guts to confront the men who felt she deserved credit.
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                        AJ
                        May 18, 2017 at 8:59 pm
                        @Deepak, I think you haven't read the story fully. ic Indians will always be biased against females.
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