Sridevi may sue Ram Gopal Varma over film name Sridevi and force Ram Gopal Varma to change the film name Savitri to Sridevi, angers vetran actress
Ram Gopal Varma’s newest film, produced by Cosmic pictures and directed by Kiran Prasad follows the story based on his life. The film is based on a 15 year old boy’s crush on a 25 year old woman played by Anukriti Sharma. Where the controversy started was when RGV renamed the film ‘‘Sridevi’ from his initial choice, Savitri.
This angered actress Sridevi and her husband Boney Kapoor. What might have added more fuel to the fire was the director’s reaction. The couple claim that when they tried to contact RGV, the only response was a WhatsApp message containing a press release.
The actress’ lawyers say this is a violation of Sridevi’s privacy. This could put her in an embarrassing situation as she does not control the matter in the film and has not given her consent.
Therefore, Sridevi gave the director three days to fulfill three of her conditions. One, provide an unconditional apology. Two, change the title of the movie. Three, not use her likeness, images, persona and any other attributes.
Initially, there was no response from Ram Gopal Varma. The director then posted an explanation on his Facebook page, concluding with the fact that he would not change the name as it was morally and legally within his right not to do so.
Attributing the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber for approving the name, the director added that in the past two years, three movies had been released with the name “Sridevi” “.
He clarified that though he had made public his admiration of the veteran actress and this film was about his life, it was in no way a film about him and Sridevi. For one there was a ten-year age gap between the characters of the movie, whereas the age gap between him and Sridevi was much less. Secondly, he stated that niether was the boy in the movie a director, nor the woman an actress. The director claimed that he had explained all these things to Boeny Kapoor orally as well as in a text.
Talking about the change in title, RGV said that they were forced to change from name “Savitri” not because of any protests, but because of some miscommunication on the side of the production team, who had gone ahead with the name without acquiring rights from its previous owners and thus had to change it. The producers had already printed the film posters and hoardings with the new name.
The first posters of Sridevi show a teenage boy looking longingly at his teacher and has already provoked outrage from women’s groups.
RGV also added in his post that he was deeply hurt by the reaction of Sridevi and hinted she might have been influenced by someone with vested interests. He concludes the post saying he is legally and morally entitled to use the name. This is because he says a name cannot be copyrighted and morally, he would never do anything to hurt Sridevi, something he says would be proved by the film in the end.