Bringing the life of a person as notorious as forest brigand Veerappan to the big screen, comes with its own hiccups. Looks like director, AMR Ramesh is facing the brunt after his decision on making the film, Attahasa, which he had announced in 2006.
First it was the cases filed against him by Nakeeran’s editor, Gopal and late Veerapan’s wife, Muthulakshmi who got a stay order on his film. While Ramesh has been attending court cases for making the film he is also busy with the post production work. “I am currently in Chennai on post production work. Apart from this, I am waiting to attend legal cases been filed against me,” says Ramesh. But now, the director has been targetted for plagiarism. Gururaj, a novelist has claimed that the film Attahasa is the story based on his book Rudra Narthana.
Gururaj says, “I had met Ramesh a couple of times before he started with the film, when he had mentioned to me that the content of the film is based on my book. But at the time of the muhurath, he never bothered to inform me. Now that the film is done, I just wanted some credit,” Gururaj has approached the Directors Association for justice. “After Ramesh and I met up with the Association members, they came up with the decision that I should go for an out-of-court settlement and not ask for any royalty. I respect the decision and agreed to be given credit as a story writer. But it looks like, even this is not forthcoming further to which I have decided to go the court,” said Gururaj. On the other side, Ramesh is surprised by Gururaj’s move. “I have never met the writer Gururaj before or after I started with the film. He had couriered his book and had called me two years later and now he claims that my film is based on his book,” he explains.
Ramesh stated that he had started working on Veerapan’s film from 2006 and registered the title and the script way back in 2008 with the Film Writer’s Association, Mumbai. “I want to know from Gururaj on what basis he claims that the film is based on his book. I have taken 11 years and at least interviewed around 200 people to make this film. I don’t think he has put even 10 percent of such an effort. My only mistake was that I obliged by telling ‘Yes, I have read the book’, which has resulted in him telling everybody that Attahasa is his story,” says Ramesh.
Nobody can claim a patent on Veerappan's story, says the director. “Everybody claims to know Veerappan. Thousands of articles have been written and every channel had covered the forest brigand. Apart from my own research, I have all the associates of Veerappan working with me in this film,” said Ramesh. Tackling such issues on one side, the director is eagerly waiting for the release of Attahasa. “Let me release the film. Whoever wants to claim that it is their story are most welcome. Let them wait till the film hits the theatres. I am ready to face the legal battle with whoever wants to take onus of the script,” says Ramesh, who also challenges the writer saying, “Let Gururaj write the screenplay of the film and we will match it with my film for everybody to know,” he concludes.