It would be paradoxical to find intellectuals discussing about idiots. I am saying about the tussle between the 3 Idiots & Chetan Bhagat pertaining to the issue of ‘credit’. Credit here pertains to the attribution that will usually be made when a plot is derived from the work of an author. Even in the absence of an agreement which explicitly demands the credit, in case of adaptation, the author always has the moral right to seek acknowledgement for his work. With this premise, let me get in to the story.
It will not be a hyperbole when I say that the first novel I read was Five Point Someone (FPS) and I did that at the right time (3rd Year – Engineering). Since then I read some tens of fiction works by Indian and foreign novelists. I am still on look for a story which was told as appealingly as it was told in FPS. It ignited a lot of passion to subsequently make ‘reading novels’ my favorite pastime. Most other contemporary novels like Anything For You Madam with the same premise did make their way to the readers. However, no other novel could really bring in so much of freshness and delight for the readers between the age groups 18 and 22. The story revolves around 3 characterizations Hari, Ryan and Alok each coming from different backgrounds and pursuing Mechanical Engineering from IIT Delhi. Hari takes on the lead role by narrating the backdrop and the plot. Just like any other typical Indian story, it ends with out any anticlimax.
Taking a look at what 3 Idiots wants to say, the backdrop is a reputed Engineering College based in Delhi and the three lead characterizations with the change in the role of the protagonist. However, things tend to change when they reach the silver screen and there is no gainsay about it. Any work would only provide the lead roles, backdrop, plot and progression for the story. Quiet a good part of the story needs appropriate adaptation to make it look more entertaining for the viewer. Therefore, the success of the movie on the screen is not just a result of plot and characterizations which the author creates but also the efforts of the director and technicians who strikes the right chords at the right moments.
Shamnad from SPICY IP dissected and presented an excellent story on the whole case. There are some important lessons which every prospective author must learn from this 3 Idiots episode. Always draft an assignment or licensing agreement with the worst in mind. Ensure that the wording goes beyond fulfilling the technical requirements and squarely complies with the moral requirements.