Kerala HC rejects plea from Kantara makers over controversial song

The Kerala High Court has rejected a petition from the makers of Kantara film to quash a lower court order barring them from playing the song ‘Varaha Roopam’ in the film on streaming platforms or cinemas. The Palakkad District Court and the Kozhikode District Court issued the order last month after Kerala-based music band Thaikkudam Bridge approached them claiming that the song ‘Varaha Roopam’ was plagiarized from their original work ‘Navarasam’.

The makers of the Kannada film had moved the Kerala High Court a few days ago asking for the eviction of the order. The Kerala High Court rejected the petition and on Wednesday said it could not intervene and ordered the filmmakers to fight the issue in the lower courts.

Supreme Court Attorney Satish Murthi, representing Thaikkudam Bridge, sees the Supreme Court’s order as confirming the order. The Amazon Prime OTT platform is currently streaming the movie without the song, which is also an acknowledgment of the justice in its customers’ claim, he adds. “I think Amazon made a wise decision not to stream the song in the movie without proper credit. That is why they have asked the filmmakers to redo the song and compose a new version that has now been incorporated into the film,” says the lawyer.

Meanwhile, Thaikkudam Bridge took to Instagram to celebrate the Supreme Court ruling and thank everyone who supported them in the case. “Amazon Prime has removed the plagiarized version of our song ‘NAVARASAM’ from the movie KANTARA. Justice prevails!” placed the belt.

Sujith Unnithan, band manager, also sees the Supreme Court ruling as confirming their claims. “It’s a win for us! This is what we have been fighting for from day one – for recognition and recognition for our hard work. Unfortunately, the makers of Kantara kept escalating the problem instead of giving us credit,” he says.

Sujith says the band has achieved what they set out to do – prove that the song ‘Varaha Roopam’ in Kantara is a plagiarism of their work ‘Navarasam’. “We have removed the song from several streaming platforms. If Amazon Prime wants to stream the song, they need our permission,” he said, adding that as far as the band is concerned, the battle is over for now.

Fans not happy with new song

The announcement that Kantara would be streaming on Amazon Prime surprised people, given the controversy surrounding the song. Messages had been sent to Hombale Films, who produced the film, the director, music composer and Amazon requesting that the song be removed. When the OTT giant started streaming the film (in Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu) on November 23, viewers found a new composition at the end of the film.

The creative team of the production house came up with the new song. But those who have seen the film in theaters feel that the new version robs the film of its soul. And dissatisfied fans are demanding that the original song be reinstated. The hashtag #BringBackVarahaRoopam is trending on Twitter.
Sujith sympathizes with the fans, but emphasizes that the responsibility for bringing the original ‘Varaha Roopam’ back to Amazon Prime rests with the filmmakers. “If the Kantara makers want to do that, they have to recognize us – that’s what we’ve been fighting for all these weeks,” he says.

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