Bollywood Director Ram Gopal Varma irks actress Sridevi, faces legal action

Mumbai, Oct 14: Bollywood film Director Ram Gopal Varma has refused to revert to the original title, a day after being slapped with a legal notice by actress Sridevi for changing his new film's name.

After Ram Gopal Varma decided to change his film title from 'Saavitri' to 'Sridevi', actress Sridevi has sent a legal notice to him over the issue. In the notice, Sridevi has mentioned the fact that the film's posters, which have already stirred a lot of controversy, are ‘perceived as being obscene, sleazy and vulgar'.

Her notice also mentions that RGV has changed the title ‘Sridevi' to make the public believe that it is associated with Sridevi.

While RGV admitted that he had an admiration for veteran actress Sridevi, he also clarified that the film title had nothing to do with the film's title. He said that the film, which is about a 15 year-old boy's crush on his much older teacher, has nothing to do with his personal admiration for actress Sridevi.

RGV's response to legal notice

"My response to the legal notice sent to me by Sridevi with regard to my film ‘Sridevi' . In the legal notice sent to me, there seems to be an apprehension that the film "Sridevi" is based on a crush I personally had for Sridevi in my college years ..I, many times over the last 5 years expressed this publicly in both the media and also to her which was taken by all concerned in a humorous and healthy spirit," he wrote.

"Now coming to the film "Sridevi", the story is about a teenager's infatuation towards a 25-year-old woman ... But coming to the film ‘Sridevi' neither is the woman playing the title role in my film is an actress nor the boy is a director. Also there's a huge age gap between the boy and woman in the film "Sridevi " which is not the case with me and the real Sridevi. The title has been given to us by the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber which is the authorised body for such deeds.. moreover films with this same title "Sridevi "have been made and released atleast 3 times in the last two decades ...The Film chamber already sent a reply saying that they are well within their rights to grant the title to us."

RGV hurt by Sridevi's reaction

"The film was earlier titled "Saavitri" but we changed it not for reasons of the protests as some sections of the media are falsely reporting. The reason for the change in title is due to a miscommunication on the production part they went ahead with the title without acquiring it from the previous right holder of the title...when the previous title holder refused to give the title we changed it to "Sridevi". After the producer got the title he went ahead with the printing of standees and hoardings with the new title.. When Mr.Boney Kapoor called me I explained to him both orally and in a message which I have also given to the press with regard to clearing the speculations on the so called controversial content of the subject," he wrote.

"I am deeply hurt by this action of Sridevi whom I always admired and respected and I strongly believe that she was influenced by others with vested interests..I am going ahead with the title "Sridevi" because I am well within my legal and moral rights to use because a name cannot be copyrighted and also like I said the film has nothing to do with the real Sridevi to the extent that the protoganist is not even an actress...moral because I know in my heart that I will never do anything to degrade or demean Sridevi and the final outcome of the film will prove that," he said ending his explanation.
The movie has been in news ever since its provocative posters released last month.

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