On Friday morning, the industry woke up to the news that producer – director Abhishek Kapoor had taken the leading lady of his upcoming film KEDARNATH, Sara Ali Khan and her management agency Kwan to the court over scheduling conflicts.

Before we get into who did what right or wrong we ought to look at some of the crystal clear facts behind this whole issue. When in the second half of 2017 it was announced that Abhishek Kapoor would be making his next KEDARNATH with Sushant Singh Rajput and debutant Sara Ali Khan the filmmaker had got blanket dates from the agency for both the actors running up to July 15, 2018. The movie was originally supposed to release on December 21, 2018. The agency had obliged the filmmaker’s request of the same blanket dates. Post that, the filmmaker and his cast also shot for the first schedule of the movie in Kedarnath as well at the end of last year.

However, post that first schedule, Kapoor had a very public falling out with his main co-producers of the film and subsequently the fate of the movie was up in the air. Around the same time producer Karan Johar with director Rohit Shetty approached Sara’s agency to figure out the date of the actress for their upcoming movie with Ranveer Singh titled SIMMBA. The agency without checking with Kapoor, assuming that the movie wasn’t going to be shot on the allocated dates, gave them away to SIMMBA. Post that, however, Kapoor found a new co-producer in Ronnie Screwvala to back the project and just like that overnight the movie was back on the radar. The shooting of the movie as resumed a few weeks back in Mumbai.

But when, Kapoor found out that his dates were given away he was for obvious reasons livid. He planned to finish the movie by the end of June and he was more than willing to let Sara join SIMMBA’s team immediately after that. But the agency had already committed her dates to SIMMBA from June 7th onwards and asked Kapoor to resume shooting at the end of July as Sara had dates available post that. Even after a series of meetings with the agency and personal back and forth phone calls when there was no clear solution in sight Kapoor then filed a case in the Mumbai High Court. According to our sources, the judge presiding over the case has called in both the parties on Tuesday (29 May) in his chambers and he will pass his judgement then.

Firstly, it was wrong on the part of the agency to pass on dates like this when it is in fine print with such intensive paperwork these days, it baffles me how such a thing could’ve happen. But having said that, taking a young actress who is at the beginning of her career to the court is just as baffling, if not more so. My father always firmly believed that there is no issue big or small in this world that cannot be solved with dialogue. This is not the first time an actor has had scheduling conflicts and this is for sure is not the last time either. To take the matter to the court is not the right option and that is a fact, period.

But I somehow understand the plight of Kapoor because the one thing this industry lacks in is leaders. There are absolutely a draught of them these days. Let’s hope that industry can cultivate no bias leaders who work for the betterment of the film industry and not for their petty gains!

By – Amul Vikas Mohan

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