Laapataa Ladies copy of Australian producer’s film, claims Bollywood filmmaker

"My very first full length feature GHOONGHAT KE PAT KHOL was for Channel9 Gold, the Australian producer who opened shop in India in 1999."

Veteran Bollywood filmmaker and actor Ananth Mahadevan has alleged that Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao’s Netflix blockbuster Laapataa Ladies is similar to his debut full-length TV film. 

In 1999, Mahadevan’s Ghunghat Ke Pat Khol was produced by Metro Gold, also known as Channel 9 Gold, a Hindi-language TV channel in India, under their Director’s cut series.

In an Instagram post, Mahadevan, who is also a National Award-winning filmmaker, said: “My very first full length feature GHOONGHAT KE PAT KHOL was for Channel9 Gold, the Australian producer who opened shop in India in 1999.”

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“It was a delightful story of two brides in the traditional Ghunghat getting mixed up in a train and finding themselves in Bombay with the wrong husband. The search for the right man and wife ends in a twist that challenges tradition and redefines the institution of marriage,” he added.

In an interview with Times Now, Mahadevan hinted that Rao’s film has similar plot points to his original work: “I don’t have any proof if Laapataa Ladies’ writer has seen my film on YouTube. When I searched for my movie on YouTube, it had disappeared and that’s when I realised that it was pulled down. I didn’t reach out to Aamir [Khan, producer] or Kiran because they will only point out the differences. But the premise, situations and a lot of scenes are similar. The mix-up in the train and railway station, and the ghunghatwala photo are straight from my film. I’ll treat it as flattery more than anything else.”

Kiran Rao’s film Laapataa Ladies stars Nitanshi Goel, Pratibha Ranta, Sparsh Shrivastava and Ravi Kishan.

Reacting to Ananth’s allegations, Laapataa Ladies‘ writer Biplab Goswami told the Deccan Chronicle that he had submitted the script at the Cinestaan India’s Storytellers Contest in 2018 and his story is original.

“I received the first runner-up award for it. I wrote the synopsis a decade ago. My story, script, dialogues, characterisation and scenes are all 100 per cent original. I have not been inspired by any story, movie or novel,” he added.

Laapataa Ladies‘ director Kiran Rao too has rubbished Mahadevan’s claim: “With all due respect, I have not seen Mr Mahadevan’s film or heard about it before this, so until I watch it I cannot comment.”

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However, since the release of Rao’s Lapataa Ladies, Mahadevan’s film Ghunghat Ke Pat Khol had been taken down from YouTube in India.

Nivedita Shukla, a Dublin-based novelist and screenplay writer, posted on X that it is surprising that Mahadevan’s original work “the telefilm which was available on YouTube, has now been removed after Laapataa Ladies picked up and Ananth called out the makers.”


Metro Gold channel was a joint venture between India’s Door Darshan Metro and Australia’s Nine Gold of Kerry Packer and Vinay Maloo of HFCL – Nine Broadcasting India.

Metro Gold’s programming was targeted at family audiences with popular shows such as Mamla Gadbad HaiSaamne Wali KhidkiTede Medhe Sapnay, and Chonch Ladi Re Chonch.

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