Warner Bros are in battle mode because of an upcoming Bollywood flick, Hari Puttar: A comedy of terrors. The studio has sued the makers of Hari Puttar for infringement of intellectual property rights and asked for a stay on the film’s release.
It is understandable that Warner Bros is jittery about Harry Potter’s property rights, but in this case they seem to be just paranoid. Because, at first look, Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors has nothing to do with Harry Potter.
The only connection Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors has with Harry Potter is that Hari puttar in India is a play on the words Harry Potter and is a common graffiti line found on T-shirts, mugs, and such like. Hari, itself is a generic Hindu Indian name and puttar is an endearing way of addressing a son. Puttar is a common noun, like tyke, son, or boy.
But one can’t blame Warner Bros for being suspicious because Hari Puttar in the West would be pronounced as Harry Putter (note: Putter as in Put and not Pot), whereas Hari in Hindi is pronounced as ‘Hurry’. Ditto for Puttar. The syllable Pu in Hindi is pronounced as poo and not like, say, paw. And the syllable tar is pronounced as “thar” with a rolling r. So the pronunciation is “pootharr” and not “pottah.” Har, Har.
Hari Potter: A Comedy of Terrors is the story of a 10-year-old boy Hari Prasad Dhoonda, affectionately called Hari puttar by his parents. Hari and his family move to the UK, where his father Prof. Dhoonda is assigned a hush-hush defense project. The professor keep a chip containing sensitive data in a secure place in his home. When Hari’s Uncle, DK, and his four kids come to visit the Dhoondas, Hari feels neglected and seeks refuge in an imaginary friend, Funtoon (animated character).
The Dhoonda and DK family plan to go for a vacation but forget to take Hari and his little cousin Tuk Tuk along. The two kids are left alone at home, when a Don sends two burglars to filch the chip. The intrepid Hari and Tuk Tuk have the adventure of their life when they take on the burglars to protect the chip.
Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors will be released on September 12, 2008 in theatres across India. Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors has been produced by Lucky Kohli, Munish Purii, and A P Parigi. Hari Puttar has been directed by Lucky Kohli and Rajesh Bajaj, under the Mirchi Movies banner. The movie stars Zain Khan as Hari Puttar, Sweeny Khara as Tuk Tuk, Sarika as Hari’s mother, Jackie Shroff as DK, and Vijay Raaz and Saurabh Shukla as the bumbling burglars.
Hari Puttar has a peppy soundtrack that includes the title track ‘Hari Puttar’, ‘Tutaris,’ and ‘Hari Puttar is a Dude.’
Mirchi Movies’ earlier flick, Being Cyrus, was critically appreciated and a moderate hit at the box office, a first for an English language, Bollywood film.