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Kantara on OTT: Streaming date pushed ahead owing to Varaha Roopam copyright issue?

The buzz is that the film was meant to be on Amazon Prime Video this week, but that it has been pushed indefinitely, given that the matter of the dispute between Hombale Films and Thaikkudam Bridge is sub-judice

Kantara on OTT: Streaming date pushed ahead owing to Varaha Roopam copyright issue?
A still from Kantara
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 05.56 AM, Nov 14, 2022

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A few weeks ago, Malayalam band Thaikkudam Bridge had spoken up about the alleged plagiarism of its composition Navarasam by music director B Ajaneesh Loknath for Kantara’s popular song, Varaha Roopam. The band had said it would seek legal remedy and subsequently got injunction orders from two Kerala courts, prohibiting the makers from putting the song on streaming platforms or playing it without permission from Thaikkudam Bridge. Varaha Roopam is, however, still part of the film that is playing in theatres.

The buzz in industry circles is that Hombale Films is in discussion with Thaikkudam Bridge and Mathrubhumi Kappa TV to resolve the matter at the earliest. Since the controversy broke, Ajaneesh has been quoted as saying that he was inspired by Navarasam, but that he has not copied it and cited that the similarities were owing to the same ragas in use in both songs. Director-actor Rishab Shetty has also said that there was no copyright issue with Varaha Roopam. Incidentally, Varaha Roopam is not the only song that is shrouded in controversy. The Singara Siri number has allegedly been ’inspired’ from the Marathi song Apsara Aali, while the Rebel song bears resemblance to Mundoor Madan from Ayyappanum Koshiyum.

Detail from the poster for Kantara
Detail from the poster for Kantara

Netizens reckon that the film team did not anticipate that Kantara would become the pan-Indian success that it is today and that the songs would have remained unnoticed if it had remained the small-time Kannada movie that it was meant to be.

In the interim, though, it is being said that Kantara’s OTT debut will be delayed as the injunction order applies to any form of streaming. The film was being rumoured to be a November 18 release on Amazon Prime Video, with the first couple of weeks perhaps on rental only. Some netizens believe that this delay is in the best interest of the film team, as it will give Kantara a longer theatrical run. The film, which is celebrating 50-days at the box office is still going strong in 300+ screens across Karnataka.

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