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Writer Manoj Muntashir publicly apologises for 'Adipurush' dialogues, says he was bound by the screenplay

Updated on: 03 December,2023 12:44 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Nearly six months after the release of Adipurush starring Prabhs, lyricist-writer Manoj Muntashir apologised to the audience for his dialogues in the film

Writer Manoj Muntashir publicly apologises for 'Adipurush' dialogues, says he was bound by the screenplay

Manoj Munatshir and still from Adipurush

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Writer Manoj Muntashir publicly apologises for 'Adipurush' dialogues, says he was bound by the screenplay

It's been nearly six months since Prabhas-starrer Adipurush released in cinemas and courted multiple controversies. Among them were the 'cringe' dialogues in the film penned by lyricist-writer Manoj Muntashir. The writer has now publicly apologised for his work in the film and requested people to not judge his 25 years of work for one mistake.

Speaking at an event on Saturday evening on ‘Sabme Base So Ram Kahaye’ at Bhartendu Natya Academy, Muntashir said: “Woh sarfiri andhi thi, sambhalna pada; main aakhiri chiraag tha, jalna pada (It was a maddening storm, I had to adjust; I was the last lamp, I had to light up).”

The debate moved from Ram to the dialogues of Prabhas and Kriti Sanon-starrer Adipurush that had caught him in the eye of a storm.

Facing tough questions on what had made him write the controversial dialogues, Muntashir took the opportunity to ask for public forgiveness and not judge his abilities and 25 years of work based on one instance.

“There is no better place than Lucknow, the capital of the state where Ram was born and also the land that is the ink and blood of my writings, to seek an apology for that mistake. With all humility, I accept that even though our intentions were pious, we got carried away and did not realise that it would not be taken kindly by the people,” Muntashir said.

He claimed that as a writer, his hands were bound by the screenplay that left him little room for course correction.

He went on to defend the director and producers of the movie and said: “Within two days of the release, we made sure that we corrected our mistakes. We rewrote the dialogues and replaced the objectionable ones. Overnight, 10,000 prints were altered.”

After release of the film, audience expressed disappointment at some of the dialogues in the film. Above all, it was the dialogues by Lord Hanuman that were highlighted by the audience who termed it as 'cringe'. A particular dialogue that received severe backlash is when Devdatta Nage as Lord Hanuman says, “Kapda tere baap ka, aag tere baap ki, tel tere baap ka, jalegi bhi teri baap ki”. After severe backlash, the dialogue was modified to, "Kapda tere Lanke ka, aag tere Lanke ki, tel tere Lanke ka, jalegi bhi teri Lanke ki”. .

The discussion gradually moved toward the root of the problem—the shrinking space for quality lyrics and writing in movies, and songs losing depth and gravitas with which they once captivated the imagination of the audiences. Muntashir accepted that songwriting has become insipid. He, however, said that a few writers are still committed to upholding the legacy of Anand Bakshi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Sahir Ludhianvi, and Kaifi Azmi.

“That is the reason I took over a decade to get the space for writing my first movie song. I could not betray the legacy of Lucknow which has been a fertile soil that has raised ace artists, writers, and literary personalities. I wanted to write something that makes my land feel proud,” he said.

(with inputs from IANS)

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