With only a day left for the release of director Joshiy’s much-awaited movie Porinju Mariyam Jose (PMJ) starring Joju George, Nyla Usha and Chemban Vinod, Thrissur-based novelist Lizzy Joy has come up with the allegation that the makers of PMJ have used characters and scenes from her novel Vilappurangal, and the screenplay she wrote based on it, without giving credits. In her Facebook post containing attachments substantiating her claims, she says that she was approached by producer David Kachapilly (of David Kachapilly productions), director Tom Immatty and Johny Vattakkuzhy (of Dani Productions) in 2017 to write a script based on the character ‘Kattalan Porinju’ from Vilappurangal. She goes on to say that she agreed to it, wrote the script, rewrote it many times, and the film was registered under the title Kattalan Porinju in 2018. “The project did not take off due to some disagreement between Dani Productions and David Kachappilly Productions, and I was told that Tom Immatty moved to another project,” she says in the post.
Lizzy further alleges that the makers made her believe that they were doing another project with a new thread, but they used the same story, scenes and characters from her screenplay for PMJ. She has also shared the crux and a few important scenes from the movie as proof. Though we tried to get in touch with Lizzy, she couldn’t be reached.
However, the director, writer and the producer of PMJ denied the allegation, stating that both the stories are different. They also shared the order issued by the Thrissur Additional District Sessions Court, in which the court dismissed the petition with cost. The petition was filed by Lizzy against producer David Kachappilly, writer Abhilash N. Chandran, Rajimon and Joshiy, seeking a temporary prohibitory injunction on the project.
David Kachappilly asserts that both the stories are different. He even says that Lizzy’s work of fiction has altered the true character of Kattalan Porinju, who was a popular figure in Thrissur. “Everyone in Thrissur knows Kattalan Porinju. I was born and brought up there and heard about him, too. This thread has been in my mind for long. I had discussed it with Tom Immatty. It was during our discussions we learned about her work, but could not find any similarities,” explains Kachappilly. “In reality, Kattalan Porinju is a goon with a good heart. She has, in fact, destroyed the true nature of the character in her work. His family is also against her portrayal of him. Tom had discussed it with her, but did not like what she wrote and told her that, too. He, then, asked Abhilash to write a new script, briefing him about the thread, characters, and background for the story such as the church feast,” he says. “To whatever she says, we have no answer. It is just that she wrote a story about Thrissur in which Kattalan Porinju is a character. Ours is entirely different. Porinju Mariyam Jose shows a kind-hearted goon,” he elucidates.
Meanwhile, writer Abhilash C. Chandran wrote on Facebook that Lizzy is merely exploiting the situation. He says that while the case was in the court, Lizzy approached them saying that she would withdraw from the case if they would give her Rs 10 lakh. “She threatened that she would halt the release of the movie otherwise. However, her intention did not happen,” writes Abhilash sharing the copy of the court order.
When contacted director Joshiy, he was reluctant to comment. All he said was, “I am not interested in talking about an issue that the court has dismissed. Let her say whatever she wants.”