Varaha Roopam row: Makers of Kantara release new version of the track on OTT

The makers of hit Kannada film Kantara have replaced the older version of the track ‘Varaha Roopam’ with a new one in the movie, which is currently streaming on over-the-top (OTT) platform Amazon Prime Video. Although the lyrics from the original track have been retained, the tune for the background score and the lines sung by the playback singer have been changed in the new version of ‘Varaha Roopam’. Following its theatrical release on September 30, Kantara began streaming on Amazon Prime Video on Thursday, November 24.

Controversy emerged in connection with the song after Kerala-based band Thaikkudam Bridge pressed charges against Kantara’s makers in September, claiming that ‘Varaha Roopam’ is allegedly plagiarised from the band’s Intellectual Property (IP) ‘Navarasam’. On Thursday, Thaikkudam Bridge took to social media to share that a new version of the track is being used in the OTT version of the film. They also thanked their attorneys, the music fraternity and fans for extending their support to the band.

“Amazon Prime has removed the plagiarised version of our song ‘NAVARASAM’ from the movie KANTARA. Justice prevails! Thanks to our Attorney: Satish Murthi & our mentor Mathrubhumi for their unstinted support. Thanks to our musician fraternity, fans and media who extended their whole hearted support to fight for their rights.#navarasam #thaikkudambridge #bethebridge,” the Facebook post by Thaikkudam Bridge read.

‘Varaha Roopam’ was taken down from YouTube earlier this month, after the Kozhikode district and sessions court had passed an injunction against the producer, director and music composer of Kantara. The injunction also prevented the song from being streamed on several music platforms — including Amazon, YouTube, Spotify, Wynk Music, Jio Saavn and others — from playing the song ‘Varaha Roopam’ without the permission of Thaikkudam Bridge. The injunction suit was filed on the band’s behalf by music attorney Satish Murthi, a Supreme Court advocate, Thaikkudam Bridge had said.

The new version of ‘Varaha Roopam’ has opened to a mixed response from fans on social media. While some users saw this as a win for independent musicians, a section of fans opined that the new track does not blend with the visuals on screen. Some also expressed disappointment over the modified version, noting that the experience of the film was better with the original version.

However, the song was criticised at the time of the film’s release, as it equated the native culture of Bhoota Kola with the Hindu god Vishnu’s incarnation, Varaha.

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