Kantara’s OTT release: Kantara’s well-known song, Varaha Roopam, was said by music director B Ajaneesh Loknath to be a plagiarism of Malayalam band Thaikkudam Bridge’s composition Navarasam. After threatening legal action, the creators were barred from uploading the song to streaming services or performing it live without permission from Thaikkudam Bridge. Two Kerala courts later issued injunction orders to the band. Varaha Roopam, on the other hand, continues to appear in the film that is currently playing in theatres.
According to industry rumours, Hombale Films is in talks with Thaikkudam Bridge and Mathrubhumi Kappa TV to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Since the controversy began, Ajaneesh has been quoted as saying that while he was inspired by Navarasam, he did not copy it, and that the similarities were caused by the use of the same ragas in both songs. Rishab Shetty, who is both a director and an actor, has also stated that there was no copyright issue with Varaha Roopam. In fact, Varaha Roopam is not the only song that has sparked debate. The Rebel song is similar to Mundoor Madan from Ayyappanum Koshiyum, and the Singara Siri song is said to be “inspired” by the Marathi song Apsara Aali.
Netizens believe that if Kantara had remained the small-scale Kannada film that it was intended to be, the song would have gone unnoticed because the film team did not expect it to become the pan-Indian success that it is now.
However, it has been reported that Kantara’s OTT debut will be delayed because the injunction ruling applies to all forms of streaming. The film was rumoured to have a November 18 Amazon Prime Video release date, with the first two weeks possibly reserved for rentals only. Given that Kantara will now have a longer run in theatres, many internet users believe that the postponement is beneficial to the film crew. The film, which has been in theatres for 50 days, is still playing on 300+ screens across Karnataka.