One look at a working still from Ajay Devgn, Konkona Sen and Paresh Rawal starrer Atithi Tum Kab Jaaoge? and you are instantly reminded of License To Wed, an American film that was released a couple of years ago. Right from the bedroom setting to the body language of the three principal characters (Robin Williams, Mandy Moore, John Krasinski) - it's a case of an inspiration going a little too far. While in Atithi... , it's Paresh Rawal who is the centre of attention (literally), in License To Wed it is Robin Williams who seems to be having all the fun as he comfortably places himself on the bed. So, is the inspiration restricted only to the poster or is the story based on similar lines as well?
Kumar Mangat, producer of Atithi Tum Kab Jaaoge? refutes the allegation, "First and foremost what we have released is not the First Look or a poster from the film; it is just a working still from a song that we have shot. Moreover, we have just been inspired from the poster of License To Wed. Beyond that, there aren't any more similarities."
Atithi Tum Kab Jaaoge? is the story about an unwanted guest who enters the household of a married couple and lives for a long duration by continuously extending his stay. So much so, that the couple is exasperated and starts praying for his exit. While Ajay Devgn and Konkona Sen play the part of a married couple, Paresh Rawal is the uninvited guest.
On the other hand License To Wed, the film which was a moderate success in spite of being panned by critics, is the story of John and Mandy, a much in love couple, who go through a marriage preparation course, as suggested by Reverend Frank (Robin Williams). However, Frank makes their love life miserable as he demands chastity, bugs their apartment, initiates arguments, has them care for robot twins, creates friction and raises doubts.
As is quite apparent, the storyline of both Atithi Tum Kab Jaaoge? and License To Wed is quite different. Apparently, Kumar Mangat was inspired by a real life incident at his own place when a guest refused to leave him for a long duration.
"This happened a year back", laughs Mangat when reminded of the incident, "We were glad to have him home. However, it became a pain of sorts when he didn't seem to be budging at all. It was amusing to begin with but later it all turned really frustrating. Meanwhile, Ashwani (writer and director of the film) also came up with the story idea of Atithi... and we decided to make a full fledged feature film."
Incidentally, germ of Atithi.... is in a story titled Tum Kab Jaaoge Atithi which was penned by noted satirist Late Sharad Joshi. However, Mangat has purchased rights of the story. With lyrics by Irshad Kamil and music by Pritam, Atithi Tum Kab Jaaoge? is all set for a 26th February release.