The recently-released Samantha-starrer Yashoda has become a success at the box office, but has landed in some legal trouble.
The film is about Yashoda (played by Samantha) who agrees to be a surrogate mother in a facility called Eva. She however has suspicions regarding the institution, and uncovers some illegal activities. Co-incidentally, there is an actual Eva IVF fertility centre functioning in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, and the organisation has now filed a defamation suit against the makers of Yashoda, which is still running in theatres.
The fertility centre has claimed that the film shows it in poor light, has tarnished its image and affected the brand name.
Speaking to us about it, Mohan Rao, MD of Eva IVF, points out that in the film, the management of ‘Eva’ were shown as indulging in illegal activities and wrongdoing. “It has directly affected us,” asserts Mohan Rao, adding that the name Eva was their licensed trademark. “Many people, patients, doctors and marketing people have been calling and asking me how Eva can be shown in such a bad light and telling us that our centre’s name is getting affected. Initially I was unaware of it but I watched the film and felt very depressed,” he shares.
Mohan Rao filed a case against the makers of Yashoda in the city Civil Court on November 22, and produced documentary evidence to substantiate his claim.
“Since the court can’t prevent the film from playing in the theatres, it has directed the makers to hold back the film’s OTT release until December 30,” says Mohan, adding that he had forwarded the order copy to the film’s streaming partners. To our question about his ultimate aim, Mohan Rao says, “Our Eva brand has been damaged; we want the makers to stop the film’s OTT release.”
Meanwhile, Yashoda producer Sivalenka Krishna Prasad claims ignorance of these developments. He says he learnt about the matter only through the media, and is yet to receive a copy of the Court order officially. “I will respond when I get an official notice,” says the producer, hoping that the matter can be resolved.
According to him, EVA is an acronym, and that has been explained in the movie. “Eva is nowhere connected to any individual or a firm,” he stresses.
One of the directors of the film, Harish, also reiterates that in the film Yashoda, Eva stands for Embryo Vitrification Artistry. He says the acronym is clearly explained in one of the dialogues. “The film is a medical thriller and is only an attempt to bring awareness among the people about certain practices. Our intention was never to hurt or tarnish anyone’s brand or reputation,” the director says. According to him, the name Eva means ‘life’, and is a common word.
The legal team is looking into the matter, Harish adds.