Tamil cinema and Twitter controversies seem to be inseparable. The ‘Suchileaks’ episode caused a major sensation last year. Celebrities like Vignesh ShivN, Gautami and Neha Gnanavel have used social media to air grievances on various personal issues. And today, young director Karthick Naren (Dhuruvangal 16, Naragasooran) got into a Twitter argument with renowned director / producer Gautham Menon.
Naren, who is awaiting the release of his next film Naragasooran, tweeted late on March 26 that he was being taken for a ride by a person that he trusted. Film buffs were quick to guess that he was alluding to Gautham Menon, due to his involvement in Naragasooran as a co-producer and also his recent track record with many delayed films as a director and producer. Menon reverted with a strongly worded tweet, confirming everyone’s doubts.
Siddarth Rao of Glo Studios, the co-producers of Selvaraghavan’s long-delayed Nenjam Marappathillai, another film Menon is involved with as a co-producer, added fuel to the fire by saying that this was exactly what happened on his film as well.
— Siddarth (@sidd_rao) March 28, 2018
The lead hero of Naragasooran Arvind Swami too stood up for Naren.
Yes we all can grow a few things, a pair of eyes that sees what we do to others , a pair of ears to hear the truth, a conscience to tell us when we are wrong and a pair of whatever to accept our mistakes and apologise…instead we grow our list of commitments that we can’t keep.
— arvind swami (@thearvindswami) March 28, 2018
In an interview to FirstPost, Naren explained what prompted his angry outburst. “Despite multiple warnings, I decided to collaborate with Gautham sir and trusted him to the fullest. But the fact is that his Ondraga Entertainment never invested any money in the film (after a token advance of 5 lakhs). What hurts me more is how his financiers are targeting Naragasooran to recover their money. We learned from a few people that Gautham sir had borrowed money from financiers referring Naragasooran as his production, to fund his ongoing projects (Enai Noki Paayum Thota and Dhruva Natchathiram). Badri Kasturi of Shraddha Entertainment funded nearly half of Naragasooran.
I have invested everything I earned from Dhuruvangal 16 to finish Naragasooran and I have no money left now to continue work on my 3rd film, Naadaga Medai. If a senior filmmaker like Gautham sir doesn’t understand how important the second film is to a youngster like me, it’s hurting. There are salary dues for a lot of people. I have completed the post production and the film is ready for censoring. I sincerely hope he sorts out the financial issues and releases the movie soon.”
Naren also added that he was left with no choice but to tweet because he couldn’t reach Menon by phone or message.
Meanwhile, Menon has put out his side of the story in an interview to The Chennai Times.
“I understand the angst of a filmmaker. However, his angst comes at a time when things are being sorted out. We can’t just release a film because there’s a one week window. It’s my job to ensure a safe release for the film with some good planning and marketing. Just because a filmmaker wants him to, a producer won’t release the film. We are confident about the film and will release it when there is a good date. As soon as the current strike and release plans of other films are cleared, we will release Naragasooran too.
A lot of money from our investors has gone into making Naragasooran; we are answerable to that money. We paid top dollar for Arvind Swami and everybody else. We got the money organised from people who trusted us and agreed for us to be the producers. I’m answerable for what’s been spent. The investors wouldn’t have invested in the film if it weren’t for me. Any producer brings in the money based on how he sells a project to a financier or an investor. We have done that and are liable and answerable to the investors. All the pending money will be cleared and settled, when the business of the film is done very soon.”
The Twitter conversation prompted several others to weigh in on the debate and take sides. Many industry trackers, movie buffs and fan boys who aren’t too pleased with Menon for the delay in Enai Noki Paayum Thotta and Dhruva Natchathiram, expressed their opinions. Here are some of the varied reactions.
Announce movie with a Big star. Complete a schedule. Get finance using this project. Buy a home. Get financially stuck.
Announce another movie with another big star. Complete 10 Days shoot. Get finance. Spend it for personal use again.
Do this in a ‘Loop’ 😐
— Mithun K Raman (@mithunraman) March 28, 2018
Me and @menongautham are similar in many ways. My new year resolutions were quit drinking, lose weight, stay in shape etc. GVM’s were #Naragasooran#ENPT#DhuruvaNatchathiram#NenjamMarapadhillai#VTV2 etc.
— Srivatsan Ravi (@srivatsan09) March 28, 2018
A distressed Gautham took to Twitter to have the final say, highlighting that his note was meant to end the conflict.