Karthik Subbaraj (of Pizza and Jigarthanda fame), whose latest Tamil work Iraivi hit the screens last week, now finds himself in trouble. One of the characters in the film, a movie producer, is portrayed as a villain whose refusal to release a picture drives its director, Arul (played by SJ Suryah), to drink and destruction.
Even though, one is familiar with such stories -- not just among the cinema fraternity but also in other trades and professions -- the Tamil Film Producers Council is peeved over the manner in which Subbaraj has depicted the producer in Iraivi. An absolutely gory scene where the man is bludgeoned to death by Michael (Vijay Sethupathi) -- a close pal of Arul -- has being seen by the council as a reflection of Subbaraj’s anger against the Jigarthanda producer, Kathiresan. The two had apparently fallen out. A case is now in court.
The vice president of the council, Thenappan, said that Subbaraj had changed the original story as he was shooting Iravi. “What Subbaraj said initially and what has finally emerged are two different things. He even hesitated to show the progress of the post-production work to his producer.”
One of Iraivi’s presenters, producer KE Gnanavelraja, too appeared upset with Subbaraj. In a report appearing on the portal, indiaglitz.com, Gnanavelraja said: “Unlike others, Karthik Subbaraj doesn’t know the pain of becoming a director as he never worked as an assistant to anyone... Now with Iraivi, the director has not only overshot the budget but also put the producer (CV Kumar) in an insecure state.”
While Subbaraj promised to complete Iraivi in Rs 7 crores, he over spent, taking the cost to Rs 13.5 crores, including print and publicity. Kumar had to release the movie on a deficit, and while Iraivi has seemingly done well in urban multiplexes, it has fared poorly in B and C centres -- going by footfalls, although actual figures are yet to be compiled.
Sreedhar Pillai, a Chennai-based trade analyst, felt that budgets must be strictly adhered to. “A new age director like Subbaraj must have an idea of his market, and refrain from overshooting his budget. After all, Subbaraj cannot hope to spend the kind of money someone like Shankar or any other commercial director in the big league do.”