The tit-for-tat statements from filmmaker Ameer and producer Gnanavel Raja about what really transpired during the production of their 2007 film Paruthiveeran have ballooned into a huge controversy.
The dispute regarding the finance of the film became a controversy ever since actor Karthi, in the audio release function of his film Japan, thanked Gnanavel and his actor-brother Suriya for the release of Paruthiveeran. Further, in an event that was attended by prominent directors who shaped Karthi’s career, the absence of Ameer, who introduced Karthi in the 2007 film, became a topic of discussion, eventually leading to both Ameer and Gnanavel opening up on the dispute.
Yesterday, actor-director Samuthirakani, who was a part of Ameer’s direction team in Paruthiveeran, in a statement posted on his X account condemned Gnanavel for his statements against Ameer.
In the statement addressed to Gnanavel, Samuthirakani said, “I was in the shooting of Paruthiveeran for six months but I didn’t see you there even for a single day. You keep stressing that you are the producer, but remember it was he (Ameer) who made you a producer and introduced Karthi as a hero. Isn’t it wrong for you to speak without an iota of gratitude? Where did you get such courage from?”
Responding to Gnanavel’s allegations that Ameer spent more than twice the stipulated budget of Rs 2.75 crores and that the filmmaker had misrepresented the figures in the financial statements, Samuthirakani said, “I know how much Ameer anna suffered to make Paruthiveeran. Quarterway into the production, you pulled out the funds and said you wouldn’t be able to produce it any further. Suriya said ‘Keep the film with yourself, Ameer Anna,’ and left.
“Almost 50-60 people helped us by lending their money, but in the end, you took the credit as the producer. In fact, Ameer gave up the title of producer to you. I remember how when a friend had advised Ameer to discontinue the film due to the circumstances, he said, ‘Karthi’s future depends on this film. I still remember what his father said while handing over Karthi to me. I am doing this film only for that gentleman.’ Imagine what would have happened had Ameer decided not to finish Paruthiveeran.”
Samuthirakani further urged Gnanavel to refrain from spreading such misinformation to the public. Earlier, actor-director Sasikumar condemned Gnanavel’s comments on Ameer and said that he had also lent money to Ameer to help him finish the final schedule of Paruthiveeran. “The film was released without our payment being settled and so what Ameer says is true.”
Sasikumar further urged the Producers Council to take note of the allegations that were levelled by Gnanavel against Ameer. Further details on what really transpired and the legal battle that followed are awaited.