Iraivi Controversy - Why are producers against Karthik Subbaraj?
Producers are uniting against Karthik Subbaraj on basis of issues coming from 3 different fronts.
Issue 1: One of the issues is fanned by the producers who are supporters of Kathiresan, producer of Jigarthanda. The roots of this issue originated during Jigarthanda days as the producer was blamed for holding up the movie and postponing without consulting with the director. Karthik Subbaraj and actor Siddharth spoke up against producer Kathiresan on Twitter & other social media channels. Several film producers including Thanu, T. Siva and many others condemned Karthik Subbaraj and Siddharth for voicing their concerns about the producer. The costs overshot the budget and Karthik Subbaraj was forced to give away remake and dubbing rights to compensate for the budget over-run. This issue went on for 6 months in Producer council and now believed to be in courts.
Issue 2: The second issue originated as many producers were offended by portrayal of the producer as a sadistic villain in Iraivi. They wanted to take tough actions against Karthik Subbaraj as they thought it was a direct attack on Kathiresan and other popular producers, who in the past have been blamed for arm-twisting a popular actor and director to release a movie. One of the producers, Thenappan, launched an attack on Karthik Subbaraj calling him an "Ayogiyan" and "Koduramaanavan" in a recent interview.
Issue 3: The third issue originated from within Iraivi team. Karthik Subbaraj had committed to CV Kumar to complete Iraivi under a budget of Rs 8 Crore. The movie went way over budget (adding interests and marketing expenses) to Rs 13.5 Crore. The issues cropped up between the producer and director as a result. CV Kumar and Studio Green (distributor) stayed quiet until the movie released last Friday. The feedback for the movie was mixed on both extremes. It became evident by Sunday that the family audience, B and C audience are sure to stay away due to the content. The producers and distributor requested Karthik Subbaraj to recover the additional budget of roughly Rs 6 Crore from Karthik Subbaraj.
Due to above three issues forming a perfect storm, the sources close to Iraivi claim that producers have mounted this war against Karthik Subbaraj to seek apology from him and also recover up to Rs. 6 Crore. The initial plan is to issue a red card. In such a case, the director will not be able to direct or release a movie in the future. The fans could not believe the incredulous nature of the accusations thought it could even be a publicity stunt to promote the movie.
The questions brought up by Tamil industry insiders and ardent fans are:
1. When the movie industry has shown ministers, police department, lawyers, doctors, corporates and many others as villains, what is so sacred about producers and why a producer cannot be portrayed as a villainous character? The movie also has disclaimer saying that the characters are fictional.
2. In the past, it is not uncommon for movies to go to over-budget including recently released "Thani Oruvan" to every one of the Shankar movies, which turned out to be all money makers. When the movie does well, the producers request director and actor to make another movie. When the movie fails, the producers resort to name-calling and red cards as seen in the recent past.
3. CV Kumar is known for reading the script before accepting to produce. How did CV Kumar and distributor Studio Green agree to produce and release this movie if Karthik Subbaraj's portrayal of producer was offensive and borne out of personal vengeance?
4. What is the Director's union led by Vikraman doing? Why are they not standing up in support of Karthik Subbaraj? Will they support FEFSI and Producers council in lending their support for non-cooperation to Karthik Subbaraj?
Many int he industry consider this is not an isolated issue related to the director of 'Iraivi'. It is an assault against entire fraternity of directors and their freedom and creativity. How will the fans and film-makers respond?