Tamil cinema director Seenu Ramasamy claims threat to life
Seenu was among the Tamil celebrities who voiced concern over Vijay Sethupathi playing Muttiah Muralitharan in the latter's biopic
In what seems to be fallout from the controversy over Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan's biopic 800, Tamil cinema director Seenu Ramasamy alleged today that he is receiving threats and appealed to Chief Minister K Palaniswami for help. The director, known for his critically-acclaimed films starring Vijay Sethupathi, alleged attempts were being made to drive a wedge between him and the actor after the latter walked out of the biopic following opposition. The duo, which has collaborated on well-received films like Thenmerku Paruvakatru and Dharmadurai, is currently engaged in their next project, Maamanithan.
Seenu was among the Tamil celebrities who voiced concern against Sethupathi playing the record-breaking cricketer's role in his biopic. Seenu took to Twitter today and said, "I feel I have a threat to my life. CM sir should help. Urgent," he said in the short Tamil tweet.
என் உயிருக்கு ஆபத்து இருப்பதாக உணர்கிறேன்.முதல்வர் அய்யா உதவ வேண்டும்
— R.Seenu Ramasamy (@seenuramasamy) October 28, 2020
Later, speaking to reporters, he said during the height of the controversy, Sethupathi had told him the production house behind the biopic itself had volunteered to withdraw. The "issue was over," Seenu Ramasamy said, adding, he later also met the actor.
He had earlier expressed his "anguish" to Sethupathi over the matter privately as well as publicly in the interest of the latter, but feels that an image has been created that he is against the actor. "Vijay Sethupathi is loved by Tamils all over the world, including Elam Tamils (in Sri Lanka). But (an impression is being created) as if I gave a statement (against the actor). I am receiving Whatsapp calls in the night, besides SMSes," he said.
"They are intimidating me... I'm receiving threats," he said, adding, abusive language was also being used by "unknown elements." He said many Tamils, including creative artists, "only requested" Sethupathi not to feature in the movie and that nobody was harsh on him. "Some are trying to create a wedge between me and Vijay Sethupathi," he said and denied the callers could have been the actor's fans, saying they were like his "younger brothers." To a question, he said Sethupathi was aware of the issue and asked him not to worry about it.
Sethupathi had pulled out of the biopic 800 on October 19 in the wake of stiff opposition to his essaying Muralitharan's role in the film, even as the cricketer himself requested the star to walk out of the project.
The ruling AIADMK party had wanted the actor to reconsider his decision to act in the movie, even as other political parties, including the MDMK and PMK and veteran director Bharathiraja were among those who had urged Sethupathi to dissociate from the biopic.
They had alleged that Muralitharan was a 'betrayer' of the Tamil people and supported the then Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the 2009 civil war. The cricketer had responded saying he never supported the killings of innocent people and would never do that.