Exclusive: Clash of the filmmakers Karthick Naren and Gautham Vasudev Menon
Following their spat on social media, the filmmakers share with us their views on their ongoing disagreement over their collaboration, Naragasooran
It all started so well last February, when Gautham Menon took to Twitter to announce he'd be co-producing Karthick Naren's next, (later titled Naragasooran, starring Arvind Swami and Sundeep Kishan). He then wrote,
Karthick also confirmed the news saying,
Fans went gaga over their picture on social media, and the announcement that a much loved senior filmmaker was joining hands with the hottest directorial talent in town.
Since then, it seems that the relationship has deteriorated. The row went public on Monday when Karthick mentioned 'misplaced trust' and 'passion getting butchered' without taking names in his tweet. There was widespread speculation that the young filmmaker was likely hitting out at Gautham Menon. Gautham put the speculations to rest when he shared a popular YouTube video about Chennai Super Kings, and alongside, took a jibe at Karthick:
https://t.co/6whl3aEczn— Gauthamvasudevmenon (@menongautham) March 27, 2018
While some young filmmakers whine about their passion getting butchered instead of growing a pair, here’s a young team that makes an interesting short about girls,women, cricket, CSK and liberation.What a https://t.co/dseipSKVrF very nicely done!
When we reached out to Karthick about this, he wasn’t yet aware of Gautham’s tweet. After checking it, he said, "Things haven’t been going well between us for quite some time now. I think the tone of his tweet shows who he is. Though he was on board as a co-producer, he has done nothing. He just used our money for his own project, Dhruva Natchathiram. Believe it or not, that's the truth."
Karthick went on to tweet,
While everybody advised against it I had the pair to trust you & collaborate sir. In return we were treated like trash & made to invest on our own. I think its better to whine & confront instead of running away. Please don't do this to any other young filmmaker sir. It hurts! https://t.co/05b4v7eSXg— Karthick Naren (@karthicknaren_M) March 27, 2018
Speaking to us, Karthick added, “I have been trying to talk it out with him, but he didn’t respond. There was always some distance. Despite completing the shooting on time, I couldn't resume work on Naragasooran because of him. This is affecting my next film, Nadaga Medai. I have no money left."
Gautham Menon, in a message to us, shared that he and Karthick have actually come to an understanding. “I tried to understand his rant and I’ve explained what my idea is with regards to the release. We don’t have a release window and I’m liable for the money invested in the film and no, I don’t want the film to be on the shelf forever,” he texted. “There is a plan and we are working on it. Karthik is free to move on to his next and he’s doing that. We are in no way holding him back, and gave him complete freedom to work on our film.”
Karthick shares that he’s invested everything that he earned from Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru in Naragasooran, and alleges that Ondraga Entertainment (of Gautham's) didn't spend anything. “The film is actually funded by Badri Kasthuri sir’s Shraddha Entertainment and me,” he added.
Gautham informs that the actors Karthick asked for were brought on board at a huge cost. “I’ve brought in investors who have since then gone on to become solid support to Karthik and it’s all good. Even without his rant, work was going on to clear issues and clear the release. There is a strike going on and there’s no release date either. I am liable for the money and not Karthik, and it’s a huge responsibility on me and my team. All money will be sorted out once the business plans begins. It’s simple. It’s all good,” concluded Gautham.
Karthick says he has nothing against Gautham Menon personally. “But I am not spinning stories, and I won't keep quiet because I've been affected." When asked why he didn’t approach the Producers’ Council for a resolution, he replied, “Hey, he's the vice-president. His tweet yesterday is the first reply to me in a very long time. I'll continue to fight." The coming weeks will hopefully bring about a swift resolution to this ugly spat. It’d be a pity if a promising film like Naragasooran doesn’t see the light of day soon, on account of such background issues.
Arvind Swami, Naragasooran's lead took to Twitter yesterday night to express his support for Kartick Naren. He tweeted,
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
The latest update in the story came early morning today in the form of a written statement from Gautam, in which he has reconfirmed his previous statements about the issue, in addition to that he has apoligised to Kathick Naren for the tweet and cited the reason for his outrage on Twitter. He wrote, Just when lots of positive movement was happening on Naragasooran, a tweet from my director Karthick Naren upset me and even though good sense prevailed through most of the day, a lots of calls from the media upset me and I tweeted a reply. In retrospect I feel I shouldn't have. I apologise to Karthick for that."
He added,"It was more a reaction to the phone calls, the unneccssary attention to the film, the presumption that something was wrong and the setback to a lot of work that was happening to release the film soon."