Narayan Nagendra Rao, the director of Arasan starring Silambarasan, is unhappy with the way the title of his passion project was unveiled. The director, who previously made Maalai Pozhudhin Mayakkathile, began work on Arasan in 2013. The film demanded a larger canvas and setting than what was available at the time. “In 2015, I decided to move on to a different film as it did not look like Arasan would materialise at that point. But Silambarasan was completely invested in the project.”
Narayan is pained with the way two of his associates are at loggerheads now. He is referring to the civil suit filed against Silambarasan by the makers of Arasan. The case is before the Madras High Court now. The producer, Passion Movie Makers, wants Silambarasan to pay back an amount of Rs 85.5 lakhs. An amount of Rs 1 crore was fixed as remuneration for Silambarasan when he had signed on the project. Around Rs 50 lakhs was paid as advance. The counsel for Passion Movie Makers is demanding Rs 35.5 lakhs as interest.
The HC has now directed Silambarasan to provide security for Rs 85 lakhs. If he fails to do so, items belonging to the actor will be seized by the court.
“The producer is a good friend of mine. Silambarasan was very involved in the making of the movie. It is truly disheartening to see them on opposite sides now,” Narayan told Silverscreen. The director had big plans of unveiling the film’s title and its cast. “I wanted to see the title on posters and hoardings. I am sad that it has been revealed due to a court case,” he said.
Much of the blame has been assigned to Silambarasan in this legal wrangle. The counsel for Passion Movie Makers claims that the film could not go on due to Silambarasan. According to Narayan, however, Silambarasan was very involved in the project till the time it was put on hold.
“I think that in cases like these, the blame is put on one person and it’s very unfortunate that Silambarasan is being blamed for Arasan. He is an intelligent actor and very creative. His good side is rarely reported by the media. He’s a hands-on actor,” he said.
Narayan, however, chose to remain tightlipped about the exact nature of the complaint against Silambarasan. The actor’s refusal to return the advance amount, on the grounds that it was the producer’s call to put Arasan on hold, could be the bone of contention. The actor has said that he suffered huge losses due to the time he set aside for the project.
The film follows a man between the ages of 18 and 33 and charts his rise to the top. “It genuinely is a great story and very relevant to our times.”
Narayan still nurtures hope that the film will be revived. “I can’t say it was dropped, because that means that we abandoned all hope of the movie ever making it to the theatres. To me, it is still alive. And yes, I like to think that I would be given an opportunity to make Arasan sometime soon. But, for that to happen, the case needs to be resolved.”
Currently, Narayan is working on his next film. Reports suggest that Aari, who acted in Narayan’s debut film Maalai Pozhudhin Mayakkathile, would be the male lead of this film as well.