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Directors Condemn Vadivelu’s Comment Against Shankar And Chimbu Deven

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Directors Suseenthiran, Samuthirakani, Venkat Prabhu and others have criticized Vadivelu’s comments against directors Shankar and Chimbu Deven

Vadivelu had said in a recent interview that his first film as a hero, 23am Pulikesi, was a success because of his involvement with the script. He said he walked out of the film’s sequel 24am Pulikesi because of the incompetence of director Chimbu Deven who had consulted Shankar, the film’s producer, for changes to the script.

“The director approached me with the script in 2015. I once again got involved and helped him develop it entirely. Later, in 2016, he met me and paid an advance saying the film will complete by December. But the film got delayed. When I asked why, he said Shankar asked for changes to the script. But, Shankar is an action director… He has made films heavy on graphics, and won in those fields. Why does Vadivelu need CG works?”

“I told him you are the film’s director but if you will only listen to him then why can’t he direct the film? After this he spread the word that I was asking for him to be removed, and made it a big issue,” he said.

Many have condemned Vadivelu for this comment, saying filmmakers have the freedom to make these choices and his statement disrespected two reputed directors.

Shankar is yet to respond to this. However, Chimbu Deven denied the allegations and told Silverscreen that Shankar’s production house, S Pictures, will also release a statement in two or three days. He said, “I cannot speak more at this point. The allegations are false and the script has also been registered with the Writers’ Union. We will provide all clarifications soon.”

Director Naveen of Moodar Koodam fame, who worked as Chimbu Deven’s assistant on 23am Pulikesi, was the first to tweet about this. He told Vadivelu, “I have admired your acting talent. You are a genius, but only as an actor. You can make a good comedy track but can’t write an entire script. Don’t be so arrogant. If you are the reason behind the success of Imsai Arasan then why  have your other big-budget films as hero turned out badly?”

He also clarified that there was no interference from Shankar or anyone else on the team for the film. “It was entirely Chimbu Deven sir’s script. I know very well about Shankar sir as I have worked with him on two films. He reads the script and only after the final cut is ready, he watches the movie. Since he is a director, he knows the creative freedom that directors need to be given.”

Director Suseenthiran said on Twitter, “Chimbu Deven came to be known through 23am Pulikesi. It was his first film, and a successful one, after which he has given us films of high standard. Vadivelu has spoken without respect and it is very wrong. After 23am Pulikesi, he acted as a hero in Indiralogathil Na Azhagappan, Eli, Thenaliraman (films in which he was involved) and we know how they performed. As a director, I condemn his comments.”

Samuthirakani said, “I saw the interview of brother Vadivelu. It is saddening and condemnable to see him use disrespectful language while talking about directors Shankar and Chimbu Deven. Not just 23AM Pulikesi, Chimbu’s creativity is evident in his other films too. Don’t disrespect directors.”

Director Venkat Prabhu also tweeted under #DontForgetCreators, and said, “A director is always the captain of the ship. When a film succeeds, everyone gets praised, but when it fails, the director gets the blame. It was heartbreaking that a great artist spoke ill of the creator and the producer who gave him the biggest hit of his career.”

Imsai Arasan 24am Pulikesi was launched with much fanfare last year. The shooting began in August but was stalled allegedly because of problems caused by Vadivelu, whose demands included that the film should not have a big star cast and his personal costume designer must be on board.

The team shot only for ten days for which a huge set worth lakhs was set up at EVP Studios in Chennai. They faced losses and Shankar promptly approached the Tamil Film Producers’ Council. Many attempts were made to settle the matter, but Vadivelu refused to reach a compromise. Finally it was decided that Vadivelu will not star in any film made by members of TFPC.

In the interview, Vadivelu spoke about having fewer film offers coming his way today. “Some people haven’t been able to tolerate my growth. I don’t understand why,” he said.

He added, “But I will soon enter platforms like Netflix. I’ve also been getting offers from Hollywood. So I hope to leave all this behind.”

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