On October 8, director Bharathiraja wrote a letter expressing his displeasure with the teaser of the upcoming adult horror-comedy film Irandam Kuthu. The director had said that it was unbearable for him to watch the teaser and wrote, “Such vulgarity is not becoming of Tamil cinema, I condemn this. I insist that the government and the Censor Board have a tight grip over such things.”
Responding to the criticism, the film’s director Santhosh has tweeted a photograph from Bharathiraja’s 1981 film Tik Tik Tik that shows three women actors in swimsuits standing behind a seated, fully-clothed Kamal Haasan. “With all due respect to him. Tik Tik Tik movie in 1981 la idha paathu koosadha kannu, ippo koosirucho...? (your eyes didn't shy away from this image but they are being bothered now?)" he wrote.
Tik Tik Tik starred Kamal Haasan, Madhavi, Radha and Swapna in lead roles. The film is a thriller in which Kamal Haasan plays a photo journalist assigned to cover a fashion show. He is implicated after one of the models turns up dead. The rest of the film is on how he proves his innocence and exposes a smuggling mafia.
The response to Santhosh's tweet on social media is split, with some siding with the young director, pointing out that Bharathiraja's films have not been entirely devoid of adult content. Others have supported the veteran director.
@offBharathiraja Sir... Ungala Mari antha kalathu jabavan pannatha eppo Mr Santhosh pannuraru Namma pesurathukku munnadi atleast namla name think panneittu pesalam nenga viwatham pannaum na Namma naittula neraiya vishayam irukku atha poi vivatham pannunga entertainment ah parunga— ஜோக்கர் (@balajiiboy) October 8, 2020
Ivanga kaalathula start panni vittatha thaan ipo Santhosh um panraar. Appudi than indha padathila irukku nu ellarum idhukkaagavey paakathan poranga. Negative publicity creates free promotion and hype more to any film.— Shankar G N (@Shans_z) October 8, 2020
Adult comedy is a genre. You are making a movie in that genre. You are not answerable to anyone. But please make sure that u r not degrading anyone in the movie based on their physic, sex and preferences.— Deeenaaa (@lehlahluh) October 8, 2020
Well said.— MJ (@AnandBa51697876) October 8, 2020
Perhaps in anticipation to this response, Bharathiraja had added a line in his letter that he was not being a 'culture police’. "I'm not someone who cries that this is derogatory to culture. But I feel that the dignity of the house should be protected,” he had said. “Cinema can show lifestyle. It is not wrong. It can talk about amorous gestures indirectly. But is it right to bring the bed to the street?” he added.
Bharathiraja during his illustrious career has made award-winning films like 16 Vayathinile, Alaigal Oivathillai, Karuthamma and more.
Irandam Kuthu is the sequel to the 2018 adult horror-comedy Iruttu Arayil Murattu Kuthu. While the first film had Gautham Karthik in the lead, the director will be making his acting debut in this one. Santhosh had previously made an adult comedy in 2017, also starring Gautham Karthik, titled Hara Hara Mahadevaki.