Ponniyin Selvan is filmmaker Mani Ratnam’s biggest film yet and recently the film’s crew was announced. The absence of Vairamuthu’s name from the poster raised doubts over the lyricist’s removal from the film’s team, since early reports suggested that Mani Ratnam was to collaborate with his long-time associate Vairamuthu in spite of the sexual harassment accusations against him from several woman, including singer Chinmayi, last year.
The conspicuous absence of the ‘lyricist’ category from the poster was unusual, with the makers not coming forward to issue a clarification.
In this scenario, in an interview with Puthiya Thalaimurai TV channel on Monday the film's music composer AR Rahman said that an official announcement regarding the same would be made by Mani Ratnam’s office.
Rahman, who was appearing on the channel after the launch of ‘Ta Futures’, a unique collaborative effort to celebrate the sounds of Tamil Nadu, was answering a question put forward by the reporter on the alleged removal of Vairamuthu from the film’s crew.
“You will see who will be writing it (lyrics). We can’t discuss it now. Whatever it may be, Mani Ratnam’s office will announce it,” he said.
The first poster of Ponniyin Selvan was released on January 2, confirming the film’s progress.
Earlier, there were reports that Vairamuthu, who was accused of sexual harassment during the #MeToo movement by singer Chinmayi and others, will be penning the lyrics for this film. While Mani Ratnam neither confirmed nor denied the reports, Vairamuthu mentioned in an interview that he was working on the film. The news drew widespread criticism. However, when the official announcement about Ponniyin Selvan was made in December, Vairamuthu was not present at the event, raising speculations that he may not be part of the project.
It appears that we will have to wait for Mani Ratnam’s production house, Madras Talkies, to issue an official statement in this regard.