‘No gratitude’: Samuthirakani hits out at Gnanavel for remarks against director Ameer

Gnanavel Raja, who produced ‘Paruthiveeran’ and is a close relative of Karthi, had recently alleged that director Ameer Sultan spent nearly double the initial budget to make the film.
Gnanavel Raja and Samuthirakani
Gnanavel Raja and Samuthirakani
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After filmmaker Ameer Sultan and producer Gnanavel Raja engaged in a controversial war of words over their 2007 film Paruthiveeran, actor-filmmaker Samuthirakani has come out in support of Ameer, alleging that whatever Gnanavel Raja said was “extremely wrong” because Samuthirakani was aware of everything that happened during the making of the film. Ameer had directed Paruthiveeran, actor Karthi’s debut film, which won two national awards and also garnered commercial success. Gnanavel, who produced Paruthiveeran and is a close relative of Karthi, had recently alleged that Ameer spent nearly double the initial budget to make the film.

The controversy began after Ameer stated in a recent interview that he was not invited to the audio launch of Karthi’s latest film Japan. Gnanavel, who has been engaged in a legal dispute with Ameer over the film, responded by lashing out at Ameer, alleging that though Ameer had told him he would make the film at a budget of Rs 2.75 crore, he eventually ended up paying Rs 4.85 crore. The producer went on to allege that Ameer promised to finish Paruthiveeran in six months, but it got extended to two and a half years. 

Samuthirakani, however, has now criticised Gnanavel for asking for accounts on the money he did not even put into Paruthiveeran. “Even I do not know how many people we had to borrow money from to finish this movie. To keep his word and finish the film, Ameer annan [older brother] borrowed money from others. This is worth more than several lakh crore rupees. And you are asking for some one crore rupees,” he said. 

“I was on the sets of Paruthiveeran for six months but I have not seen you there even for a single day. You keep claiming that you are the producer of the film, but it was Ameer who made you a producer and Karthi a hero. How can you make such statements against him without any gratitude?” Samuthirakani asked. 

Stating that he cannot remain silent when Gnanavel is defaming Ameer, Samuthirakani further alleged, “Quarterway into the production, you [Gnanavel Raja] withdrew funds and claimed you did not have any more money. Brother Suriya asked Ameer to keep the film with himself [as it is unlikely to be released].” The actor said he and Ameer had to borrow money from several friends and relatives to keep the production afloat, but Gnanavel was taking credit for the success of Paruthiveeran.

Also expressing his disappointment with Karthi for maintaining silence during this public tussle, Samuthirakani said, “When the issue happened, anyone could have said anything. But I cannot accept how Karthi, who was on the ground at the time, is staying silent. Once even a friend of Ameer’s asked why we were struggling so much to finish this movie. Do you know what Ameer replied? He said, ‘We started it. This is Karthi’s future. I still remember the words Karthi’s father said when he handed over Karthi to me. I am doing it for them.’”

Samuthirakani also hinted that there are several other incidents such as this which he did not wish to publicise, and asked Gnanavel to refrain from making such statements publicly.

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