After a public spat with Tovino Thomas, director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan releases 'Vazhakku' online on Vimeo for free

It may be recalled that Sanal had blamed Tovino for trying to obstruct the commercial release of the movie.
After a public spat with Tovino Thomas, director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan releases 'Vazhakku' online on Vimeo for free

Sanal Kumar Sasidharan has finally released his movie "Vazhakku" (The Quarrel), made in 2022, on Vimeo, a video content sharing platform for free.

The rather strange release of the movie on Vimeo comes after a spat the director had with actor Tovino Thomas.

As a prelude to the release of the movie, Sanal posted a message on Facebook saying, "A movie is meant for the audience. Those who're willing to watch the movie, 'The Quarrel' can watch it. Whoever wants to realise why this movie was not released can do so."

It may be recalled that Sanal had alleged that Tovino interfered with the film's release, citing concerns about its impact on his career. However, the actor has refuted these allegations

The ugly public spat between the director and the actor, quite apparently, stems from the latter's misunderstanding that an "award" movie would not be appreciated by a wide audience. Going by the allegations levelled by Sanal, the actor was apprehensive that the commercial release of the movie would affect his burgeoning career.

A section of the note on Facebook mentioned that Tovino was seen as a rising superstar during the production of Vazhakku. It was suggested that if the film had been released at that time, any animosity towards the director would likely have shifted towards him. It was speculated that this might have hindered his path to superstardom. Vazhakku received acclaim during its successful run at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK).

In a social media post on May 11, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan noted that the film was made during the pandemic days and was completed in a brief period with a wafer thin budget of Rs 50 lakh. Tovino was a co-producer of the movie.

The film, for reasons unknown, was witheld from Mumbai Film Festival in 2022, but was selected for IFFK and was well appreciated by the audience. But there was an hindrance in its commercial release. The director blamed Tovino for being an hindrance for the release of the movie.

Tovino responded to Sanal's allegation through a video posted on Instagram in which he said that he invested Rs 27 lakh in 'Vazhakku' and completed the shooting in 2020.

Tovino explained that he tried to make the director understand that even though "Vazhakku" may have garnered good reviews and acceptance from the audiences during film festivals, it won't be the same case if the movie is released in the theatres. Tovino said that the kind of audiences who will enjoy a movie like "Vazhakku" will be the ones who view cinema on an intellectual level.

The actor, going by his message, felt that the commercial release of the movie, which he felt is meant for festivals, would not help him much, even though he said he enjoyed doing the movie and shared his respect for the director.

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The New Indian Express