What should have been an enjoyable audio launch of a film on Wednesday, turned into a battleground for a war of words between a member of the film industry and a critic.
The occasion was the audio launch of Kaliyugam. It all began when poet Arivumathi, one of guests, asked writer Manushya Puthiran not to knock down different movies like Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai and Vazhakku Enn 18/9 in the name of reviews. Manushya Puthiran is said to have been critical of the movies in reviews he published in vernacular magazines. “If you call these movies bad, what do you regard as good ones,” questioned the poet.
Reacting to this, Manushya Puthiran —the lyricist for the film — said, “There are many bad movies being made here. But we don’t speak up against them all. When we write about a movie like Vazhakku Enn..., it is only in the hope that directors like Balaji Sakthivel can make better movies.”
This time, it was editor Mohan who took to the mike. “If someone like Manushya Puthiran wants to point out the mistakes of a movie, he can do it personally with the director. What you write should not affect the business of the film,” he said. Arivumathi, on his part, said Manushya Puthiran erected a cut out for actor Kamal Haasan at the annual book fair only because he saw the profession as a business. “Manushya Puthiran, who writes a lot of rubbish, is not qualified to criticise new attempts in Tamil cinema,” he said. Manushya Puthiran retorted to this saying criticising films was a writer’s practice world over and he did the same.