Tamil cinema’s behind-the-scenes dynamics have taken a surprising turn as film producer Manickam Narayanan steps forward with accusations against acclaimed actor Ajith Kumar. Narayanan alleges that Ajith had borrowed money from him some years back, intending to finance a trip for his parents. To compensate, the actor had pledged to feature in one of Narayanan’s films, using his earnings from the project to settle the debt. Disappointingly, Ajith hasn’t lived up to this commitment, neither starring in the promised film nor repaying the borrowed sum.
Manickam Narayanan’s exasperation is palpable as he points out that Ajith’s earnings from a single film frequently exceed Rs 50 crore. Further compounding his dissatisfaction is his longstanding relationship with Ajith’s wife, Shalini, which, he believes, adds another layer of trust breached.
An esteemed figure in the Tamil film industry, Narayanan has been behind major cinematic successes. His portfolio boasts of national award winners like ‘Aaytha Ezhuthu’ and ‘Raja Rani’. He also has significant commercial hits like ‘Mankatha’ and ‘Thuppakki’ to his name. Lately, he’s ventured into television and digital content creation, producing projects like ‘Ella’ and ‘Pagal Nilavu’. His 2021 documentary, ‘Kala Kannamma’, showcasing women’s rights movements in India’s hinterlands, received considerable attention.
Given their shared history, Narayanan’s discontent isn’t just about the unpaid loan; it’s about the bond of trust and reputation. He questions Ajith’s oft-touted ‘gentleman’ image and underscores that, in the world of glitz and glamour, things aren’t always as they seem.