Speculations are rife that #MeToo backlash has forced Mani Ratnam and AR Rahman to end their 27-year association with lyricist Vairamuthu after his name was missing from the official crew list released by Madras Talkies.
Mani Ratnam made an official announcement on the cast and crew of Ponniyin Selvan last week. Much to everyone’s surprise, lyricist Vairamuthu, a regular in Mani Ratnam’s films, has been left out from the preliminary list of technicians. Reports surfaced on social media saying that Mani Ratnam and AR Rahman together decided to work without Vairamuthu because of the backlash he faced during the #MeToo movement last year.
Speculations were also rife that Vairamuthu’s son Kabilan Vairamuthu has been roped in to pen the lyrics for the magnum opus. We contacted a source close to the film’s unit, who replied, “Only talkie portions of the film are currently being shot in Thailand. The recording of songs hasn’t begun yet and only then we would know if Vairamuthu is a part of the film. We will keep everyone updated about the rest of the cast and crew when we bring them on board for the project.” If the speculations are true, this would be the end of the three-decade association of the famous trio of Indian cinema. Many women already have taken to social media and shared their happiness on Vairamuthu’s exclusion from the project. Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan went on floors in Thailand and the first schedule is expected to go on till February. The first schedule features Jayam Ravi, Karthi and Aishwarya Lekshmi.