In 2012, after a brief hiatus in his career, STR decided to play the the lead in debutant director Vijay Chander’s film Vaalu. Little did he know what a troubled trail this troubled tale (or perhaps, tail) would lead him on. It has been three years, and the movie is still struggling to hit the theatres. It has been three years, and STR is yet to have a film release. There have been several release dates for Vaalu, but the movie inevitably runs into trouble, and gets postponed. At the audio launch of Santhanam’s Inimey Ippadithaan, STR ‘almost’ broke down and gave an emotional speech on how life had been testing him these past three years. We now bring you the 10 major twists in Vaalu‘s journey thus far:
- When the shooting for Vaalu began, STR’s father T Rajendar reportedly declared that the title sounded like something long, and so the movie would take a long time to complete. Three years later, it sounds like T Rajendar’s prediction was spot on.
- During the shoot, rumours surfaced that STR and Hansika had become romantically involved. STR even tweeted to ask his fans to suggest a birthday gift for Hansika. According to sources, the relationship between the two artists contributed to shooting delays.
- Just as people became used to seeing them together, STR publicly announced their breakup. Hansika chose to stay silent. Net result: more shooting delays.
- One year into Vaalu, the actor was roped in to play the male lead in director Pandiraj’s Idhu Namma Aalu. The movie was making headlines for off-screen reasons as well, because it marked a re-union between STR and Nayanthara after their post-Vallavan breakup. STR was also producing Idhu Namma Aalu, and quite possibly had too much on his plate. No surprise that both movies ran into delays.
- While Pandiraj plodded his way to completing Idhu Namma Aalu (almost! except for two songs), STR’s Vaalu hit yet another roadblock, as NIC Arts ran into financial difficulties.
- In 2014, the team once again postponed the release to February 2015 citing ‘logistics difficulties’. STR was dejected by the producer’s decision but said he had to abide by it. He also apologized to his fans for not being able to keep his promise.
- Meanwhile, STR had been cast in four movies in a cameo role: Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya, Inga Enna Solludhu, Dongata (Telugu) and the recently released Kaakka Muttai. And Vaalu received a U certificate and tax exemption, despite the pending songs. Things had started to look better.
- In April 2015, with no release in sight, a disappointed STR went ahead and signed director Selvaraghavan’s movie Kaan and also revived his film with director Gautham Menon. Even though he was his charming self in these two movies, the repeated delays in Vaalu’s release had become a huge source of stress.
- After realising that Vaalu was making zero progress, STR’s father T Rajendar bought the distribution rights and scheduled a July 3 release. Surprise, surprise. He ran into another roadblock when NIC arts interfered and asked him to settle the remaining amount.
- After these issues were sorted out and the movie was scheduled for a July 17 release, another problem came up, this time from the distribution firm Magic Rays. The firm appealed to the Madras High Court to stay the release of the film by any other distributor. The Madras High Court ordered an interim stay preventing its release and the case is now up for further review on July 13.
Now, the million dollar question is: “Will Vaalu ever see the light of the day?” or will T Rajendar’s prediction come true, and Vaalu remain a tale untold.