Tamil Features

“Will It, Won’t It?”: AYM Release Controversy

STR is an unpredictable man. And the star’s last few years in the film industry have been as volatile as his infamous moods. His films, and his career by extension has suffered, as a result.


When Vaalu repeatedly faced delays, it was a one-off, they said. But when the same thing happened to AYM, a project STR had signed with good friend Gautham Menon, well, that’s when the speculations began.

STR’s movies were said to be jinxed. A producer, on the condition of anonymity, told Silverscreen that many financiers backed away from STR projects during this period.

But even he wasn’t to blame for the late start of AYM. Originally titled Sattrendru Maarudhu Vaanilai, the movie was a comeback of sorts for STR whose career had taken a hit with films such as Podaa Podi and Osthe. Principal photography began in November 2013.

When Ajith Kumar approached Menon for a film, STR graciously agreed to postpone the project. And as Yennai Arindhaal went into shoot, STR went into hibernation.

Even as AYM languished in development hell, Menon’s movie with Ajith took off successfully. The movie released, and somewhere along the way, Menon released a teaser from AYM to keep his old friend happy. A few weeks after the release (and moderate success) of Yennai Arindhaal, STR and GVM began to shoot AYM once again.


In came Manjima Mohan. And all seemed well.

Thalli Pogadhey was released, went on to be a super hit.

A month later, all the songs on AYM were ready.

Soon enough, reports began to circulate of STR’s on-set tantrums, and his refusal to begin dubbing for his portion in the movie. Meanwhile, Menon set aside AYM in favour of Dhanush‘s Yenai Nokki Paayum Thotta

Later, in an interview with a Tamil daily, director Gautham Vasudev Menon said that he was ‘waiting for STR to show up for the shooting.’

“Naga Chaitanya, the lead actor of the Telugu version turned up for the shoot. But Simbu never did. We tried contacting him. That’s when he told us that we can shoot it in Chennai. I’m still waiting for him. If he shoots the song, we can see it on screen. If not, the fans will have to forgive me.”

STR’s father Rajendar even commented on the issue. He said that STR’s absence was because the movie’s producers did not honour their commitments. “A pending sum of Rs 6 Lakhs has not been paid yet. That is the reason for STR’s absence.”

After a series of meetings with the production team, STR eventually returned to work.

Thalli Pogadhey was finally shot in Turkey, and it was a wrap! The film, though, did not release as planned.


A few weeks later, Menon finally had a release date in sight.

The team is now busy promoting AYM – a film which began a good two years ago. Considering the fact that Menon finished a film with Ajith Kumar in about half the time, it is a sad state of affairs indeed.