On October 8, Bharathiraja had condemned Irandam Kuththu for its explicit content based on the film’s teaser. In response, Santhosh tweeted a photograph from the sets of Bharathiraja’s Tik Tik Tik (1991). The photo features actor Kamal Haasan surrounded by bikini-clad women.
Tweeting the photo, Santhosh wrote on October 8: “With all due respect to him. Tik Tik Tik movie in 1981 la idha paathu koosadha kannu, ippo koosirucho…? (your eyes didn’t shy away from this image but they are being bothered now?).” The tweet was later taken down.
Santhosh tweeted a statement later on Sunday stating that his response was made in the heat of the moment. “I did it in a hurry without realising what I was doing. It was only after that I felt in my heart that I should not have done it. I now regret what I tweeted.”
Praising the veteran filmmaker, Santhosh wrote: “Bharathiraja is one of the oldest filmmakers in Tamil Cinema Industry. Many are working now in the hope of at least doing one per cent of the accomplishments he has achieved. Bharathiraja has been and is still a role model for many filmmakers.”
He promised Bharathiraja that he would ensure that future promotions of Irandam Kuththu would be made family-friendly.
Bharathiraja had earlier condemned the film for its offensive content in a letter. “We should not permit films that spoil culture. Aren’t there enough rapes, child rapes that we have witnessed? People should realise these kinds of films only do bad to society,” he wrote.
In an interview with Galatta on October 9, Santhosh had responded to Bharathiraja’s condemnation and said that it was wrong to connect rape cases with cinema. “A maker of a high-end bike brand is not going to stop manufacturing those vehicles just because a person may steal or kill to buy it. Likewise, it is wrong to connect adult comedy films with rapes and vulgarity. Instead of blaming an evil on something, we must learn how to live without committing the evil. Just like how we are taught not to steal and kill, our education system must also teach us not to rape,” he said.
Following Bharathiraja’s condemnation, Panangattu Padai Katch’s leader A Hari Nadar filed a police complaint on October 9 against the makers of Irandam Kuththu, requesting action be taken against them.
Popular bike racer Alisha Abdullah had requested a ban on the film.
— Alisha abdullah (@alishaabdullah) October 9, 2020
Irandam Kuththu is the sequel to 2018 film Iruttu Arayil Murattu Kuthu directed by Santhosh P Jayakumar. The sequel stars the director along with Daniel Annie Pope, Karishma Kaul, Akriti Singh and Motta Rajendran.