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No Fear No Favour

‘Aksar 2’ director blasts on producers for not fully paying him for the film.

By Ishank Katyal

Adithya Narayan Mahadevan who is right now being praised for his performance in highly successful show “Scam 1992, Story of Harshad Mehta” is actually seems to be struggling with his financial situation as recently he has blasted off on the producers for his erotic- thriller directional ‘Aksar 2’ through a social media post.

He upload the poster of Gautam Rode and Zareen Khan starrer on Facebook with the caption saying: “CELEBRATING THREE YEARS… OF HUMILIATION by the producers” and also wrote on the poster, “How often you do not get paid?? “

In his interview with Bollywood Hungama, Mahadevan said, “I was supposed to be paid Rs. 35 lakhs. I have been paid 20 lakhs till date. They kept promising for 3 years that they’ll pay up the balance amount. Every time I contacted Mr Shyam Bajaj, he kept saying that he’ll pay. And then he tried to avoid it. I ended up as a nervous wreck. It was very humiliating. If somebody would have told me to direct a film for free, I would have graciously done it. But they kept fooling me. They claimed that ‘let’s finish the Mauritius schedule. Otherwise the film will get stuck’ and ‘let me release the film first and then I’ll pay’. Also, the film is your baby too. You don’t want it to get affected in any way. And of course, I did trust. In fact, he didn’t even sign a contract with me. He managed to bypass all that very cleverly. Now I realize that it was all very well planned so that they don’t have to pay me my remuneration. Very sad state of affairs!”

When asked if the other cast and crew members were paid, he informed, “All the actors were paid. The makers had to; otherwise they won’t dub or promote the film. But the director is always left high and dry,” and then added, “Everybody has been paid except me, the DOP and the assistants.”

After being asked if cinematographer Maneesh Bhatt decided to take any action? Ananth said, “The DOP also tried to get his money but after a point, even he gave up. They told me and him that they’ll pay us once they start their next project. But this was not the condition that was laid before us when we started Aksar 2.”

Mahadevan added, “Aksar 2 was made below their budget. They had a budget of Rs. 4 crore but I made it at Rs. 3 crore. You have no idea how much I have gone through during this film. They even admit it that I am the only one who can make a film within a budget, within a stipulated time and ensure profit for the makers. And yet, they are playing this game. I don’t understand what’s driving them to act in such a manner.”

“These Rs. 20 lakhs which I have received were given to me over a period of two years. I had asked for Rs. 50 lakhs since I have done films for Rs. 60 lakhs in the past. But they convinced me by saying, ‘Aap paintees lakh (35 lakh) mein kar do hamare liye’. They assured me that the film will be done within a period of 4 to 6 months and that I’ll be paid by then. So, I agreed. They stretched the film to 2 years. Imagine, Rs. 20 lakhs in 2 years! A per-day-artiste would have got more than what I got paid in the film!” He further added.

Ananth never got rid of the difficulties and producers didn’t even cared. He said, “I told them to just give me Rs. 1 lakh. I needed it desperately to give it to the contractor so that my brother’s house, destroyed in the floods in Kerala, can be rebuilt. My brother was literally roofless and I was begging them to give me the money. They have put me through such mental torture! If this was America, they could have been sued for millions of dollars.”

Further explaining his condition, Ananth Narayan Mahadevan said, “My mother is ailing and is bedridden. I have to pay 2 nurses a minimum Rs. 60,000 a month. I have told the producers everything – about my mother’s condition and my brother’s condition. But these people kept fooling me. Mr Shyam Bajaj, in fact, kept visiting me at studios where I was shooting. He would make assurances and leave. I can literally feel them laughing behind my back. I want to just ask him – why are you not paying an honest director his rightful due? The man who saved you a crore, why are you doing this to him? That’s all I need to know. I am very distressed.” Ananth signed off by stating, “Let me see how they can reply now that I have named and shamed them in public. I feel they won’t have a reply.”

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