Ananth Narayan Mahadevan, who is currently receiving high appreciation for his performance in Scam 1992, recently shared a post on Aksar 2 completing three years. But are you wondering why such a post is making the news? Well, it because the film’s director called out the producers for still now paying his dues.
Taking to Facebook, Ananth wrote, “CELEBRATING THREE YEARS….OF HUMILIATION by the producers” His post consisted of the film’s poster with the taglines ‘How often do you see the trap?’ and ‘How often do you not get paid??’ written on it.
During a conversation with Bollywood Hungama, Ananth Narayan Mahadevan recalled his ordeal with the producers. He said, “I was supposed to be paid Rs. 35 lakh. I have been paid Rs. 20 lakh 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.”
Ananth Narayan Mahadevan continued, “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!”
Recalling working with the producers on multiple occasions, he said he never such a problem taking place. He mentioned, “I have worked with them earlier, with Aksar and even in Aggar. That’s the reason I trusted them. I was paid properly then and on time. So I thought they’ll not cheat me. And I had agreed to work for such a paltry sum that it’s even shameful to tell the public.” He continued, “Every time, they used to give me a small amount through a cheque.”
When asked if he plans to serve the producers of Aksar 2 a notice, Ananth Narayan Mahadevan said, “I have nothing to do. I approached a lawyer but he said that since I don’t have a contract, we can’t do anything about it. The lawyer went and spoke to them. They then continued with their excuses like ‘we’ll let you know, ‘we’ll talk after Diwali’, ‘we are sick’ etc. They have got a hundred excuses to give me. So finally, I decided to go public. I realized that if they humiliate me like this, I’ll humiliate them too. I know I am not going to get the money. So I’ll at least hit back and wound them before I die.”
When the portal asked the director if the rest of the cast and crew members have been paid, Ananth Narayan Mahadevan revealed, “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.” He added, “Everybody has been paid except me, the DOP and the assistants.”
Elaborating on the same, 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.”
Ananth Narayan Mahadevan also revealed that the 20 lakh he has received from the producers of Aksar 2 has been over a period of 2 years. He said, “I had asked for Rs. 50 lakh since I have done films for Rs. 60 lakh 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!”
Aksar 2 starred Zareen Khan, Gautam Rode and Abhinav Shukla. The exotic thriller released on November 17, 2017. The film received negative reviews from critics and same love from viewers.