December 8 was a special day for young Malayalam star Nivin Pauly as his first Tamil movie Richie hit the theatres in India on a grand note. The action thriller, directed by Gautham Ramachandran, is the official remake of the hit Kannada film Ulidavaru Kandante for which actor-director Rakshit Shetty bagged many accolades.
Richie was released on Friday to positive response and good reviews from the critics and viewers. Nivin also won praises for essaying the title role of a professional rowdy in the film. However, a Malayalam actor-director has now landed in trouble for appreciating the original movie and making a controversial statement apparently on the remake version.
Through a Facebook post, Roopesh Peethambaran, who was last seen in the Malayalam movie Oru Mexican Aparatha said Ulidavaru Kandante as a superior work of art and added it's hard to imagine "how a masterpiece turned into a piece". And netizens claim that the filmmaker was indirectly mocking Nivin's movie calling it a "piece," a word which is often used in a derogatory manner among Keralites.
"Rakshit Shetty, I know you on a personal level since my struggling days and I have always admired ur work as an Actor, Writer and a Director and Ulidavaru Kandante is a superior work of art!! It's pretty hard to imagine how a masterpiece turned into a piece!! Bravo for 'Ulidavaru Kandante'. Please note - I'm only appreciating a friend's work from the past ;) [sic]," reads Roopesh's Facebook post.
Irked by Roopesh's comparison, fans of Nivin started posting abusive comments on his Facebook page. Soon, the Theevram movie director came forward requesting the Premam actor to tell his fans that he was not bitching Richie, but was just praising the work of his friend Rakshit. "Nivin Pauly, tell ur fans that I was praising Ulidavaru Kandante not bitching Richie!! :)," He wrote.
However, on Saturday, following the massive backlash from social media, Roopesh apologised for his "impulsive reaction" that has pained many people.
"More than an actor and a director, I am a movie lover. And because of that I tend to react passionately to movies. But I am also a professional in the cinema industry. I did not consider my responsibility in that regard when I reacted on the Kannada movie 'Ulidavaru Kandante'. I realize that was a mistake which hurt a lot of people. That was never my intention. I apologise for the pain I may have caused due to this. I am sorry [sic]."