A 'reality trailer' for Paradesi uploaded by director Bala has sent shockwaves in K-Town and in Chennai. The making-of video hows the director violently hitting, kicking and cursing actors and ironically, the video ends with the director smiling. Within hours of uploading, the video became viral online garnering negative publicity.
A majority of the comments were negative, with viewers even commenting that they will boycott the film. However, the biggest criticism came from people in the Tamil film industry who feel the director has shown an abusive, non-existent side of Tamil cinema and his sadistic tendency.
"A making-of video is generally considered to reflect the reality on the sets. It will create a wrong impression on the younger generation who might think abusing actors is the only way to get realistic performances," says Eeram director Arivazhagan. "When filmmakers are expected to ensure the welfare of animals on sets, shouldn't they also maintain human rights? Even I get angry on set and have broken phones in fits of anger. But I ensure I never direct my anger towards my cast and technicians!"
We hear that an assistant director was asked by Bala to cull the shots to create this video.When he approached Deepak Bhojraj,
who had cut the trailer of Paradesi, to create a promo video, Deepak had refused saying that it wasn't the right way to create a trailer. Still, the director decided to go ahead though he was advised to remove shots of hitting women and him smiling at the end as it will be damaging to his reputation. But Bala just told them that he wanted to see what reactions the video will invoke.
"It is not the right way to do a promo. No film editor will agree to do a promo video which shows the director or the film in bad light. Bala does not seem to be aware of the power of social media and how it can quickly create a negative talk around a film," says editor Suresh. He adds that unlike theatrical and television trailers, online promo videos need not get censor approval and filmmakers can get away with showing whatever they want.
Director Balaji Mohan says, "I have heard of how Bala sir was very patient and warm towards the disabled people who were part of the cast in Naan Kadavul. Instead of showing such an approach, this video sends out the wrong signals to aspiring filmmakers. And because Bala is such an influential director in Tamil cinema â€” he was one of the reasons why I became a filmmaker â€” he should have been careful in how he promotes himself."
Balaji Gopal, digital cinema designer person who helped upload the video, clarifies to TOI, "Bala is not actually hitting anyone. It's only an enactment with sound effects added to make viewers feel uneasy. It was done by Bala's internal team to show how serious he is about filmmaking and not to show him as a sadist."
The Paradesi team's reaction
Reality promo shows the effort of Bala sir to make each nd every scene lively! Nd the stick isn't real at all. - Distributor of the film
Its just the making video where sir is enacting the shot. Its very evident. - Vedhika, Actress