Director Ranjith's latest Malayalam film Thirakkatha, starring Prithviraj and Priyamani in the lead, turned out to a huge, unpleasant controversy in the recent history of cinema, when some reports pointed out that the Thirakkatha is completely based on one of the biggest Tamil film industry romances of the late 70's between Kamal Hassan and late actress Srividya.
Talking about the issue at a 'meet the press' programme in Kozhikode, which was attended by actors Samvritha Sunil, Augustine and producer Subair, director Ranjith denied the romours and said that Thirakkatha is not a story about the late actress Srividya, perhaps we can find some similarity with her life and ailment in the film.
"Filmmaking is a business; at the same time, I reserve my freedom. The content of the film Thirakkatha is about the undercurrents of film industry itself. But it is not a story about Srividya. She hesitated to see or to talk to anyone in her last days, though she suffered a lot with her ailment," said Ranjith, who knew Srividya very closely.
Notably, the promotional posters of Thirakkatha feature Srividya's photo along with Padmarajan and Bharathan, two of the greatest directors of 70's and early 80's. The buzz is that Ranjith had access to Srividya's personal diaries.
Srividya, one of the finest actresses in South, was known as the 'tragedy queen' in her personal life. She acted in over 150 films in Tamil and Malayalam before this lonely lady succumbed to cancer in 2006 in Thiruvananthapuram.
Meanwhile, Thirakkatha has taken a decent opening all over Kerala and also earned applause as one of the best recent Malayalam films. Priyamani plays Malavika, an actress modeled on Srividya in the film, while Prithviraj plays a young director Akbar Ahmed, a new age director who plans to write a script about the romance between Malavika and another superstar and her subsequent disappearance.