It is an open secret that music composers Gangai Amaren and his elder brother Isaignani Ilaiyaraaja do not share a cordial relationship. Raja recently courted controversy when he refused to accept the National Award given to him for best background music (BGM) for Thaarai Thappattai because Amaren, also a music director, was part of the jury.
Now, in an interview with a vernacular magazine, Gangai Amaren has levelled startling allegations against his brother and good friend Kamal Haasan. Besides being a composer and lyricist, Gangai Amaren is also a filmmaker who has given us superhits like Karakattakkaran, Enga Ooru Paattukaran, and Chinnavar.
He revealed that Ilaiyaraaja dared him that the movie Chinnavar would be a flop during its time of release in 1992, and if his prediction did not come true, he would not touch his harmonium again. Interestingly, Raja had composed music for Chinnavar. However, the Prabhu–Kasthuri starrer went on to become a blockbuster and as Amaren claimed, Ilaiyaraaja did not stay on his high horse.
Soon, Amaren got the chance to direct Kamal Haasan in the film Adhi Veerapandian. According to him, Raja told Kamal that Amaren was not a good filmmaker and advised him not to accept his film — just because he happened to be his brother. The movie was shelved at that time.
The allegation came as a shock. “Kamal took the story of Adhi Veerapandian and remade it as Thevar Magan,” he said. The film won many awards besides garnering critical acclaim, and enjoys cult movie status. How far this blame game will go, only time will tell....