Lingusamy Upset with Radha Ravi's speech; Bharathiraja's consolation to Lingu

The latest to feel the sting of Radha Ravi's rather cutting brand of on-stage humour, director and producer Lingusamy had half an emotional outburst on stage — at a programme where both men were in attendance — on Monday.

After taking jibes at the cinema industry at large, Radha Ravi said about running into the Run director before the start of the programme. "When I saw him I asked him why he'd lost so much weight. He told me that he was trying to cut down and become slimmer. I asked him if it was this effort or the films that he has been making that have led to his weight loss," said Ravi, enjoying a hearty chortle.

Excusing himself as he had a doctor's appointment, Ravi who is an office bearer of the Nadigar Sangam (South Indian Film Artists Association) left RKV Studios immediately after. Radha Ravi, a quintessential villain fixture through the 90s, has outraged the likes of A R Rahman, Ajith and Asin with his cutting remarks in public.

Lingusamy's face remained grim and continued to stay that way till it was his turn at the podium. "Every time he (Radha Ravi) speaks, there is always a little mocking there. He asked if I had lost weight because of my films. I would like to tell him that having a large belly isn't good for any man and would advise yoga, as I am doing, to take care of it," he retorted sharply. It is common knowledge that Lingusamy's prolific production company Thirrupathi Brothers is in a rough spot — with Kamal Haasan's Utthama Villain inexorably dragging on and Lingusamy's last directorial venture, Suriya's Anjaan flopping badly. At a time when there are whispers about his mounting debt, Lingusamy continued, "At a young age, I have seen both victory and defeat. I feel very emotional having heard this and so I wanted to say all this to him (Radha Ravi). I am sure the message will reach him," he said, even as assistant directors from the audience tacitly told him to talk about other things. Things might have soured further, if veteran filmmaker Bharathiraaja hadn't pacified Lingusamy. "Ravi has a habit of speaking this way. You must not take it to heart. You entered the industry as a writer and now you are an artiste who has understood the industry better than even I have. You should be proud," said the man who made 16 Vayathinile.


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