The film industry is surely not easy place work in. A Canada-based magician Raman Sharma worked for Vijay’s Mersal team in the year 2017 and now he alleged that the makers are still not paying his dues.
Raman recently took to Twitter to voice his concern. He tweeted to the film's co-producer Hema Rukmani, who was seen flaunting shopping bags and posing with family in European countries, and demanded that she should settle his dues immediately.
In the movie, Raman trained Kollywood actor Vijay to carry out the magic tricks and had also helped director Atlee in writing the magic sequences.
“Hope your enjoying Paris as many of my friends who worked for your unethical company are in a financial mess! Those tickets for your trip were bought with the blood, sweat, and tears of many hard workers (sic),” he wrote in his recent tweet.
I couldn’t agree with you more @sumitd91! Hope your enjoying Paris as many of my friends who worked for your unethical company are in a financial mess! Those tickets for your trip were bought with the blood, sweat, and tears of many hard workers. @ChennaiTimesTOI @News18TamilNadu pic.twitter.com/nZa9rdNSVt— Raman Sharma Magic (@RamanMagic) September 4, 2019
In an interview with The News Minute, Raman said: “Is this how someone who is already in a financial tight spot, if what they claim is true, goes about spending their money?
Purchasing stuff from Louis Vuitton while the rest of us who worked hard are owed money?” he asks.
While Mersal released on October 17 that year, Raman is yet to receive his full payment, almost two years later.
According to TNM report, Raman, as of June this year, owed Rs 5,31,200 (including interest and minus the Rs 1 lakh paid as an advance) by producers of Mersal.
In January this year, the Indian origin magician was forced to fly down to Chennai from Canada, employ a lawyer and send the production house a notice demanding the rest of his payment under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
So I had to hire a lawyer all the way in Chennai from Canada because I trusted the corrupt production house known as @ThenandalFilms These cowards still have not paid me and are hiding in there little hole. Little do they know I will not stop. #cowards #foolingpeople #thug pic.twitter.com/CE53VX3t2V— Raman Sharma Magic (@RamanMagic) January 19, 2019
“I traveled with the crew to several places and worked with them for many months when Mersal was being filmed. We entered into an agreement on March 17, 2017, and I was to be paid a total amount of Rs 4,32,000 on the whole. I received an advance of Rs 1 lakh at the time of signing the agreement. H Murali (one of the producers) promised me that I would receive the rest of my payment before the film releases,” Raman told The News Minute. In his notice, he says he worked on the film from March 17 to November 26, 2017.
In November 2018, Raman tweeted a video describing how he had devoted his time for months working on Mersal and was yet to receive his payment from Thenandal Studios close to a year since the film’s release. “The most interesting thing is, this movie has to do with ethics and corruption. How ethical is this? You’ve promised me something and you’re not been able to deliver on it,” he says in the video.
According to Raman, November 2018 was the last time he heard from the production house. “In fact, Murali threatened me asking me to take down the video. He said, ‘people will eventually forget it, but if you don’t take it down we’ll never pay you’. All my calls to them so far have been unanswered,” he claims.
He further says, “I know many others who are owed an amount that’s lesser than mine by the Mersal producers, but they do not want me to reveal their names. My situation might not be so grave but the same cannot be said for them. What Thenandal Studios is doing is very unethical.”
Recently, the magician was in Chennai to sort out the case and at that time he visited Atlee and Vijay on the sets of Bigil. However, he says he did not find the need to bring the payment issue up. “I don’t think it concerns them. Thenandal Studios has duped many others and my gripe is with them,” he told The News Minute.
Raman has been traveling around the world and carrying out magic tricks for the last 12 years.
By Sowmya Sangam