After Liji Preman, art director bashes Ratheesh Balakrishnan for bad behaviour

Filmmaker Ratheesh Balakrishnan Poduval has landed in hot water after costume designer Liji Preman accused him of mental harassment on the set of his latest movie. Now, art director Anoop Chalissery claims that Ratheesh Balakrishnan has unjustly denied another production designer his due credit. Anoop alleges that Ajay Mangad, who had done almost all the set work for Nna Thaan Case Kodu, was not credited in the film’s title card. As a result, the production designer lost the chance to compete for awards in that category.
Sharing Liji’s interview that appeared on Manorama Online, Anoop wrote a scathing post on his social media page, accusing Ratheesh Balakrishnan of unethical conduct. His post begins by addressing costume designer Liji and appreciating her decision to take legal action, referring to the movie Nna Thaan Case Kodu directed by Ratheesh.

“The truth will definitely come out. The tears of those who were snubbed wouldn’t cease; instead, they would always be heard loud. I stand with you in this fight for justice. If a filmmaker mars the value of the director’s chair that has been donned by eminent filmmakers, including JC Daniel and many more talented directors, do not hesitate to cut off the ‘putrid’ part and purify it. Otherwise, the audience who watch the movies and the technicians may lose the respect that we have for the ‘chair’.

Malayalam cinema and the technicians from this industry are garnering praise from around the world. So, let me tell the director ‘sir’ that your unethical actions or bad behaviour would only degrade the entire film industry. A costume designer who has worked hard on a project was subjected to mental harassment and was treated like a servant. Her name was not added to the credit list. Moreover, the film’s producers admit that the director wasn’t really amiable. I wonder where our industry is heading. Such filmmakers shouldn’t be encouraged in any language. The same director didn’t give credit to art director Ajay Mangad, who had done ninety-five per cent of the set work in his movie Nna Thaan Case Kodu, including the huge court sets. Meanwhile, another art director who just did the remaining five per cent of the work got the credit as well as the award for best art direction.

Ajay Mangad, the artist, was humiliated and slapped with false accusations. He didn’t protest or approach the court for justice; neither did he post long notes on social media. He suffered the indignation silently. Time may have passed, but the situation on the director’s set remained the same. Another artist has now become a victim of his boorish behaviour. The audience seldom knows about these things. Dear director, had you uttered a word or shown a bit of kindness, an artist might not have lost the honour that he deserved. No one wants fame but needs to be treated with decency. Showing a bit of kindness and warmth to fellow human beings is not going to hurt, is it?
I understand cinema is a collective effort. No one is a slave of another person. I cannot help but recollect the words of the late filmmaker Lohitadas. He had said, “Humanity exists only if there is art and affection. You would become an artist if you are extremely humane. Do not lose that kind heart!”

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