Dhruva Natchathiram in English means Pole star, which, unlike many other stars in the sky, doesn’t move. The film seems to be living up to its name. A lot of I-told-you-so talk has been going around on social media, ever since Gautham Menon admitted that Dhruva Natchathiram is not releasing on November 24. The director seems to have used everything in his arsenal to bring the film out but looks like it wasn’t enough. Here’s a look at the timeline of the movie and why it is not able to see the light of day.
The origin of Dhruva Natchathiram goes back to 2013 when the film was first announced with Suriya. Even before it could go on floors, Suriya backed out of the project because Gautham didn’t provide a proper script for the film. In a detailed press statement, Suriya revealed his reasons for backing out of the project. “To sum up, I would like to mention that all I have been asking is a complete storyline and bound script which is only fair to be provided to an actor. Now, it has come to a point where I have lost valuable time and cannot afford to wait any further. Hence with a deep sense of pain, I have decided to exit the project,” an excerpt from the statement read.
After a lot of back and forth, Dhruva Natchathiram was finally green-lit by Vikram in 2016. Gautham’s Ondraga Entertainment with Escape Artists Motion Pictures and Kondaaduvom Entertainment came together to produce the film, but except for Ondraga, the other banners left the project even after a long schedule was wrapped up in New York. Ever since the exit of the production houses, the project struggled with financial issues. It was later shot in several locations across the world in 2017, but it never came to fruition. Later, the pandemic turned out to be a huge blow to the project and Gautham in a recent interview claimed the film was almost dropped and nothing happened with it for two long years.
After the success of Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu and Gautham Menon’s various acting stints (which he claims were for earning money to finish the film), Dhruva Natchathiram was again revived. Vikram and other actors finished their dubbing and Gautham has claimed that he has managed to produce a quality film with the resources he had. To everyone’s surprise, Gautham also announced the release date of the film to be November 24, 2023. However, in the promotional interviews, the director admitted that he is still fighting financial battles and is hopeful that the film will be released on time. It didn’t. On November 24, Gautham Menon took to social media to announce that despite his best efforts, he is unable to release the movie on time. He also added, “Just a few more days and we will arrive.”
— Gauthamvasudevmenon (@menongautham) November 23, 2023
Speaking to Galatta Plus, Gautham Menon revealed the problems with Dhruva Natchathiram and why the film got delayed. Gautham revealed that the investors in the movie ended up having issues between themselves and approached the court to stall the film. “When you produce a film, you have one principal financier, the negative holder, and you raise money only from him. You put the money into a production plan and it goes really smoothly. Problems arises when the communication goes wrong between two investors. You pit two investors against each other. When one investor realises that there’s somebody else on board…when he kept on telling us not to take money from the other person… when the same thing happens with the other investor. They confront each other and end up filing stays in court on the film, everything gets shelved including freezing bank accounts, attaching property to the issue. So, everything gets stalled. It was a full stop. And then I had to go meet them and convince them. I had to act (for money)… bring them out of court.. get money and put it back into the film. Now, with the revenue I get from the film, I have to pay these guys back. Only the four to five principal investors have to be paid off now. So, I am trying to pay them off and release the film also,” he said.
Gautham is currently struggling to sell the film to OTT platforms which would generate a lot of money to pay off the stakeholders. However, due to the delay in the film and other issues, the OTT platforms are hesitant. On top of that, Gautham has been asked to move the release date to April 2024, which he is not willing to do. Now, that the film has failed to hit theatres, Gautham is facing a lot more criticism than before. At the same time, Vikram and Gautham fans have come out in support of the efforts of the director to bring out his movie when he could have very much walked out of the project a long time ago.
Starring Vikram as a secret agent heading a team of similar spies, Dhruva Natchathiram has Vinayakan, Radhika Sarathkumar, Dhivya Darshini, Ritu Varma, Parthiban, and Simran in pivotal roles. Harrish Jeyaraj has composed the songs for the film.