MUMBAI: Kamal Haasan’s next big release ‘Vishwaroopam’ featuring Pooja Kumar, Rahul Bose and Andrea Jeremiah has stirred up quite a controversy. The missing of its release date and the innovative new ‘game-changing’ idea of releasing the film on DTH before it hits theatres, has got a lot of flak.
Haasan’s ingenious plan was conceived in order to avoid the whole piracy loop and air ‘Vishwaroopam’ for the masses to enjoy it from the comfort of their homes.
10 January, one day before its theatrical release, the film was to be aired on the DTH platform at the rate of approximately Rs 1,000 per subscriber. The Tamil Nadu Film Theatre Owners’ Association protested heavily against this idea and refused to release the film in their screens, as they believed it would create no business for them when it was already out on DTH.
So for now the film is literally releasing – nowhere.
Dish Tv, Bharti Airtel, Videocon and other DTH players confirm that they have been asked to postpone and take on no more subscriptions for the film. And, while advertisements in South newspapers have stated that bookings in theatres will start from 8 January, all the theatres have turned down Haasan’s fans for 11 January.
Now the outraged fans who have already subscribed for DTH, have nowhere to go with their pleas.
The filmmaker Kamal Haasan at a press conference said, “The release of the movie has been postponed to a future date only as per my convenience, and not because I was pressurized by anyone. I will announce the release date soon and no one else can take a decision on this.”
Haasan added that the postponement had nothing to do with the protests. “We would like to give more time for people to subscribe for DTH premiere. So, I will soon decide on a release date which is comfortable in all aspects.”
But he admits, “It is the traditional theatre exhibitors who played truant. I’d say they refused to see the future…… I am confident that after seeing ‘Vishwaroop’ at home audiences would want to experience the film in a theatre.”
So is ‘Vishwaroopam’ now going to be out on 25 January?
“January 25 is not locked. ‘Race 2’ is releasing that day and we, have similar adventure thriller content. No point in creating unnecessary competition. It could be a week before or a week after January 25,” shrugs off the filmmaker.