MUMBAI: Fans of Kamal Haasan who are waiting to watch his latest ‘Vishwaroopam’, which has been facing one controversy after the other, will have to wait some more.
Friday, the Madras High Court had tentatively stayed the decision of the Tamil Nadu State Government to ban the film. Justice K Venkataraman had said, “I will watch the movie on January 26 along with the leaders who are objecting and pass orders on January 28. Till then, the release should be postponed.”
The Judge reviewed the film on Saturday to check if it indeed shows Muslims in poor light as claimed by the groups. The judge has now asked Haasan to explore amicable settlement with the government, since he is concerned about the peace and unity of the country.
While the Industry is supporting the film-maker, no reprieve has come so far. Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M Karunanidhi has urged the protesting Muslim groups to hold talks with Haasan to resolve their differences. Paattali Makkal Katchi’s (PMK) S Ramadoss said, “The Tamil Nadu government has been indulging in acts against the freedom of expression. If there is a law and order situation, it is the responsibility of the government to handle it. It is not appropriate to ban a movie.”
Superstar Rajinikanth is also anti the ban,”I have known Kamal for 40 years. He would not hurt anyone.” Actor-director Kamal Haasan who said he is “hurt” by the accusations added, “Any neutral and patriotic Muslim will surely feel pride on seeing my film. It was designed for that purpose.”
The film-maker who is to meet officials today for negotiations, hopes for a resolve by tomorrow 29 January.
The Tamil Nadu Government had originally decided to place a two week ban on Haasan’s ‘Vishwaroopam’, for avoiding disharmony in the state. Now, we hear that his has led to neighbouring states like Pondicherry, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, revisiting their own decision of screening the film. Business in the international market has also been affected, for the film is now banned in the Gulf and some parts of Singapore and Malaysia. The distributor of the film for Karnataka, H.D. Gangaraju, had said he was consulting other distributors too. “In the view of Id-e-Milad on Friday and Republic Day on Saturday, I didn’t want to take any chances.”
Kamal Haasan’s counsel argues that the Censor Board has cleared the movie, which was screened to a select group of Muslim leaders. They also submitted the story-line of the film to the Judge. However, the Government maintained that the release could have had an impact on law and order.
The story of ‘Vishwaroopam’ revolves around an effeminate Bharatnatyam-dancer who falls into the trap of a terrorist ring. He busts the network and saves the United States as well as mankind. As an agent of the Indian external intelligence agency, RAW, he enters Afghanistan in the guise of a Mujahideen and even trains the jihadists on warfare. He finds out their plan of smuggling Uranium into the US through doves, used as couriers and succeeds in foiling it. Apparently, ‘Vishwaroopam’ is the first movie in the country and the second ever to have Auro-3D sound track to give a whole new experience to viewers.