Actor and film-maker Kamal Haasan has announced that Vishwaroopam, which was originally planned to release here on January 11, will finally hit the theatres across Tamil Nadu on February 7.
“Surmounting many barricades and bans, Vishwaroopam is now ready for release on 7 February, 2013, finally in Tamil Nadu,” Mr. Haasan wrote in a media statement. “I profusely thank the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, for her justice was speedier. Above all, I am grateful to the Tamil Nadu and the Indian people at large. Many peers in the trade in Tamil Nadu also reached out personally to enquire.“
On Monday morning, Rajkamal Films International, Mr. Haasan’s film production company, withdrew its petitions challenging the Tamil Nadu Government ban, and the case itself was dropped after the State Advocate General informed the court that the ban under Section 144 of CrPC had been recalled on Sunday based on the agreements reached by Mr. Haasan with the protesting Muslim groups at a tripartite meeting convened by the government at the Secretariat on Saturday.
The controversy surrounding the state government ban on the movie had generated heated debates across the country and support swelled for the actor-film maker. He thanked the media for its role in his statement. “The media fought for my freedom as if it were theirs at stake – probably it is so. Nevertheless the time they spent on my small cause and the warmth they imparted strengthened me.”
The actor said even though he was angered, he stood stoic through all the troubles. But what really broke him down was the money orders and demand drafts some of his fans sent him upon hearing his passionate interview to media on January 30, in which he said he would consider leaving his home here in search for another secular state within the country. “I am returning all of these (the cheques, money orders) to the senders. Please do not take offense; I have safeguarded your addresses, in case politics and religion hound me again to take refuge. I know I have safe homes to feed and keep me throughout Tamilnadu.”
The announcement concluded the long journey to the screens for Vishwaroopam, which was originally planned to hit the screens on Pongal day (January 11) across Tamil Nadu to cash in on the long weekend. It initially ran into trouble with the theatres and distributors who objected to Mr.Haasan’s plan to premiere the movie on direct-to-home (DTH) a day before the theatrical release. It was eventually resolved after the film-maker agreed to release it on DTH a week later.
However the biggest hurdle came when a group of Muslim organisations protested over some of the content, after he had arranged for a special screening for some representatives. The Tamil Nadu government banned the movie under Section 144 of CrPC citing possible law and order problems had the movie released. Kamal Haaasan was not in Chennai when the ban was announced, as he was in Los Angeles, to premiere both the Hindi and the Tamil versions there. Upon his return, a legal battle ensued in the Madras High Court where Rajkamal Films International, the production house, initially got a favourable order in a single Judge order, but soon the Tamil Nadu government challenged it at the Madras High Court and set aside the order, bring the ban right back into effect.
Some of the theatres said they would open bookings for the movie tomorrow. Vishwaroopam is already running to packed houses in neighbouring states of Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The Hindi version of the film Vishwaroop too has been doing above average business, according to trade analyst Taran Adarsh who tweeted that the film collected close to Rs.7.65 crore in its first weekend.