Court curbs on 'Vishwaroopam' release till Jan 28

Chennai, Jan 24 (IANS) Declining to stay a two-week ban imposed by the Tamil Nadu government on the screening of "Vishwaroopam", the Madras High Court Thursday restricted the film's release till Jan 28. A judge will see the movie Jan 26 and decided on its fate.

Made in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, "Vishwaroopam", which deals about the adversities of war, is produced and directed by Kamal Haasan who has also acted in it. It was scheduled to release Friday, but the government imposed curbs following protest from Muslim groups.

"The final verdict on the release of 'Vishwaroopam' will be announced on Jan 28. Justice K. Venkatraman will watch the film on Jan 26 and will deliver final verdict on Jan 28," a lawyer told IANS.

The Tamil and Telugu versions were slated for a Friday release, while the Hindi version, titled "Vishwaroop", is scheduled to come out Feb 1.

Kamal challenged the ban by the state government. In his plea, he contended that the movie was cleared by the censor board and the state government could not ban it.

On Wednesday, the state government banned "Vishwaroopam" for two weeks when around 25 Muslim organisations objected to Kamal's movie on the ground that it portrays the community in bad light.

When the Muslim organisations had objected to the movie, the 58-year-old superstar organised a special screening for them to allay their fears.

However, the organisations hardened their stance after watching the movie, alleging that the community was shown in bad light.

Earlier in the day, Kamal, expressing his shock at the two-week ban ordered by the Tamil Nadu government, saying: "I have been ruthlessly used as a vehicle by small groups who seek political profile."

"Icon bashing is a great way to be noticed when you are not one yourself. It is happening again and again. Any neutral and patriotic Muslim will surely feel pride on seeing my film. It was designed for that purpose," he said in a statement.

"Now I will rely on law and logic to come to our support. This kind of cultural terrorism will have to stop," he added.

Earlier, the film got into trouble when Kamal had announced that he will premiere it first on DTH and then take it to the theatres.

But when distributors objected, he had to revise his plans. Now the Tamil and Telugu versions will be aired on DTH a week after the release in theatres.

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