'Vishwaroopam' gets overwhelming response in Kerala

Chennai, Jan 25 (IANS) Kamal Haasan's "Vishwaroopam" opened to an overwhelming response in Kerala, but after the first screening, the film's run was stopped in several theatres following protest from Muslim groups. Trade insiders say it is a clean movie.

"The first screening of the film was at 11 a.m. in approximately 82 screens in Kerala. But the film had to be banned in several cinemas after the first screening. Theatres closer to Tamil Nadu-Kerala border had to stop screening since Muslim outfits intervened," Arvind Nambiar, a distributor, told IANS.

"It's a clean film and is not targeted against any group or community. People should watch and decide for themselves whether it has any scenes that hurt the sentiments of any community," he added.

The shows were disrupted in places like Palakkad, Ettumanoor and some other towns of Kerala.

"There was no buzz around the release of the film as most of the cinemas decided to screen the film at the last minute, which was this morning. Since it released in smaller sections such as B and C, there were no problems initially, but later on the situation aggravated," Nambiar added.

The Tamil and Telugu versions of "Vishwaroopam", which deals with the adversities of war, were scheduled to release Friday, but the Tamil Nadu government Wednesday imposed curbs on it following protests from Muslim groups.

A day later, Kamal challenged the ban by the state government in the Madras High Court. In his plea, he contended that the movie was cleared by the censor board and the state government could not ban it.

The court has suspended the release till Jan 28. A judge will watch the film and then decide its fate.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh government Friday stopped the release of "Vishwaroopam" in Hyderabad after some Muslim organizations complained that the movie hurt religious sentiments of the community.

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