Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday asked actor Kamal Haasan to meet government officials in Tamil Nadu and look for a possible solution to the row over his latest film 'Vishwaroopam' after its release was put on hold in the state. The judge, who saw the film on Sunday will hear the case on Tuesday now.
Kamal Haasan landed in Chennai late on Sunday night from Los Angeles, but refused to comment on the matter. Vishwaroopam ran into trouble last week after Muslim groups protested over the alleged portrayal of the community as terrorists and the film's release was banned in Tamil Nadu.
In Kerala, the movie screening was stopped in several centres on Friday evening following protests. In Hyderabad, morning screenings were not disturbed, but subsequent shows were interrupted. In Karnataka, distributors had put off the release. 'Viswaroopam' was scheduled to be released on January 25.
Industry experts say the delay in the screening of 'Vishwaroopam' in the wake of the ban is likely to result in an estimated loss of Rs.30 crore, say industry experts. "A film like 'Vishwaroopam', which was promoted at a huge scale, will perhaps have to bear a loss of around Rs.20 to Rs.30 crore. But it also depends on the fate of the film. If the film again gets delayed, then the loss might even cross more than Rs.30 crore," Mumbai-based distributor Rajesh Thadani of Multi Media Combines said.
The film was slated to be released in 40 theatres across the state, including 12 in the city. But its opening was delayed as Bangalore Police Commissioner Jyothiprakash Mirji wanted to view it before giving the nod for its screening, sole distributor of the multi-lingual movie in the state HD Gangaraju said.
Mirji watched the Rs 100 crore budget film at a special screening this afternoon but is yet to convey his decision, Gangaraju said. The film, facing a two week-ban in Tamil Nadu due to its alleged anti-Muslim content, hit screens worldwide on January 25 but its release was deferred in Karnataka till today following a police suggestion in view of "Milad-un-Nabi" and Republic Day.
However, Mirji on Sunday expressed his wish to view the film before giving permission for its release in view of a group clash in Bhadravathi on Saturday over the screening of the film, Gangaraju, also a former President of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, said.
Tension gripped Bhadravathi town in Shimoga district when two groups clashed over the screening of the film, prompting police to use canes to disperse them. The district administration had imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC for 48 hours in the town.
(With additional information from PTI and IANS)