Chennai: After days of courting controversy and debate, actor and director Kamal Haasan's 'Vishwaroopam' is set to release in Tamil Nadu. More than a week after the thriller was banned from theatres across the state, Haasan agreed to make several cuts in the movie on Saturday before it hits the screens.
"I have spoken to my Muslim brothers. I have convinced them that there is nothing wrong with the film. I have agreed to remove some sound clips from the film," Haasan said.
The film ran into trouble just one day ahead of its slated release when the AIADMK government banned it following protests from some Muslim groups, which claimed it had offensive scenes that hurt their sentiments. Prohibitory orders were enforced in each district citing law and order concerns even as Haasan took the state to court unsuccessfully.
However, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa stuck to the decision of keeping the film off the screens in the state. "If the Muslim organisations and Kamal Haasan are ready to sit down and work out an amicable agreement, and if he (Haasan) agrees to delete some scene which they (Muslim organisations) find very objectionable, the decks could be cleared for the screening of the film," she said.
Soon after Jayalalithaa's statement, both the parties were invited for talks by the State Home Secretary R Rajagopal and after a five hour long discussion, Haasan finally managed to get a green signal for his film, though with a few cuts and edits.
However, film fraternity has reacted sharply against banning of the film. "Being a member of the Censor Board, I think no film should be stopped from releasing after being cleared by the Board. It is a very scary situation," former Censor Board Chairman and veteran actor Anupam Kher said.
"I felt for the filmmaker and what he was going through and I think as a fraternity something has to be done because this cannot happen time and again. Freedom of expression and speech has to be exercised on all accounts," filmmaker Karan Johar said.