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Vishwaroopam finally sees light

Bangalore/Chennai, Jan 29, 2013, DHNS: 1:50 IST
Kamal Hasan Fans seen at the contoversy film Vishwaroopam Screening at Natraj theatre in Bangalore on tuesday. DH photo

Film buffs in Bangalore and different parts of the State were finally treated to actor-director Kamal Haasan’s latest film “Vishwaroopam” after a long and tedious wait on Tuesday.

The controversial film was screened in 17 theatres in Bangalore and 40 cinemas across the State.

“All the 17 theatres in the City where the film was released on Tuesday afternoon have registered houseful collections,” the film’s distributor for Karnataka, H D Gangaraju of Shakthi Enterprises, told Deccan Herald.
After certain untoward incidents in theatres screening the film in Mysore, Raichur and Bhadravathi, the State police had stayed the screening saying that it was detrimental to the maintenance of law and order and tranquility.

TN release Wednesday

Meanwhile, the Madras High Court on Tuesday stayed the orders by the district collectors of Tamil Nadu not to screen the film in the state, giving a temporary relief to Kamal Haasan.

In his interim order, Justice K Venkatraman said that the order to stop screening made under Section 144 Cr PC “is kept in abeyance at present”. The judge, who heard the arguments for about six hours in the day, read out the operational part of the order at 10:15 pm.

After the marathon hearing, the judge, who had watched the film on January 26, said the petitioner (Kamal Haasan) had prima facie established a case. He, however, said this interim order will not be a hurdle to the Muslim organisations to oppose it before the appropriate authority.

Immediately, counsels for Tamil Nadu urged the judge to keep the order in suspension till 10:30 am on Wednesday. They feared that the movie screening may begin at 5 am on Wednesday, which makes their plea infructuous.

They repeatedly pleaded that the order should be kept under suspension to enable them to move a division bench. The judge orally observed his order “did not mean they will be allowed to screen the movie immediately”.

Kamal Haasan’s lawyers later said the move is likely to be screened in the morning. They claimed that arrangements were in place for the screening.

Earlier, senior counsel for the actor P S Raman argued that the trilingual film has been duly certified by the Censor Board after some cuts for about 1.5 minutes.

In credit roll

On the request of some Muslim groups, who also watched the film and found nothing objectionable, a line “Not all Muslims are terrorists” will be added as the film credits roll.

Distributor Gangaraju pointed out that as the prints are screened using satellite technology he cannot add the line in the City. He had, however, taken all measures to add the line and had sent his men to Chennai to accomplish the task.

All screenings starting from Wednesday will have that line, which, he said, was in the spirit of the film. He regretted that the film had created such a huge stir for unwarranted reasons.

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