Chennai: Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan's film Vishwaroopam will release in theatres in Tamil Nadu on Thursday, after the state government first banned the film and then brokered a compromise with leaders of groups who were offended by the portrayal of Muslims in the Rs 95-crore film.
Ahead of the film's debut in his home state, Kamal Haasan agreed to edit out the audio for seven scenes and withdraw a petition in the Madras High Court challenging the government's ban.
In a statement today, the actor, who has also produced and directed 'Vishwaroopam', thanked his fans for their immovable support. "What brought me to an emotional pulp was the sight of many money orders, currency notes and bank cheques sent to me in envelopes," he said, referring to the donations made after he disclosed last week that the ban on his movie had placed him in borderline bankruptcy. He asked his admirers not to be offended by his decision to return their money. "In case politics and religion hound me again to take refuge," he said, he will call on them. (Grateful Kamal Haasan thanks his fans: read entire statement)
Since January 22, when the government banned his film two days before its scheduled release in 524 theatres, Kamal Haasan has defended his movie as "Muslim-friendly" and said that he has been used as "a political instrument." A judge of the Madras High Court who said that the ban should be lifted was over-ruled by two others the next day. (Read Vishwaroopam's review)
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa last week said the ban was necessary to maintain law and order, but offered that her government would help mediate negotiations between Muslim groups and the actor. After six hours of talks on Saturday, Kamal Haasan agreed that the audio would be removed in seven contentious scenes. (Timeline: How Kamal Haasan fought 'cultural terrorism')