The 95-crore film has been banned by the Tamil Nadu government for two weeks after some groups protested against the film's portrayals of Muslims. The Madras High Court last evening refused to rescind the ban and said a judge will review the movie over the weekend; a verdict could be delivered at the next hearing on Monday. Kamal Haasan has described the ban as "cultural terrorism" and the movie as "Muslim-friendly."
The movie was released in Andhra Pradesh this morning, but the distributor decided to cancel later screenings in the state capital of Hyderabad. The film did not show at all in Bangalore today.
"Yesterday some religious leaders approached me to stop the screening of the movie expressing apprehensions. There is no ban from the government side. City police commissioners have requested me to postpone the movie screening by a day in the city," said Home Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Sabita Indra Reddy, to news agency PTI.
Southern superstar Rajinikanth today appealed to Muslim groups to work with Kamal Haasan by suggesting changes that would not "affect the storyline." Lobbying against the ban on the film, he said, "I have known Kamal for 40 years. He would not hurt anyone." (Read)