After almost a month-long delay, Kamal Haasan’s multi-crore Vishwaroopam is all set for release in Tamil Nadu on February 7.

According to sources, the movie is likely to be beamed through the direct-to-home platform a week later – “tentatively on February 15”, and it may be priced at Rs 300 per view.

Following the agreement between Kamal Haasan and Muslim outfits, the State Government decided to lift the ban on the movie. Acting swiftly, the actor and film maker today withdrew his petition before the Madras High Court challenging the ban. This has paved the way for its release.

In a meeting facilitated by the Government between the actor and Muslim groups last week, the actor and film maker agreed to cut a few “objectionable” scenes and mute the background score and dialogues in some places.

Luckily for Kamal Haasan, almost all the films that were released recently are not doing well, and hence allotting screens for Vishwaroopam should not be a problem, said Abirami Ramanathan, President of the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners’ Federation. “He will get at least 500 screens across the State,” he told Business Line. According to him, theatres will open bookings for the film from tomorrow.

Ever since the movie’s release date was announced for the first time, there were several hurdles for the film. The mega-budget thriller, made in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, was originally scheduled for release on January 11. Initially, theatre owners opposed the actor’s plans to release the movie on the DTH platform, a day ahead of its theatrical release. It was followed by protests by some Muslim groups saying some scenes in the movie will hurt their sentiments, prompting the State Government to ban the film in the State.

Irked by this, Kamal Haasan moved the Madras High Court, challenging the ban. In the meanwhile, the Government agreed to facilitate a meeting between the film maker and the protesting Muslim groups for an amicable settlement.

However, the movie, which was released in other geographies, including neighbouring Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, on January 25, “has been doing well”, say industry sources.

(This article was published on February 4, 2013)
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