Story in Pictures

Drama in real life

Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam saw as much, if not more, action off-screen as on it

RA Chandroo

The action, suspense and dialogue delivery happened outside the theatres this past month in Tamil Nadu. Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam was finally released in theatres in the state on February 7, and fans thronged even 5 am shows — apparently, tickets are sold out for all shows in all theatres for the next 10 days. Originally scheduled for a January 25 release, Vishwaroopam was delayed after theatre owners threatened to boycott it if Haasan released the film first on the direct-to-home (DTH) platform. He had just about backtracked when the state government banned the movie, following protests from some religious groups. Political conspiracies were hinted at and Haasan switched effortlessly from threats to emotional appeals — he would leave India in self-imposed exile, he warned, before mentioning how he was on the verge of bankruptcy over the movie — even as he went to court over the government’s decision. The happy ending came after seven “minor” cuts were agreed to after a meeting between Haasan and the groups.