Tamil actor Kamal Haasan’s new film Uttama Villain has navigated choppy waters and will now release on May 1. Theatre owners in Tamil Nadu say that all issues relating to the film have been sorted out.
Last week, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad or VHP called for a ban on the film claiming that a song from the film would hurt Hindu sentiments. The song, Iraniyan Nadagam, deals with a conversation between mythological figures Prahlad and Hiranyakashipu.
“The lyrics of the song will upset followers of Lord Vishnu. It belittles the conversation between Prahalad and Hiranyakashipu. Hence, we demand a ban on the film,” VHP member KL Sathiyamoorthy told news agency IANS.
The VHP received support from an unexpected quarter when, on April 10, a Muslim organization in Chennai filed a police complaint against Kamal Haasan for ‘attempts to insult religious sentiments’ of Hindus.
“Through his earlier movie Vishwaroopam, Kamal Haasan offended religious sentiments of Muslims and now he is trying to do the same to Hindus through his upcoming movieUttama Villain,” Indian National League Headquarters secretary M Nazeer Ahammad told PTI.
Director Ramesh Aravind told the press that the Centra Board of Film Certification had given the film a clean chit and that there was nothing offensive in Uttama Villain. “As a director I can assure that nothing in the film will hurt anybody’s sentiment. The film is about the feelings of a superstar; his journey and emotions. The said song sequence has nothing offensive in it against any community,” Mr Aravind told IANS.
Uttama Villain was to release on April 10 but was delayed because of extensive visual effects work.
The film, in which Kamal Haasan plays a double role, tells the story of an eighth century actor and a modern-day superstar. It also stars Jayaram, Pooja Kumar and Andrea Jeremiah. Late director K Balachander appears in a cameo role as does filmmaker K Vishwanath.