Right from the day Kamal Hassan announced that he would premiere his brainchild Vishwaroopam on the Direct-to-Home platform, he started facing problems. The theatre owners and distributors raised a war flag against this decision as they felt that it would hurt their business.
While some theatres owners threatened not to screen the film if it was premiered on the DTH, Kamal Hassan also alleged that he was threatened with dire consequences including death threats if he did so. The star also lodged a police complaint and met the Chief Secretary and Home Secretary of Tamil Nadu to discuss the situation.
Finally, after some negotiations with the biggies in the film industry and a lot of persuasion and pacification Kamal Hassan agreed to release Vishwaroopam in theatres on January 25th and postponed the DTH release by a week – February 2nd 2013.
He again released a press note stating that he did not do it under any compulsion but wanted the viewers to watch the film at the comforts of their home on a weekend and hence decided to air the film on DTH on February 2nd.
When this DTH issue, which went on for more than a month, came to an end there was a huge sigh of relief among the Kamal Hassan fans and they were getting ready to accord a big reception for the film on its opening day.
However, the stumbling block came in the form of the government order imposing a ban on Vishwaroopam for 15 days as some Islamic organizations threatened the government that they would stage a protest if the film is allowed to release as it contains some scenes which derogates the Muslims and their community as a whole.
While Kamal Hassan had mentioned clearly that there are no such scenes in the film and his Muslim brethren will realise this once it hits the screens, they seem to be in no mood to listen to it. This threat from certain organizations, perhaps, bottoms down to gain some cheap publicity.
Kamal Hassan has termed this ban as a ‘cultural terrorism” and stated that he would seek legal recourse to set things right.
The ban at the last moment has Kamal Hassan’s fans frustrated and angry but according to the leading filmmaker Shekar Kapur, who is also in the US where Kamal Hassan is for the Vishwaroopam premiere, says that the man himself is calm and composed.